- Full-fledged Store Supplying Unique Sundries and Works by Artists in Okinawa! Find Your “Only One” Souvenir at Select Stationery Shop “Waboku Kyori”
- Fresh Vegetables and Hija are All Homegrown! Keep Concept “Grown Home, Eaten Home!” “Mukashi Mukashi,” Traditional Shop for Okinawa Soba Using Wood Ash
With Dynamic, Stunning Vista, Let’s Ride Through Vast Wilderness around Eastern Coast of North Okinawa! The Segway Experience on Tsutsuji Eco Park
post : 2014.06.02 18:00
Do you know “Segway”? If you are an about 40 to 100kg adult, you can ride on this 21C type vehicle. There are still just several facilities where you can experience the segway in Japan. The segway experience tour at an experience-type accommodation, Higashi Village People’s Forest – Azalea Eco Park is just a little bit different from those at other places.
It is absolutely refreshing to ride with a dynamic ocean view from the height in the dense virgin forest, which is typical on the eastern coast of the northern Okinawa region.
You don’t need to have a driver’s license. Riding a segway is not difficult at all. Beginners as well as ladies don’t have to worry about it. I would like to explain briefly the three basic operations: moving forward, make a turn, and stop.
* Moving Forward or Backward
A segway moves in reaction to your body position. To propel the vehicle forward, you simply lean your body forward. To propel the vehicle backward, you simply lean your body backward.
* Make a turn
To turn, just lean in the direction you want to turn. The Segway will detect where you want to go. Not only lean left or right but look at the direction you want to go, and turn.
Shift your weight from the direction you are going to the opposite side.
When moving forward, you gently shift your weight back to bring the Segway to a stop.
All the segway's operations are so intuitive and it is a new experience to move it forward smoothly in the direction you want to go.
The maximum speed is 20km per hour, so you feel safe by not driving too fast.
For your information, I would like to show you what you see while riding it here.
Actually in Okinawa, there are other facilities which provide you segway experience; however, at Tsusuji Eco Park, they have not only ordinary “on-road” models but “off-road” models that can run smoothly even on an unpaved road, a rough surface, or a steep slope with low-pressure wide tires.
As you can see, with the off-road model, you can climb even on a turf slope with 45 degrees fast and easily. Just leaning back slightly, and the segway will gently slow down. You don’t feel scared.
By the way, a segway is invented by an American inventor, Dean Kamen and its innovative technology was open to the public in 2001. This two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered electric vehicle is currently sold by “Segway Inc.” in Japan. You don’t need to operate this one-man means of transportation with an accelerator pedal or brake pedal, differently from ordinary cars and motorbikes. An interface to the segway controls the movement just by shifting your weight. There is a growing need for segway for its excellent interface.
Other than smooth start and stop, another attractive point is that independent left and right tires enable the device to turn at any angle on a dime.
In addition, the venue for the experience, Tsusuji Eco Park which was opened in 2002, is located at the height of about 60 to 80 m above sea level and commands a panoramic view of Taira Bay in Higashi Village. On a spacious site of about 200,000㎡ neatly-manicured lawn, a road for vehicles is well-paved.
The park has accommodations like an auto camping ground with power supply, bungalow furnished with air conditioning and TV as well as playground equipment and park golf course. It has been noted for its clean toilets, shower rooms, ample facilities including communal kitchen. During the Golden Week and summer vacations, this place was crowded with many repeat customers from in and out of Okinawa.
This time I had an interview with one of the participants in the tour from Okinawa, the Ueda Family.
“When we saw the segway tour on TV, we have wanted to ride it some day. It was easier than we thought and I feel great! I want to have my own segway. How much does it cost? (lol)”
They looked greatly pleased.
(For prices of segways, please refer to the official website of “Segway Inc.”)
About a 40-minute segway tour for a relaxing ride around this popular facility among a certain number of people is a hot program that just started this spring. But I am sure it will get a lot of visibility in summer.
If you are interested in the tour, I recommend that you make reservation as early as possible (Better on weekdays when it is not so crowded).
Higashi Village People’s Forest – Azalea Eco Park
Address: 766-1, Taira, Higashi Village
Open 365 days a year
Experience Starts at :10:00～・13:00～・16:00～
Duration: About 60 minutes
（Briefing & Practice 20 minutes / Park Tour 40 minutes）
Minimum Number of Participant: 2~4 persons
Cost: 2,000 yen for accommodation guests, 2,500 yen for visitors
（Insurance included for both）
* You have to be 16 years old or older.
* You have to be around 40 to 100kg.
* Please wear a helmet (Rent for free)
* Please wear sneakers for easy ride
* If you are pregnant or drunk, please do not participate in it.
* Reservations are required for the Segway Experience.
Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer Kiwamu Ogawa（Qey Word）