A dif­fer­ent side of Ja­pan

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MATTA FAIR -

PLAN­NING a visit to the Land of the Ris­ing Sun this year? Add a twist to your va­ca­tion by head­ing to the south­ern part of Ja­pan to Ok­i­nawa to en­joy its year- round mild weather and sea­side.

Trav­el­ling to Ok­i­nawa is now made eas­ier and within your reach with an af­ford­able pack­age that will be un­veiled this MATTA Fair by Parlo Tours.

This pack­age takes you to the north and cen­tre ar­eas of Ok­i­nawa. Some high­lights in the itin­er­ary in­clude a visit to the world- fa­mous Ok­i­nawa Chu­raumi Aquar­ium, which houses the big­gest wa­ter tank in the world – the Kuroshio Sea. It is also home to the big­gest whale shark in cap­tiv­ity, which mea­sures 8.5m long.

Other at­trac­tions at the aquar­ium in­clude the Dol­phin La­goon, where you can watch a fas­ci­nat­ing dol­phin show, Sea Tur­tle Pool and Mana­tee Pool. This is an ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence that is per­fect for the whole fam­ily with 77 other tanks on dis­play, fea­tur­ing a large se­lec­tion of healthy and lively marine life. Here, you can go be­yond just ob­serv­ing and watch­ing – there is a pet­ting cor­ner where you can touch and feel starfish and sea cu­cum­bers, so you can fully ex­pe­ri­ence the marine world.

An­other high­light of the tour is a visit to the Nago Pineap­ple Park where you will be in­tro­duced to over 100 types of pineap­ples and other plants in the pineap­ple fam­ily – you would be in­ter­ested to know that there are some pineap­ple types that can­not be eaten.

Here, you can also get your­self some pineap­ple con­fec­tioner­ies.

You would def­i­nitely en­joy this ed­u­ca­tional tour as you ride in a pineap­ple cart – an adorable pineap­ple- shaped cart drives it­self and takes you around the park, in­clud­ing the pineap­ple plan­ta­tion and sub­trop­i­cal gar­den. As you ride along, there will be a pointby- point au­dio guide. This would en­ter­tain even young tod­dlers.

To con­tinue your fun, ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence, you will also ex­pe­ri­ence the Nuchi- Una fac­tory tour at the Nuchi- Una salt pro­duc­tion fac­tory. Here, you can ob­serve the snow- like salt pro­duc­tion land­scape, en­joy food made with the salt at the restau­rant and bring home salt sou­venirs.

For a taste of lo­cal life­style and cul­ture, the tour also takes you to Murasaki Mura, an old Ok­i­nawan vil­lage with strong art and craft el­e­ments.

An­other in­ter­est­ing stop is the Mi­hama Amer­i­can Vil­lage, with its wide va­ri­ety of shop­ping and din­ing op­tions. Look­ing just like the US West Coast, the most recog­nis­able fea­ture of the Amer­i­can Vil­lage is the large Fer­ris wheel.

To com­plete the over­all feel and am­bi­ence, the Amer­i­can theme is found at many es­tab­lish­ments.

This pack­age also takes you to Unesco Her­itage site – Shurijo Cas­tle Park. The cas­tle was recog­nised as a World Her­itage Site in 2000 and has unique fea­tures from China, Ja­pan and the Ryukyu King­dom. It is also known as the shin­ing ver­mil­lion cas­tle.

The most at­trac­tive sights here in­clude the main tem­ple, which is fea­tured on the ¥ 2,000 note, and the Shurei­mon Gate, which fea­tures splen­did dec­o­ra­tions.

A stop that prom­ises fun for the whole fam­ily is the visit to Ok­i­nawa World, which fea­tures all of Ok­i­nawa’s at­trac­tions. High­lights of this stop in­clude watch­ing an in­ter­est­ing and in­tense Taiko Drum Show and vis­it­ing the Gyokusen Cave – the big­gest lime­stone cave in Ja­pan with over a mil­lion sta­lac­tites.

For those in­ter­ested in bring­ing home pop­u­lar Ja­panese prod­ucts, fret not as this pack­age will in­clude a one- day train pass for you to go shop­ping. If you want to make it for Sakura sea­son, come to Ok­i­nawa in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary.

For an in­ter­est­ing and dif­fer­ent take on Ja­pan, this pack­age is the way to go. Do keep a look­out for the un­veil­ing this MATTA Fair and book your way to a well- de­served va­ca­tion.

Parlo Tours has been in the travel in­dus­try for more than three decades. Hav­ing been in the travel in­dus­try longer than most, it knows what is re­quired to be­come the pre­ferred travel brand for trav­ellers.

Parlo Tours has al­ways be­lieved in giv­ing a per­son­alised touch to all its cus­tomers’ dream hol­i­day.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit Parlo Tours in Hall 1, Booth No. 1353- 1392, call 03- 2726 6088 or log on to

Murasaki Mura is an old Ok­i­nawan vil­lage with strong art and craft el­e­ments.

Ok­i­nawa Chu­raumi Aquar­ium houses the big­gest wa­ter tank in the world – the Kuroshio Sea.

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