Tours

Visit castle ruins that have been designated a UNESCO world heritage site and try your hand at local crafts in these programs led by a local tour guide.

Nakijin Castle & Bise Village (Motobu Peninsula)

Steep yourself in history on this tour that features the Nakijin Castle ruins and Bise Village, known for its well-preserved stands of centuries-old Garcinia trees. Here, participants can try their hands at the local method of dyeing.

Dates: Tuesday through Sunday
Duration: 5.5 hours, from 1 p.m. -6:30 p.m.
Capacity: For groups of six
Fee: ¥9,500 per person
(Round-trip transportation, admittance fees, and insurance included)
 ※prices are subject to consumption tax.
Reservations: Contact Butler Service by6 p.m. of the previous day
Schedule:
  1. Depart hotel at 1 p.m.
  2. Climb the historic stone-paved Hanta Trail leading to the Nakijin castle ruins (10 minutes)
  3. Located at an elevation of 100 meters, Nakijin is said to date back to the 13th century. A number of shrines and the remains of stone structures can be seen, while permanent exhibits at the Nakijin Village History & Culture Center will offer insight to the Ryukyu lifestyle. Nakijin is one of several Okinawan castle ruins collectively named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.
  4. Walk through Bise Village (20 minutes)
    The lush groves of fukugi, or Garcinia, trees that line the alleyways of this village in Motobu-cho were planted for protection from strong typhoon winds. The bark has been used as a source of red dye.
  5. Hands-on Dyeing Workshop (60 minutes)
    The tour concludes with a visit to Aikaze, a charming craft shop and café where participants can try their hands at the traditional Ryukyu method of indigo dyeing and make an original bandana to bring home.

Zakimi Castle, Glassblowing, Pottery, & Bingata Dyeing

See the Zakimi Castle ruins, dine on a lunch of Okinawan food, try your hands at glass-blowing and dyeing, and visit a climbing kiln in Yomitan.

Dates: Tuesday through Sunday except holidays
Duration: 7 hours, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Capacity: For groups of six
Fee: ¥14,000 per person
(Round-trip transport, lunch, and insurance included)
※prices are subject to consumption tax. 
Reservations: Contact Butler Service by 6 p.m. of the previous day
Schedule:
  1. Walk the Sukumichi Trail, a historic route dating back to the days of the Ryukyu Kingdom.
  2. Visit the Zakimi Castle ruins, one of several collectively named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000 and renowned for its elegant keystone masonry.
  3. Dine on a lunch of Okinawan food, famous for its role in the islands' longevity, at a local art and handicrafts studio.
  4. Try your hands at glass-blowing and make your very own original cup. Your creation can be picked up the following day or, for a fee, shipped to you within Japan.
  5. In Yomitan, visit the climbing kiln of the Yachimun Pottery complex and the many studios and galleries that dot the area.
  6. The tour concludes with a bingata dyeing demonstration at the studio of Yuko Tamanaha, a National Living Treasure.

Shurijo Castle Park & Coral Dyeing

Visit Shurijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the political, economic, and cultural center of the Ryukyu archipelago from 1429 to 1879. Over those more than four centuries, trade and diplomatic ties with China, Korea, southeast Asia, and the main islands of Japan flourished, yielding a uniquely rich heritage that lives on today. Afterwards, participants can experience a contemporary form of dyeing that uses the natural patterns of coral to yield beautiful textile designs. A lunch of traditional Okinawan fare is included.

Dates: Daily (except when the collaborating facilities are closed)
Duration: 7 hours, from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Capacity: For groups of six
Fee: ¥14,000 per person
(Round-trip transportation, admittance fees, insurance, and lunch included)
 ※prices are subject to consumption tax.
Reservations: Contact Butler Service by 6 p.m. of the previous day
Schedule:
  1. From the hotel, we'll travel first to Shurijo Caste Park. In addition to the ruins, participants will see the celebrated stone gate of the Sunuhyan-utaki, a grove of trees and plants sacred to the Ryukyuan religion, and the Tamaudun mausoleum built for Ryukyuan royalty in 1501.
  2. Enjoy a traditional Okinawan lunch.
  3. At Ryusen, a studio dedicated to bingata dyeing, create an original textile design using coral to yield the pattern. You'll also be able to view demonstrations and purchase souvenirs.