Agena Central Park: Bullfighting and recreation in Uruma City

by Michael Flemming
JapanTravel

Agena Central Park in Uruma City, Okinawa is mostly invisible to the casual passer by as it is masked by buildings, parking lots and trees.The only hint of something special is a sign pointing the way to the Agena Bullfighting Arena, which is a part of the park.

The mixed use recreational park is the largest park in Uruma City and is unique not only for having a bullfighting arena but also the Agena Castle Ruins, a 14th century gusuku-style Ryukyuan castle. The Agena Bullfighting Arena, which is beautifully back-dropped by the Agena Castle Ruins is used for exhibitions of bull versus bull bouts that are held less frequently than in past years, usually only during some Japanese holidays and festivals.

The castle ruins are designated as a Japanese national historic site. The ruins can be explored but only if wearing hiking shoes and bug spray as most of the accessible portions are covered under dense vegetation and along steep and slippery trails. Much of the rest of the park is lined by the Tengan River, a pond and another smaller stream. There is an running track that rings most of the park but doesn't quite encompass the park's entire circumference.

There are two sets of public toilets for visitors, lots of interesting sculptures and monuments, and tombs, too. The tombs individually belong to specific families and are considered sacred. Look but do not touch or enter the tombs. Agena Central Park is open daily to the public free of charge.

Yomitan Festival Bullfighting
Date: Oct. 22
When: 1-3 p.m.
Location: Murasakimura Bull Ring, Yomitan
Cost: Free

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