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Comprehensive Park is top spot for relaxation and fitness

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2007-04-20

The park totally lives up to its name. Comprehensive Park is a humongous park spanning hundreds of acres filled with most every stress relieving activity a person could ever ask for.
Relaxation is the key to a Comprehensive Park visit, with dozens of opportunities to do...well...just about anything. There are nature hikes and jogging, soccer and rugby fields, a running track, baseball stadium, basketball and tennis courts for those looking to burn off excess energy. It's a park filled with exercise and athletic pursuits, including an indoor fitness center.
The running tracks are separate from bicycle paths, and both offer scenic as well as challenging courses. The paths are marked with 1k, 2k and 5k runs, and here's a hint: with summer fast approaching with soaring temperatures, don't be dissuaded from a park visit. The paths are well protected and shady by sprawling trees, and one path winds up at the ocean, where walkers and runners can appreciate the idyllic view. Walkers are welcome, too.
For family types, here's the best part. There are plenty of activities to keep youngsters of all ages entertained during a day visit. The water slide and tide pool park are popular, and the ?840 entry fee for adults, 6-18yrs 310, 3-5yrs 100, and 0-2 yrs for free. The pool is open on Sat, Sun and Japanese holidays in May, June and September and daily in July & August, except on Tuesdays, from 9:30-18:15. Entrance until 17:30.
Comprehensive Park, which is marked on maps as Okinawa Prefecture Athletic Park, is centrally located on the island's east central coast at Okinawa City. There's an auto campground on the park grounds, again with reasonable prices. While fireworks, generators and karaoke are prohibited, there's enough else to do to not become bored. A maximum of 10 people can be in a camping section. Rental fee is 1,320 for a day spot, 2,640 for an overnight stay. Showers are 100 and are available 9am ~ 8:30pm.
Camping reservations are required, and can be made up to a month in advance by telephone. Park operators ask to be notified in advance of cancellations. Camping fees must be paid at the administration office a day before your visit. The office is open 9am~5pm, everyday except Tuesday.
Comprehensive Park also offers a variety of individual and family activities throughout the year. Sports classes begin in May and run through next February, and healthy sports classes run through December. Watercolor, ceramics and tree planting classes are offered, as well as a children's play festival on May 5th.
The emphasis is on fitness and good health, as evidenced by the lectures and classes on sports training, and a healthy sports festival coming up on October 10th. That's followed by the Okinawa Prefectural Sports Recreation Festival October 15th, the Trim Marathon Tournament November 12th, and the Prefecture Elementary and Junior High School Student Cross Country Meet on January 21st. The park's event of the year is the Okinawa Marathon on February 25th.
The Costs
Comprehensive Park entry is free. Foods and beverages, and ice cream, are at the visitor's expense. Some classes and programs have fees, paid at sign up. The auto campsites, as noted above, have fees.
Getting There
It's easy. From Camp Foster, exit Legion Gate straight onto Highway 81. From Highway 81, turn left onto Route 329, traveling north. Look for the A & W Restaurant. The park will be on your right. From Kadena, exit Gate 2 and drive straight through Goya Intersection onto Route 20. Stay on the road about ten minutes until reaching the major intersection with Route 329. Turn right traveling south until you reach the park. You'll pass San-A and McDonalds before seeing the Comprehensive Park signs. Information and Campgrounds reservation: Okinawa Comprehensive Park 098-932-5114.

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