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Okinawa City zoo reopens with new children’s focus

Date Posted: 2004-04-22

The animals are happy, and children will be too as they visit the new Okinawa Children’s Feature Zone in Okinawa City.

The former Okinawa Island Park featured a zoo, and has undergone a significant transformation to become a combined zoo, amusement park and science museum.

Since it’s grand opening last week, the new facility is being labeled ‘one of a kind’, with visitors asserting there’s not a similar children’s park anywhere in Japan. It features three different educational zones; a Wonder Museum, Children’s Center and Nature Land.

Zone directors say they want to give children a creative area for dreaming, and to develop a passion for everything they’re exposed to, and to learn what nature is all about.

A strong feature of the new park is the ability for children to have a touch-and-feel “hands on” experience with many elements of the museum, center and zoo.

More than 2,000 different animals are in the zoo, now called Nature Land.

The Wonder Museum is something unique. Directors cite, for example, “a very special place called the ‘words of swimming’ where someone talks to the water, and then the water stream takes to voice and writes the words spoken.

The Okinawa Children’s Feature Zone cost Y5,600,000,000 to develop. It drew special monies from the Okinawa City promotion funds, which contained special provisions for living alongside military bases.

Entry fee for elementary school children is Y100, Y200 for junior and senior high school students, and Y500 for adults. The Children’s Feature Zone is open daily except Tuesdays, 9:30am ~ 5:00pm.

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