This is one of the spots that I almost hate to recommend to parents. Not because their kids won’t have fun here (they will), and not because they won’t have access to anything that can be made with pineapple (they will), but rather because of the song.
The incessant song.
Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-piiiiineappuru-piiiiiiineappuru … once you hear it, you will never, ever get this song out of your head.
Apologies in advance. 🙂
Pineapple park is located just outside of Nago on the northern part of Okinawa’s main island. At first glance, the giant dancing pineapple might convince you that this is an amusement park type sight. Granted, there is a ride but it’s actually a slightly educational one. Right when you enter, your family will board a yellow cart topped with a plastic pineapple for a ride through the small pineapple plantation. Pineapples are one of Okinawa’s main cash crops (the other being sugarcane) and the taped commentary (available in English) do a good job explaining a bit about the history and production of this tasty fruit.
The ride isn’t long and when the car stops, you enter the main building of the park itself. Pay no attention to the incongruous shell museum you walk through first; unless you’re a huge fan of sea life, it’s alright to skip along to the good stuff. And by good stuff, I mean the tasting rooms, where you can sample anything from pineapple wine (for non-drivers only, and they’re strict about this) and pineapple vinegar to pineapple-flavored cakes, cookies and candies. A final tasting room offers several tables laid simply with heaps of fresh-cut pineapple.
There’s also a large souvenir hall at the end but I’d bypass that to reach the seller of french-inspired cream puffs at the end of the building. The shikwasa cream puff (shikwasa is the local Okinawan lime) is divine.
The Nago Pineapple Park is easily accessed by car or by taking a taxi from the central Nago Bus Terminal.