Known for its unique themed cafes and restaurants, Japan has an abundance of maid cafes, cat cafes, etc. However, there are many other interesting cafes that you probably have never heard of. Let’s branch out and head to Okinawa and see one of the coolest cafes in a natural setting – a real cave cafe. Check it out!
Out of the many theme parks in Japan, Okinawa World near Naha is probably the most intriguing one as it features a cave, a snake museum, and an artificial Ryukyu Village.
You can explore up to 850 meters of the 5-km long cave, Gyokusendo Cave, which is actually ranked as the second-longest cave in the entire country. The interior of the cave areas open for public viewing is well designed with lights and paths for you to have a nice stroll amidst pokey, icicle-like calcium carbonate formations. They are called “stalagmites” if they are emerging from the floor, and “stalactites” if hanging from the top of the cave.
You can also get to see an artificial village in Okinawa World called the “Kingdom Village.” They have handicraft shops and workshops for visitors who would like to learn about traditional glass making, pottery, sugar industry, and so on.
Furthermore, there is a park, namely the Habu Museum Park, which is dedicated to one of the most dangerous snakes in the world, the Habu snake.
The caves of Okinawa are indeed dangerous to traverse because of the lack of complete safety for the visitors. However, just across Okinawa World is the Valley of Gangala, a well-maintained reserve with trails and captivating sceneries.
Within the valley is a cafe, usually referred to as the “Cave Cafe,” where you can sit down and have some coffee. You can enjoy your coffee along with the famous Okinawan cookie called “Chinsuko.” If you are feeling adventurous, you can try what is called, in rough translation, “chest hair of primitives,” a type of seaweed which you can actually buy as a souvenir.
Do not just stop by at the cafe for a sip, try to see a live performance, too, as the place is open for any type of event. You should contact the cafe staff for advance booking if you are planning an event, but no reservations are needed if you just want to have coffee.
This cafe will certainly give you a “Batcave” feel just like in Batman.
To reach Gyokusendo, you need to head south of Naha towards Nanjo City either by renting a car or taking a bus from the Naha Terminal. It usually takes around an hour or less by bus to reach the place, and there are buses ready for you to hop onto every hour or two.
There are different admission fees for different parts of Okinawa World, however, you can choose to pay around 1,650 yen to see every attraction. If you want to find the Cave Cafe, you should go to 202 Maekawa in the area of Tamagusuku Castle.
You can also reach Nanjo easily by bus from another fascinating city in Okinawa, namely Itoman, which is famous for many Second World War memorials.
The next time you visit Okinawa, why not enjoy a hot cup of Okinawan coffee or have fun dancing to the beat during a party/concert inside the coolest cave ever?