Visitors to the Nature Park Yanbaru Subtropical Forest could quietly stroll along a short paved trail among the trees looking at various types of vegetation including palms and orchids. Unfortunately, the tourists didn’t really come.
In 2016, the addition of around 50 dinosaurs many of which have basic animatronics and sound, has transformed the nature park into “Dino Park” a far more popular sightseeing destination.
The new additions do fit in well with the subtropical forest setting and several are quite impressive. The dinosaurs are reasonably realistic and vary in the level of animatronics from static models to automatons with jointed necks, jaws, tails and eyelids. They do not surge forwards out of the undergrowth, and there are no fully mobile dinosaurs so they probably won’t terrify many children. The outdoor speakers that give the dinosaurs voices are also a little small and lack any bass, so although you hear the roar of the T-Rex you don’t feel it in your body.
The Nago Dino Park is located on route 85, the winding mountain road that runs along the spine of the Motobu Peninsula. From Nago you pass the Pineapple Park, and Okinawa Fruits Land, then continue in the direction of the aquarium. After about 5 minutes you’ll see Okashi Goten a sweet / souvenir store, and a full size triceratops.
The Dino Park is 800 yen for adults, 500 yen for children. A good family adventure that kids young and old should enjoy.
All photographs taken with the Pentax K-1 and the 24-70mm lens. No dinosaurs or humans were harmed during the making of this blog post.