This tranquil spot a stone’s throw from downtown Naha is a beautiful place to visit, and a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Built in 1992 to commemorate Naha’s relationship with its sister city Fuzhou, the classic Chinese design of Fukushuen Gardens is a good reflection of Okinawa’s distinct personality, and its close ties with China.

At just 200 yen to enter, and free for kids 6 and under, it is worth visiting Fukushuen to admire the landscaping, architecture, and lovely ponds and waterfalls.

The pond at Fukushuen
Photo by 663highland used under CC

After going through the ornate entrance gates, visitors can walk in a circular route through the gardens, passing bamboo forests, pagodas, pavilions, and bridges over the ponds.

The Lingbo Corridor sits right at the pond’s edge, looking over the water. If you’ve got kids in tow, this is the place to buy some fish food from the dispenser, and watch the carp and turtles have a snack.

As you cross the bridge to the Pavilion of Spring, don’t forget to look for your Chinese zodiac animal, all of which adorn the stone bridge.

There are two striking pagodas made of stone, the White Pagoda and the Bird Pagoda. These two are replicas of the larger versions in Fuzhou city.

And the centrepiece of the gardens is undoubtedly the striking waterfall. You can climb some stone stairs to get to the pavilion at the top, and see a great view of the gardens below.

What most don’t know, however, is that there is a secret passage behind the waterfall, close to the steps which take you to the top. Go through the little passage and you can stand up directly behind the flow of the water, and get some very cool pictures.

Behind the waterfall
Photo by Emily Dickson

If you’re visiting Fukushuen, be sure to also walk just a few minutes further to nearby Naminoue Shrine, Naha’s most popular shrine, perched above the waves.

Other Naha Attractions