Okinawa Museums: Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum
Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum 沖縄県立博物館・美術館
Sharing the same building and a common lobby is the new Okinawa Art Museum, the first prefectural art museum in Okinawa. The building itself is quite striking and based on the design of gusuku, Okinawan style castles, such as Nakijin Castle, in the north west of the island.
Constructed out of local limestone, the building seems brilliant in bright sunshine but more like drab, aged concrete in duller weather. The inner courtyard area houses two traditional buildings, one thatched, one tiled, as well as large Shisa and other statues. Outside on the other side of the structure is a sculpture garden with some large scale modern, abstract sculptures.
The main museum is entered over a glass floor beneath which is a coral reef. The displays cover a wide range of topics covering archaeology, natural history, human history, crafts, and folklore, and the visitor can easily spend several hours learning about the long and unique history, food and culture of Okinawa.
Much of the displayed materials have at least some English information. There is an "experience" room where objects can be handled and tried, like musical instruments, costumes, etc and a media center with a large collection of materials on Okinawan history and culture in various mediums.
There is a large museum shop with plenty of interesting gifts and souvenirs, and a cafe.
As well as the permanent collections, special exhibitions are held several times a year.
Overall, the Okinawa Prefectural Museum a well done museum experience suitable for all ages.
Okinawa Art Museum
The Art Museum is smaller than the main museum, and covers two and three dimensional art as well as some electronic and installation works.
Traditional arts and crafts are in the main museum, so the art museum focuses completely on modern and contemporary art, mostly by Okinawan artists but also artists and works with a connection to Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands.
The collection is quite diverse and the museum also puts on special exhibitions throughout the year.
Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum Access
3-1-1 Omoromachi, Naha City, Okinawa 900-0006
Tel: 098 941 8200
Open from 9am to 6pm. Fridays and Saturdays 9am to 8pm. Closed Mondays or next day if a National Holiday is a Monday, and New Year.
Adults: 400 yen. Special exhibitions 320 yen
High School & College Students: 250 yen. Special exhibitions 200 yen
Junior High & Elementary School students: 150 yen. Special exhibitions 120 yen
Adults: 300 yen. Special exhibitions 240 yen
High School & College Students: 200 yen. Special exhibitions 160 yen
Junior High & Elementary School students: 100 yen. Special exhibitions 80 yen.
10 min walk from Omoromachi Monorail Station
City buses #3, #7, #10 to Hakubutsukan-mae bus stop.
Images by Jake Davies