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Let’s Go Enjoy the Night View of Naha City.
post : 2019.12.28 23:00
I often ask first-time visitors to Okinawa, “How are you enjoying your first visit to Okinawa?” Among the various responses, I often hear people say, “It’s more urbanized than we expected.” When I first relocated to Okinawa from my hometown which is surrounded by rice paddies and farm fields (in Nabari City, Mie Prefecture), I remember thinking, “Naha’s a big city!” I was surprised to find so many buildings, residences and vehicles. Then I thought, “The city lights at night must be beautiful,” and so I decided to photograph the view at night. In this article, I’ll introduce the sights at three locations, Hantagawa Koen Park, Sakiyama Koen Park, and Amagoi-Taki.
First is Hantagawa Koen, situated in the middle of a residential area and rich with natural features of Okinawa like banyan trees. The park is an important part of the community and children gather here to play and the residents come for strolls and exercise. It’s a big park, but remember that there’s no parking lot when you visit.
The landmark here is the gazebo, but presently, perhaps due to weathering and age, the entrance to the gazebo is closed. Go passed the gazebo and on the walk way, and you’ll find a great night viewing spot.
The view from Hantagawa Koen is beautiful, with Shurijo Castle Park atop the hill on your right, the town that spreads on an incline to the left, and with the group of buildings of Naha to the left. You can see the view from various angles within the park, so take a stroll around and enjoy the view.
Next is Sakiyama Koen. The park has an open green space and you’ll see that the grounds are thoroughly tended. Local children come to play soccer and baseball here. This park also doesn’t have a parking lot.
Climb up the stairs found next to the gazebo. There are lights along the way so you can easily see where you’re going. Once at the top of the hill, you’ll find a wonderful view. Take a seat on the bench and enjoy the night view.
The tall buildings in Naha and the lights of the communities at the front create a very beautiful sight. Here too, you can see the view from different angles within the park, so take a walk around.
Last spot is Amagoi-Taki. It’s located only about a 10-minute walk from Sakiyama Park, and offers a view from the same direction, but because the altitude is higher here, the view looks completely different. At the top of the hill, there are washrooms and vending machines, so this is a great spot for those of you who want to take your time to enjoy the view.
They have a parking space for one vehicle at the park. On the park grounds is Miharashi-Kan, a gazebo for visitors to enjoy the view, and next to it the gazebo are steps made with Ryukyu limestone. At the top of the stairs you’ll find the Amagoi-Taki, situated at an altitude of about 133 meters. There are lights and spots for visitors to enjoy the night view, so this is also another great place to visit.
The view from Amagoi-Taki is also very nice, with the tall buildings of Naha and the town nearby, and is very open. It's at the highest point among the three spots introduced in this article. Perhaps it was the highest and closest spot to the sky during the period of the Ryukyuan Dynasties, as Amagoi-Taki was where the Ryukyuan kings came to pray for rain. I hope you’ll visit the spot to see the view from here.
It was a little scary to go take photos at the three great spots introduced in this article, where it was dark and with hardly anyone else there, but it was really exciting to see the sparkling sights of Naha City. While I was going from one park to the other, I found a dimly lit stairway built in between the houses. I went to take a look and found a spectacular sight, and among the photos I took that night, the shot from the stairway is my favorite.
There are definitely other great spots to see the evening lights aside from the three points I introduced in this article, so grab your camera and go on an adventure to find your favorite spot.
Hantagawa Koen Park: 4-19 Hantagawa, Naha City, Okinawa
Sakiyama Koen Park: 1-39 Shuri Sakiyama-cho, Naha City, Okinawa
Amagoi-Taki: 1-Chome, Shuri Sakiyama-cho, Naha City, Okinawa
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Yu Murakami