Nakagusuku Castle Ruins gets Okinawa-made carts
Nakagusuku Village introduced Thursday a 8-seat “CV8” electric commuter vehicle to the World Heritage Site Nakagusuku Castle Ruins Park to make the site more accessible to physically challenged and elderly visitors.
Monodukuri Network Okinawa (mdn) and Okinawa Yamaha co-developed the CV8 vehicle. The Nakagusuku Ruins Park became the second public site to introduce the vehicles after the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park in Itoman City.
Officials at the park say that, as more and more tourists are visiting the World Heritage Site, its steep slopes have proven to be inconvenient for aged and handicapped people leading some of them to give up visiting the site. Recognizing the demand for accessibility, Nakagusuku Village decided to introduce the all-electric vehicle that produces no exhaust gases.
Okinawa Yamaha and mdn jointly developed the CV8 this spring. They remodeled a 5-seat Yamaha-made production golf cart, adding a steel frame to enlarge it. They also welded three additional seats to the frame. Finally, they tested the safety of the vehicle by conducting a thorough strength analysis and driving tests.
Nakagusuku Village bought one CV8 costing about ¥3 million, one factory production 5-seater cart, and a cargo cart costing ¥2.4 million using a government subsidy. Asatsugu Yara, the manager of Nakagusuku Village Tourism Promotion Division, says, ”With this vehicle, visitors can go anywhere easily and shorten the commuting time with the carts. We hope that introducing them would increase the number of visitors to the site, and showcase technology made in Okinawa.”
Staff of the Nakagusuku Castle Ruins Joint Control Association drive the carts as needed for the support of the transportation of aged and handicapped visitors to the park.