After our exciting night camping on Kouri Island we woke the next morning not quite ready for our adventure to end and also eager to see what else Kouri Island had to offer.
Other than the gorgeous ocean, rocks and the beach trash the only thing that we could see from our campsite was this giant white tower & sometimes we could make out a person up the top of it, so we decided we needed to investigate.
It was easy to find and thankfully there was ample parking, but Matt & I were both a little hesitant to pay 800 Yen a piece to enter (the girls since under 6 were free) not really knowing what was inside and even more so when Eden fell as she walked across the parking lot and started shedding a few too many tears.
We decided to pay and it was a good thing we did, it was the perfect way to end our already perfect Kouri Island adventure (well other than the night visitors!)
You can head to the observation tower by walking through the park; with tropical plants & a waterfall, or by riding an automatic cart…Eden was amazed that the cart was driving itself; in fact so was I!
At this point we were still not certain what we had paid for, for all we knew maybe the 800 yen was for the automatic cart ride; thankfully it wasn’t.
The first floor of the tower is a shell museum where you can see more than 10,000 shells of varying shapes, colors and sizes from all over the world! My favorite were the ‘heart’ shaped shells.
Following the Shell Museum was a small shop selling some cheaper souvenirs as well as some rather pricey bits of coral (1,000,000 Yen) needless to say we whizzed through this section pretty quick before our Clio broke something!
Up on the next floor we got to check out the wonderful views on offer; from Yagaji Island and the main island of Okinawa as well as the vast emerald ocean.
From here we climbed some stairs to the very top of the tower where you can ring a bell and I believe pay for a souvenir photo…Eden thought it was pretty neat being able to ring the bell.
On our way back down we spotted a restaurant, which we would definitely have eaten had it not been only 10.30am, it looks as though the specialty is Neapolitan pizza but I also saw an advertisement for curry and it seems as they use a lot of local ingredients; from Okinawan pork to Kouri Island pumpkin.
Lastly we visited the factory shop where, like Pineapple Park, you get to try various different samples; lots of pumpkin flavors (my favorite being a pumpkin cream filled croissant!) as well as many heart shaped items, representing the island of love.
We were pleasantly surprised by our trip to Kouri Ocean Tower, although a little disappointed that the automatic cart ride was much shorter on the trip back down.
Full from all our nibbles at the factory shop we decided to check out the rest of the island before heading home for a much needed afternoon nap!