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Tomishiro Castle Park to close by end of month

Date Posted: 2003-11-14

A decline in business is forcing closure of a popular outing site, Tomishiro Castle Park just outside Naha City. Iwasaki Sangyo, the company that operates the park, says it will close the park at the end of this month.

According to a spokesman for the Kagoshima-based company, the closure decision came because the number of visitors to the park has declined every year for the past five years, and the company sees no prospects of business picking up again.

The park originally opened in December 1973. It featured a fishing pond, restaurant, golf grounds and a petting zoo, plus plenty of lawns and trees to give shade to visitors who found it very popular for picnics.

However, sightseeing patterns of tourists visiting Okinawa over the past five years have changed drastically and, despite of all of its efforts, the park has not been able to attract necessary numbers of visitors to stay in business. “Tourists these days take sightseeing tours to the northern parts of the island where most of the resorts are located. It has proven to be impossible to attract them to this part of the island,” the Iwasaki Sangyo spokesman said.

He said that the company wanted to find a way to keep the park open to the public, and has been in discussions with officials at Tomishiro City, where the park is located. “This piece of land is too large to be just left for waste. We want to some up with a plan in our discussions with the city as what to do with it after we close it,” the spokesman said.

Iwasaki Sangyo is a Kagoshima-based company that operates a cargo transportation business, tourist hotels, a taxi company and gasoline stations in Kagoshima Prefecture. It also operates several gasoline stands in Naha City and was the owner of Himeyuri Cactus Park in Itoman City before it sold that property to a Taiwanese company in 1997.

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