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Fukushuen Gardens in Kume, Naha City, is a Splendid Photogenic Spot
post : 2019.11.30 20:00
I occasionally get asked, “Can you recommend interesting places to go in Naha besides Shurijo Castle and Shikinaen Gardens?” For a very photogenic spot, I recommend the Fukushuen Gardens in Kume, Naha City. At Kuninda Terrace situated next to the Gardens, visitors can get a closer look at the history during the Ryukyuan Dynasty Period.
Admission for the Fukushuen Gardens is 200 yen for adults (and 100 yen for children in junior high school and younger). Step into to the Gardens and you’ll find yourself in a different world. The Chinese-style garden spreads out in a total area of 8,500 square meters. The reasons why there is a Chinese-style garden in the Kume area in Naha City lies in the sister city relationship of the city and the Chinese city of Fuzhou, and also because Naha was the hub of overseas relationships during the period of the Ryukyu Kingdom, and the Ryukyus and China enjoyed a strong relationship. In the past, living in the former village of Kume (known as Kuninda) were Kunindan-chu (people of Kume village) who were descendants of Chinese people who came to the Ryukyus, and also where people from within Japan and overseas were invited to live, who had particular skills such as translating and marine navigation skills.
Fukushuen Gardens is an authentic Chinese-style garden, constructed under the guidance of the Chinese city in the stone works and other aspects. The landscape has the style and structures that are distinctive of the Fuzhou area, with three mounds, two towers, and one stream. Fukushuen Gardens opened to the public in 1992, and is different in style in comparison to the Shikina Gardens in Shikina, Naha City.
Shown above is a small ravine called Tokakei that is said to express the Minjiang River in Fuzhou. The tranquil atmosphere is delightful and I thought, “What an oasis in the middle of Naha’s urban area.” It’s a great spot to enjoy a calming time, shutting out the hustle and bustle of the city.
Above is an observation point of Ryoharo. Like this, there are various spots within the Gardens that offer great points to take photos, so when you go, don’t forget your camera.
One of the best spots is Yazan, where the waterfall is. If you climb to the Yatei at the top, you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful view. Under the waterfall is a tunnel of rocks where you can walk through.
Situated next to the Gardens is Kuninda Terrace, a place where I hope you will also visit. The facility was completed in 2016, and the exhibition room that introduces the history of the area is free of admission. You can learn in detail the history of the Ryukyu Kingdom period in a fun way.
The exhibition room at Kuninda Terrace has touch-panel monitors that display various documents and records, and there are various types of games to learn about the history
Parking is available across the street, at the coin-operated parking lot for Matsuyama Park, and is free for one hour for visitors to the Gardens and Kuninda Terrace. The Gardens is located just around eight minutes from Naha Airport, so if you get a chance, it’s a great spot to stop by.
Address: 2-29-19 Kume, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: 9:00 to 18:00
Closed: Wednesdays (closed the following day if Wednesday falls on a holiday)
About 8 minutes by car from Naha Airport, 11 minutes on foot from Yui Rail Kencho-mae Station.
(Some areas of the Garden are under construction between November to March)
Located adjacent to Fukushuen Gardens to the right
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Hiroshi Kuwamura