We have a confession to make. Despite living in Okinawa over 15 years we've never got around to visiting the Okinawa Zoo & Museum, even though it's practically on our doorstep. Why? Probably because of a mistaken impression being smack bang in the center of Okinawa City, how good could it be? Great zoos and museums are not in the middle of an island and not even the capital. Wrong.

Entrance to Okinawa Zoo & Museum

If you've got little ones they are going to love this place. We went in off-season so it was almost deserted but the place is actually pretty massive. After entering you descend an open air escalator to a wide open park and lake with swings for the children by the lakeside, then you can make your way around the zoo and park. There's a fair amount of hills and walking involved as the whole park has been set into the existing landscape.


In terms of animals, there is a tremendous variety. We were surprised to see lions in a brand new enclosure that had multiple viewing angles and platforms as well as an indoor glass window for perfect photos! The highlight for little ones had to be feeding time for the bears, which produced howls of laughter. There's chimpanzees, hippos, leopards, crocodiles and many more, in fact over 150 species. The zoo has been renewing, improving and expanding their facilities and this showed in the quality of the enclosures with most offering multiple viewing angles and overhead walkways as well as better facilities for the animals. There's also some interactive animal adventures which your children will love, such as feeding the guinea pigs and even pony rides! There's a feeding schedule for most of the animals and we recommend checking this when you enter so you can catch your favorite animals.

Feed the Guinea Pigs

Apart from the zoo and park there's an amazing indoor interactive kids museum, called "Wonder Museum" with a variety of hands on exhibits and workshops in three categories of science, philosophy & art. For 500 yen for adults and 100-200 yen for children Okinawa Zoo & Mueum is an unbeatable value day out!

Follow the Footprints!


9.30am – 5.30pm in October to March, 9.30am – 6.00pm in April to September. Closed Tuesdays