About Okinawa Peace Memorial Park
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park is a large public park located in Itoman, on the southern tip of Okinawa Island, Japan. The park serves as a memorial to the Battle of Okinawa, which took place during World War II and resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Okinawan civilians and military personnel. Here are some key features of the park:
- Peace Memorial Museum: The park includes a museum that features exhibits related to the Battle of Okinawa, including photographs, artifacts, and personal accounts from survivors. The museum aims to promote peace and educate visitors about the impact of war on civilians.
- Peace Prayer Park: The Peace Prayer Park is a large open space within the park that includes a variety of monuments and memorials, including the “Cornerstone of Peace,” a wall with the names of all known war casualties, including both military personnel and civilians.
- The Fountain of Peace: The Fountain of Peace is a large fountain that sits in the center of the Peace Memorial Park. The fountain serves as a symbol of hope and a reminder of the importance of peace.
- The Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum: This museum is located adjacent to the Peace Memorial Park and offers a more in-depth look at the history of Okinawa, its culture, and the Battle of Okinawa.
- Heiwa Dori: Heiwa Dori is a street lined with shops and restaurants that runs through the park. Visitors can find a variety of souvenirs, snacks, and meals here.
- The Okinawa Peace Hall: This building is located within the park and serves as a venue for various events related to peace and reconciliation.
Overall, Okinawa Peace Memorial Park serves as an important reminder of the impact of war on civilians and the importance of peace. The park is a must-visit for those interested in Okinawa’s history and culture.
History timeline of Okinawa Peace Memorial Park
Here is a brief timeline of the history of Okinawa Peace Memorial Park:
- 1945: The Battle of Okinawa takes place, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of Okinawan civilians and military personnel.
- 1972: Okinawa is returned to Japanese control after being under US military rule since the end of World War II.
- 1975: A monument is erected in Itoman City to commemorate the end of the Battle of Okinawa and to honor those who lost their lives.
- 1978: Okinawa Prefecture begins planning for the construction of a large-scale peace memorial park.
- 1984: Okinawa Peace Memorial Park officially opens to the public.
- 1995: A new Peace Memorial Museum is constructed within the park to replace the original museum.
- 2000: The “Cornerstone of Peace” monument is completed. The monument features the names of all known war casualties, including both military personnel and civilians.
- 2012: Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum is renovated and reopens to the public.
Over the years, Okinawa Peace Memorial Park has become an important site for peace and reconciliation, and attracts visitors from around the world who come to pay their respects to those who lost their lives during the Battle of Okinawa. The park continues to evolve and expand, with new exhibits and facilities being added to enhance the visitor experience.
How to reach Okinawa Peace Memorial Park
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park is located in Itoman, on the southern tip of Okinawa Island, Japan. Here are some ways to reach the park:
- By car: The most convenient way to reach Okinawa Peace Memorial is by car. The park is located about 30 minutes from Naha Airport, and there is ample parking available.
- By bus: There are several bus routes that stop at Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, including the number 89, 90, and 120 buses. The bus stop is located a short walk from the park entrance.
- By taxi: Taxis are readily available throughout Okinawa, and it is possible to take a taxi directly to Okinawa Peace Memorial.
- By tour bus: Many tour companies offer guided tours of Okinawa that include a visit to Okinawa Peace Memorial. This can be a convenient option for those who prefer not to drive.
It is important to note that Okinawa is a relatively small island, and it is easy to get around by car or public transportation. While it may take some time to reach Okinawa Peace Memorial Park from certain parts of the island, the journey is generally straightforward and can be quite scenic.
Statistics of Okinawa Peace Memorial Park
Here are some statistics about Okinawa Peace Memorial Park:
- The park covers an area of approximately 234,000 square meters (about 58 acres).
- The park was established in 1972 to commemorate the Battle of Okinawa, which took place from March to June 1945.
- The park includes several memorials and monuments, including the Cornerstone of Peace, which lists the names of all those who lost their lives during the Battle of Okinawa, and the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum.
- More than 5 million people visit Okinawa Peace Memorial Park each year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Okinawa.
- The park is located in Itoman City, at the southern tip of Okinawa Island, and is easily accessible by car, bus, or taxi.
Do's and Dont's of Okinawa Peace Memorial Park
Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when visiting Okinawa Peace Memorial Park:
- Respect the sanctity of the park: Okinawa Peace Memorial Park is a place of remembrance and contemplation, and it is important to treat the site with respect.
- Observe the rules and regulations: There may be certain areas or exhibits within the park that have specific rules or regulations. Be sure to observe these rules to ensure the safety and well-being of yourself and others.
- Take your time: The park is a large and expansive site, with many different exhibits and memorials. Take your time to explore the park and to reflect on the history and significance of the site.
- Learn about the history: Okinawa Peace Memorial is an important historical site, and it can be helpful to learn about the history of the Battle of Okinawa and the impact it had on the people of Okinawa.
- Be respectful of others: The park is a place of reflection and mourning for many visitors. Be respectful of the feelings and emotions of others, and avoid behaviors that may disturb the peace and tranquility of the park.
- Take photographs in inappropriate areas: There may be certain areas within the park where photography is not permitted. Be sure to follow any guidelines or rules regarding photography.
- Touch or deface exhibits: Many of the exhibits and memorials within the park are fragile and may be damaged by excessive handling or defacement. Avoid touching or defacing any of the exhibits or memorials.
- Speak loudly or act disrespectfully: Okinawa Peace Memorial Park is a place of solemn reflection, and it is important to avoid loud or disruptive behavior that may disturb others.
- Smoke or litter: Smoking and littering are not permitted within the park. Be sure to dispose of any trash in the proper receptacles, and avoid smoking in areas where it is not allowed.
- Ignore safety warnings: The park may have certain areas that are off-limits or have warnings about potential hazards. Be sure to observe any safety warnings and avoid areas that may pose a risk to your safety or the safety of others.