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Best Museums in Okinawa

By: Cityseeker
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Sakima Art Museum

Built on land reclaimed from the US military, this museum was founded by Michio Sakima as a place for peaceful mediation on the lasting effects of World War II. A piece entitled "Figure of the Battle of Okinawa" shows visitors an artistic interpretation of the ravages of the war, impacting viewers in a way that perhaps history museums cannot. Futenma Air Base can be viewed in its entirety from the roof. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and holidays.

Ginowan, Japan
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Okinawa Prefectural Museum

What is now the massive Okinawa Prefectural Museum and the Okinawa Prefectural Art Museum began humbly in 1945 as an effort to acquaint the United States military with Okinawan culture, and served as a replacement to the museum that was lost during the battle. Now, this museum houses extraordinary exhibits regarding everything Okinawan, focusing particularly on the impact of the ocean on Okinawa's distinctive culture. Fossils of ancient sea creatures and the 18,000-year-old Minatogawa Man are also on display. Kids will love the Touch and Experience Room, where they can study and touch items that are linked to the main exhibits. Rooms in the museum can also be rented out for events. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Naha, Japan
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Naha City Museum of Traditional Arts & Crafts

Suited for those who love arts and crafts, this museum not only displays elegant and delicate works of traditional Ryukyuan crafts, but also allows visitors to try to make their own works of art. Artistic tourists can experiment with designing lacquer ware, glass, colorful bingata (a dyeing technique) textiles, and weaving. The gallery itself probably only takes half an hour to go through, and reservations for the workshops are recommended. The museum is closed on Wednesdays, and last admission is half an hour before closing.

Naha, Japan
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Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum

Located in Peace Memorial Park, the exhibits at the Okinawan Prefectural Peace Museum are separated into five rooms, three of which focus on the Battle of Okinawa in which at least 200,000 people were killed, and two of which focus on pre- and post-war Okinawa. The museum has films, photos, and personal testimonies regarding the tragedies that occurred, in the hope that the pain endured during that time will not be repeated.

Itoman, Japan
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Himeyuri Peace Museum

During the Battle of Okinawa, female high school students were mobilized to form a nursing unit known as the Himeyuri Student Corps. Testimonies, photographs and keepsakes of the 200 girls who died are displayed at this museum, ensuring that future generations will learn from their sacrifice. People with disabilities and their caretakers are offered free admission, and wheelchairs can be rented if the museum is contacted beforehand. Last admission is half an hour before closing.

Itoman, Japan
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