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Dolphin Park is perfect place for family outing

Date Posted: 2011-05-26

Americans and locals alike are discovering Dolphin Park in central Okinawa, a part of the Nishihara Marine Town project.

The idyllic 2.8 hectares (6.92 acres) park adjacent to Kirakira Beach a relaxing place to take families and friends for an afternoon or evening outing. Opened last fall about the same time Moon Terrace Agarizaki opened its doors, the park has a nine-meter-high observatory for visitors to scramble up and absorb the east coastal beauty. There’s a playground for smaller children, a 1,020 meter-long walking course, a big lawn and a ropeway fitness swing.

Dolphin Park’s symbol is a statue of a parent and child dolphins, and is open daily 9 a.m. ~ 10 p.m. No camping is allowed at the park. Cabanas are available on a rental reservation basis for barbeques. There are a couple of safety rules in effect at Dolphin Park: consumption of alcoholic beverages, practicing golf, discharging fireworks and riding bicycles on walkways are prohibited. There’s space on the edge of the park for parking 34 cars.

Kirakira Beach is open for the season, and visitors are welcome, Moon Terrace Agarizaki project officials say. Beach volleyball and beach soccer are common sports on the beach.

The project is the brainchild of Mikio Kataoka, a Priest of the Buddhist Hi philosophy until four years ago, when he ventured into the commercial arena. The Moon Terrace Agarizaki project is completely a foods and entertainment complex, housed in a three-story building that includes a 250-seat music hall, Sairaiin Ongakudo , that’s been used by many, including Begin, a popular Okinawa musical group.

The Moon Terrace Agarizaki also includes Okinomiyako Karetto, a Kitchen Fair, Saisyoku Koubou YAYA Restaurant and Moon Terrace Café. The complex isn’t just for people; it’s a perfect place to take pets for a day out. There’s a dog run on the first level, adjacent to the Moon Terrace Café. Parking is available for 140 cars.

To get to Dolphin Park and Moon Terrace Agarizaki in Nishihara Marine Park, travel south on Highway 329 to Yonabaru, then turn left at the intersection with a sign to Marine Town. Continue straight toward the shore, and look for the park, which stretches along the coastline.

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