Growing up as a youngster in Germany I vividly remember being dragged to castle after boring castle without relief in sight. A kids’ break would have been a welcome detour from adult culture appreciation time. If you, too, are bringing tots in tow to Okinawa perhaps an indoor playground might recharge them for the storming of the next castle.
Raising three kids in Okinawa now I have likewise come to dread extended visits to kids’ only attractions. A long stay at a ho-hum playground is as tedious to me now as Medieval castles were then. Entering Xystus Kids Land with dreadful caution I first notice the spacious seating area back-dropped by jungle gymnasiums to each lateral limit, and the delightful sounds of children playing.
My children are instantly overwhelmed with anticipation as I purchase our admission tickets from the kippu (ticket) machine. Their anticipation is bubbling over as I present my tickets and am directed to a shoe storage locker room. Finally with shoes off and after claiming a table the kids run directly into the nearest play area. I feel at home because the tables as well as the café cups, plates and silverware I see others with are straight out of Ikea. I’m not from Sweden, but I did frequent the Scandinavian stores in the United States and have become fond of its kindly priced utilitarian wares.
After a while I become both concerned are relieved that I haven’t seen the children nearby so I decide to enter the jungle myself to investigate further. There is a matted toddler play area that is wide open and furnished with pint-sized toys one side. Three large two story jungle gyms about 12 meters square each are in the back of Xystus Kids Land. A rock climbing station and indoor oversized golf putting green are on the other side of Xystus. I find my two older children sliding on a make shift zip line but my presence causes them to flee. I take their flight as an invitation to pursue, but they take advantage of my giant size by darting through and around an obstacle cat walk. I get momentarily stuck in a curving tube as they laugh at me, actually with me.
I regain my freedom from the jungle play area and decide to explore the rest of Xystus Kids Land. Restrooms, nursing room, party room, parents’ relaxation room and a small café – check, check, check, check, check. Magazines, manga and free Wi-Fi are also available. None of us are ready to leave when our two hour time limit expires so we extend for one more hour. Daddy needs to sit in the massage chair and surf the internet on his smart phone.
Xystus Kids Land is located in the Uruma City Plaza shopping mall just off of Route 85 in Uruma City; it’s on the second floor of the second building on the left on the side street across from the entrance to nearby San A Main City. Xystus Kids Land is open daily from 10:00 ~ 19:00. Entrance is 200 yen for babies and adults, 400 yen for teens, and 750 yen for children in between. Saturdays are 850 yen for children (excluding babies and teens) while Sundays top out at 950 yen for the same age group. The time limit is three hours on weekdays and two hours on weekends or holidays.
Xystus Kids Land is a very clean and well maintained property priced below similarly themed play parks in tourist areas. Week days are the best time to go for an extended play time and a less crowded experience. Bring socks, your favorite Wi-Fi device, and your own snacks, or yen for the café.