My husband and I have been married for a while now. So, imagine my surprise when I had just recently realized that he actually loves pineapples after trying it the first time during our trip to Cambodia. Marriage, huh?
And because summer in Okinawa is about to end, which is insanely hot and humid by the way, we decided to get some sun and visit the Pineapple Park in Nago City. It is one of the most visited places in this island and the expectation for this local attraction to be touristy is high.
TOURISTY expectation did not disappoint, which is not totally a bad thing.
Right past the entrance is a photo booth which we politely declined. We went straight ahead to experience what I think is the highlight of the park which is the automatic/electric vehicle that runs through the pineapple farm. There is a recorded guide played the entire trip but it was failingly inaudible. Maybe I am aging or maybe I was too excited. One of the two. The ride was short but for a ¥600 entrance fee that includes this ride, I think it was worth it.
While I suspect this park is targeted for tourists, the park is most enjoyed by kids. Immediately after our automatic ride around the farm, we sat down to watch a pineapple show which was basically two robots singing and dancing the ultra catchy pineapple song. You will know when you hear it. Pa-pa-pa-pa-piiiiineapple. :) I could have sworn I was singing it in my dreams that night of the trip.
An exhibit of Okinawan shells are displayed in a small pavilion past the show hall. Most tourist skipped the modest display. I personally thought the exhibit is excellent and is worthy of a peek.
EAT and SHOP
What better way to feature pineapple than showcase it through something everyone can enjoy, right? FOOD. The park’s restaurant features appetizing pineapple menu. We sadly just had our lunch so here is another skip. We also didn’t buy a whole pineapple because none of us knows how to peel, or rather both of us are scared to try. My husband, however, bought a bottle of pineapple juice. The entrance fee that one paid for also covers an unlimited taste samples of their products. And oh, they have pineapple wine :)
Overall, for only ¥600 entrance fee, the park is worth a visit especially with kids. Touristy but worth it. Other than the farm tour, most park features are indoor. I have my two favorite memories of the park. First, singing the pineapple song with my husband, even on our ride back home. The song even stuck to us until this day! Second, the automatic ride around the farm with Jon laughing and singing. It was simply a beautiful memory.
My husband’s only concern was he wish there was a sitting area or a simple lounge where we can simply enjoy a glass of pineapple juice or buy slices of pineapple without having to sit down in a restaurant. I think he prefers it hawker stall style.
Did I also mention that the drive to Nago City from Ginowan is breathtaking?