The Shisa Dogs of Okinawa World

Lion Dog Talismans Protect Okinawa's Largest Theme Park

By Michael Flemming    - 1 min read

Its impossible to go anywhere in Okinawa without seeing shisa dogs perched atop rooftops, crouching on walls, or gracing entryways. Shisa's are lion dogs of chinese origin that were adopted by Okinawans in the 15th Century to guard against evil spirits and misfortune. Okinawa World theme park in Nanjo City just 17 kilometers southeast of the Naha Airport features shisa dogs of differing sizes and colors. While Okinawa World is predominately known for its Shuri Castle Village, Gyokusendo Cave, and a live snake show, don't forget to look up and around to enjoy these fine talismans made of stone and clay. Okinawa World is located on Route 17 in Nanjo City; bus lines 51, 54, 81, 82 and 83 stop at the Gyokusendo-mae stop near the park. Entry to the park is 600 yen for adullts and 300 yen for children - up to 1,600 yen and 800 yen respectively for an unrestricted pass. The park is open 09:00 ~ 18:00 daily.

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Michael Flemming

Michael Flemming @michael.flemming

I'm a wandererer in Okinawa turning over every stone I can find. I write, photograph, and blog about my favorite finds here in Japan's southernmost prefecture. Find more of my rants and finding on my travel blog.