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Friday, 24 November 2017

Onna Part 2: Ryukyu Village and Diamond Blue Cafe

Apart from Castle ruins and amazing views of the coast, Onna also has something called the Ryukyu Village (English Site). The Ryukyu Mura is a theme park about Okinawan culture. In a way, it's like the cultural village of Okinawa world, but if we're just comparing the culture part, I prefer the Ryukyu village more (unfortunately it does not have any caves or snakes). 

Location-wise, they're near the Zakimi castle ruins. I know I blogged about it in a different order, but I actually went to Zakimi, then to Ryukyu Village, and after that to Manzamo Cape, stopping at the Blue Diamond Cafe before I went back to the hostel.

Tickets are 1200 yen for adults (16 years old and above) and 600 yen for children (age 5 to 15). I think they were trying to keep track of where their foreign visitors are coming from too, because the ticket machine had options for "Korea", "Taiwan", etc (Singapore comes under "Other"). Prices stay the same no matter which country you choose.

There are actually two sections to this place. The first is Champuru, which is free to enter. It has a food court and lots of things to do, such as painting stone lions:

Customising your own beach slippers:

And trying on a Kimono!

The experience starts from 1200 yen for a simple try-on photo session (comes with one free photo and the soft copy). If, however, you want a more complete experience, you can opt for packages like the 4000 yen one, which includes one hour of walkabout time and a photo. In the end, I opted for the cheapest package because if I did the walkabout, I knew that I would pay extra for hair + makeup (which costs more) and that would make me exceed my budget. 

Personally, I'm quite happy with how things turned out: 

I got one big photo, one smaller photo, and a soft copy! The whole process was a big too fast, though, because it was over in five minutes.

After trying on the Kimono, I decided to go into the village.

The village itself is very big and there are loads of things to do! I actually liked just wandering around because all the houses were really beautiful.

I saw a weaving house and you can try it out for an additional fee too.

There were also free samples of tea (blended and exclusively sold here):

There was also a trying on Kimono experience. If you just want a photo, taken with your own camera, it's 1000 yen. If you'd like to walk around the village for 45 minutes in the kimono, it's 2000 yen. So this is slightly cheaper than the Kimono experience outside, but I don't think you get a printed photo (which I wanted too).

There are also many performances. When I looked at the schedule, it was about one every hour, so do check and plan your visit accordingly.

This was the pottery area:

And the water buffalo for the sugar cane mill.

The gift shop has a large variety of items and I picked up three types/packets of brown sugar for 1000 yen. If you're looking for a dose of Okinawan culture, this is definitely the place to go. 

The last thing I did on my drive around Onna was to go to a cafe. I really, really wanted to go to a cafe with a view of the ocean, and one name I saw repeatedly was the Diamond Blue Cafe. To be honest, I wasn't really sure where it was, but when I realised that it was on the way back to the hostel, I made the impulse decision to visit. 

The cafe is right next (literally on the right) of Okashigoten Onna.

You have to descend down two flights of steps - just follow the sign and you'll see the cafe.

The beach in front is small, but the waters are such a lovely blue!

There are seats on the inside and outside, but for the best views, you should sit outside.

I ordered a mocktail and some garlic bread and they were both really good (despite the fact that I took a long time taking photos).

I would definitely recommend that you come here if you're looking for a place to sit back and relax in Onna. It's got beautiful views and the food is good (and if you want more snacks or souvenirs, you can buy some at the Okashigoten next door). 

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