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Culture / Tour Spots in Okinawa Area

  • Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunmotobuchou Ishikawa 424 (inside Ocean Expo Park)
    "This aquarium is located within Ocean Expo Park on Motobu Town. A number of species are raised in one of the world's biggest tanks, including whale sharks over eight meters in length, and large reef manta rays. In addition, the seas of Okinawa are replicated in meticulously crafted exhibits, such as the shallow seas with spreading coral or the deep ocean. Also, the restaurant ""Ino"" offers a lunch buffet with an ocean view (there are breakfast and a la carte times as well), which you can make use of without entering the aquarium. There are dolphin shows (free) to enjoy in the ""Okichan Theater"" outside too."
  • Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum
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    4.0
    675 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Omoromachi 3-1-1
    The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, which is the largest museum of its kind in Okinawa Prefecture, is located approximately 10 minutes’ walk from Omoromachi Station on the Okinawa Urban Monorail (Yuirail) line. Besides the Museum’s permanent exhibitions—which comprise general exhibitions relating to Okinawa’s natural environments, history and culture, as well as five sub-exhibitions on natural history etc.—special exhibitions are also held. The outdoor display area, with its reconstructions of a traditional Ryukyuan farmhouse and storehouse, is particularly popular with visitors. The Art Museum’s collections are focused on the work of artists with a connection to Okinawa island or Okinawa Prefecture, as well as modern and contemporary art; exhibits include contemporary artworks from Japan, other Asian countries, and the U.S.A., etc.

    Very impressed of architectural. Massive mass and incline form with perforated pattern. Exhibitions are quite interesting. Inside is really huge, could not believe we took nearly 3 hours to explore...

  • Naha Municipal Tsuboya Pottery Museum
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    4.0
    144 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Tsuboya 1-9-32
    This museum dedicated to the subject of Tsuboya ware and other Okinawan pottery (known as yachimun in the Okinawan language) is about a 10-minute walk from Makishi Station on the Okinawa Urban Monorail. It is located on Tsuboya Yachimun Street, which is lined with many Okinawan yachimun potteries. The museum's first floor provides exposition on the history of Tsuboya ware and the role it played in everyday life in Okinawa. The second floor presents characteristic works of Tsuboya ware as well as the production process. The museum also exhibits the works of potters including the Living National Treasure Jiro Kinjo.

    Lovely street with arts and crafts where I didnt find at Yomitan village. There are some really unique pieces.

  • Fukushu-en garden
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    4.0
    434 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Kume 2-29-19
    Located around seven minutes’ walk from the Prefectural Office Station on the Okinawa Urban Monorail (Yuirail) line, Fukushu-en is a Chinese-style garden that was created to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of “sister-city” relations between Fuzhou City in China and Naha City, and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Naha City Government; it reflects the fact that Chinese culture exerted a considerable influence on Ryukyuan culture in the past. The verdant garden is divided into three sections—Ming, Wen, and Hua—and is filled with beautiful seasonal flowers throughout the year. The large pond in the center of the garden features a waterfall that creates a cooling ambience.

    ...in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Naha. This place gives you a waterfall in the middle of a city. I especially enjoyed going inside the rock structure to view the falling water from the...

  • Shikina-en garden
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    4.0
    512 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Maji 421-7
    This Ryukyuan-style garden is in Naha City. It was first built in 1799 as a villa for the Ryukyuan kings. The garden was known as the “Southern Gardens” because of its location to the south of Shuri-jo Castle. With a winding-path design, this unique garden combines elements of Chinese and traditional Okinawan design. In 2000, the Shikina-en garden was included within the scope of the Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu UNESCO World Heritage Site. The red algae Thorea gaudichaudii C. Ag. (which has been designated as a National Natural Monument) was first discovered at the Ikutoku Spring in the Shikina-en Garden.

    This park-like setting is a truly outstanding look at how ancient royals lived. It is maintained in impeccable condition and is very peaceful and pleasant. The main residence is re-created in an...

  • Naha City Traditional Arts and Crafts Center
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    3.5
    46 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Makishi 3-2-10 Sturgeon Naha 2F
    The Naha City Traditional Arts and Crafts Center is located on the second floor of the Tenbusu Naha Building on Kokusai Street, around four minutes’ walk from Makishi Station on the Okinawa Urban Monorail (Yuirail) line. The Center boasts an impressive selection of works by Living National Treasures and examples of Naha’s traditional handicrafts. Monitors display video footage which shows the creation processes for different items in an easy-to-understand way. Visitors can also try their hand at five traditional crafts—Ryukyuan glass-blowing, Ryukyuan Bingata dyed cloth-making, Shuri cloth-making, Tsuboya-ware making, and Ryukyuan lacquerware-making. Visitors can also purchase works by leading Ryukyuan handicraft designers.

    At the Naha City Traditional Craft Centre you can choose from a variety of craft experiences. Under the guidance of craftspeople I helped create a beautiful drinking glass - a beautiful souvenir of...

  • Yaeyama Museum
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    3.5
    66 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Ishigakishi Tonoshiro Norihide 4-1
    Located in Ishigaki City, Yaeyama Museum showcases the history and culture of Ishigaki Island and the Yaeyama Islands as a whole. There are displays of Yaeyama textiles, ceramics and other handicrafts, as well as traditional household goods, agricultural implements, fishing equipment, and other important historical materials relating to the islands.

    This is another time warp local museum that the Japanese seem to specialize in. Its really rather small, with only two lobes of large room off the entry comprising the entire museum. Having said...

  • Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Yaeyamaguntaketomichou Komi
    Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center is dedicated to the conservation of the Iriomote Cat and other species of animals and plants on Iriomote Island that are in danger of extinction. The Center has displays on the nature and wildlife of Iriomote, including panels that explain the habitat and reproductive status of the Iriomote Cat and the measures that are being taken to protect it. There are stuffed specimens of the Iriomote Cat, other animals that live on the island, and resident and migratory birds. All of the profits from the Iriomote Cat-related products sold at the Center are donated to the Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Fund.
  • Nago Pineapple Park
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    3.5
    1060 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nagoshi Bimata 1195
    Nago Pineapple Park is a pineapple theme park located on a plateau within Nago City. Visitors can travel through the park in fully-automatic “Pineapple Carts,” viewing the sub-tropical vegetation and the extensive pineapple fields. There is also a pineapple processing plant within the park; the plant has displays about everything to do with pineapples, and visitors can also view the pineapple-slicing process. In the shopping area, visitors can taste various pineapple-related beverage and food products, and buy souvenir gifts to take home.

    The kids will love riding the pineapple cart. And the Dino park. Lots of products to try and buy. Tax free for tourists.

  • Hill of bios
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    4.0
    308 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Urumashi Ishikawakadekaru 961-30
    “Hill of bios” is a botanical garden park in Uruma City that recreates the unique forest that originally covered Okinawa. Visitors have the opportunity to view beautiful flowers that change with the seasons, as well as encountering Okinawa’s native animal species. Besides more physical activities such as canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), visitors can also ride in a lake excursion boat, viewing the subtropical plants and animals while listening to the commentary given by the guide in the boat’s prow. There are also various optional activities that enabled visitors to have fun while learning about Okinawa’s natural wonders; for example, visitors can go round the park in a cart pulled by a water-buffalo.

    Well worth a visit. This is a great place for children and you can easily spend a few hours here, have lunch, etc... It is a great place to enjoy the jungle and interact with animals. Our 5 year old...

  • Yui Rail Museum
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    3.5
    33 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Ashimine 377-2 Okinawa City Monorail Headquarters Inside the site
    Located onsite at the Okinawa City Monorail Corporation, this exhibition space has approximately 400 items on display. The first floor focuses on the monorail itself, and there’s a video showing the railway completion process. The second floor is dedicated to valuable documents, tickets, and other materials from the light railway that operated before the war. You can also use a computer to create your very own monorail paper model, and you can print it out and take it home with you. Entry is free.

    Arriving in Naha on a Sunday morning for a couple of days of local sightseeing, I decided to hit the sights towards the southern end of the Yui Monorail first. After visiting locations within easy...

  • Okinawa Zoo & Museum
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    4.0
    184 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Okinawashi Goya 5-7-1
    This theme park features both a zoo and a facility for nurturing children’s knowledge and sensitivity. The zoo features over 200 different species of mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles that visitors can observe up close. Visitors can also receive opportunities to come into direct contact with some smaller species. The Wonder Museum contains workshops for children and hands-on exhibitions, allowing them to have fun and learn at the same time.

    The zoo was a bit disappointing compared to other zoos in Asia with the animal fixtures very tired looking. If you are in the area with kids then worth a stop for a couple hours. There is a riding...

  • Kume Island Sea Turtle Museum
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    3.5
    123 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Shimajirigunkumejimachou Oku 170
    The Kume Island sea turtle building is a museum and display facility dedicated to sea turtles, which is located on Oujima Island in Kumejima District. The facility breeds sea turtles (which are on the verge of extinction); visitors can get a close view of sea turtles swimming about in large tanks; and there are display panels and videos providing information about their natural habitat; the facility also holds occasional special events when visitors can have the opportunity to handle turtles themselves. The facility also has displays of over 2,000 shells from different shellfish found in Kume Island.

    I personally prefer to see turtles in the ocean but I was nearby so I figured I’d check it out. Entry was only 300 JPY, which is good value. There were some turtles in very small pools which I was...

  • Kumejima Museum
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    3.5
    21 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Shimajirigunkumejimachou Kadekaru 542
    The Kumejima Museum is located in Kadekaru, Kume-jima cho near Municipal Kumejima Hospital. The Museum has displays about Kume-jima’s natural heritage and history - focusing on the four main themes of “Kume-jima’s Natural Heritage,” “How Kumi-jima has Changed Over Time,” “Kume-jima’s Historical Treasures,” and “The Island Way of Life”—so visitors can learn about the Island before they travel round it. A tablet PC digital guide system has been introduced for the permanent exhibitions, so that visitors can listen to explanations of the exhibits in English.

    久米島のことを知るなら、この博物館でじっくり勉強するのもいいが、さっと見るだけだと印象に残るものは少ない。入場料が安いので、時間があれば立ち寄りたい。建物もきれいで、特別展もやっていたが、ほとんど入場者はいなかった。

  • The Okinawa Peace Hall
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    4.0
    21 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Itomanshi Mabuni 448-2
    The Okinawa Peace Hall is a monument rising up 45 meters in the Peace Memorial Park. Okinawa became an arena for the ground war at the end of World War II and the site of a hard-fought battle which cost as many as 200,000 military and civilian lives. With the belief that the tragedy should never be repeated, Okinawa Peace Hall was built in 1978 to appeal to the world about the nobility of peace. The heptahedron shape represents the seven seas and hands joining together.

    I used the Okinawa Main Island pass to visit this place, so entry was free. I thought that I could go up to the top floor to view the memorial park from above, but was informed that I cant go up...

  • Utopia Farm Miyakojima
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    4.0
    65 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Miyakojimashi Ueno Miyaguni 1714-2
    Utopia Farm Miyakojima is a tourist farm where you can observe a variety of tropical fruit, flowers, and trees all year round. In the facility, about 50 types of bougainvillea and as many as about 200 types of hibiscus from all over the world bloom proudly and colorfully. In the parlor, you can enjoy soft-serve ice cream and fresh juice from the plentiful fresh fruit picked on the farm.

    It is a flower garden and fruits orchard, mainly local fruits mango, papaya, banana, dragon fruits to name a few and several species of lovely bougainvilleas and hibiscus. The whole apple mango trees...

  • Kumejima Hotaru no Sato Natural Park Kumejima Firefly Pavilion
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Ohda 420 in Kumejima cho, Okinawa Prefecture
    Kumejima Hotaru no Sato Natural Park Kumejima Firefly Pavilion located along the lower Urauchi River is a protective observation facility for firefly and opened in May 2000. It breeds fireflies including the Kumejima firefly, a Natural Monument and one of Japan’s rare fauna and flora, and creatures such as birds, insects and fish related to fireflies. Inside the facility, the exhibits include pictures, specimens and documents, so you can learn about the diversity of animals, particularly fireflies, as well as nature and the environment on Kume Island.
  • Southeast Botanical Gardens
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    4.0
    203 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Okinawashi Chibana 2146
    Southeast Botanical Gardens is located in Okinawa City, the middle of Main Island. It opened in 1968 and is popular not only among Japanese people but also overseas visitors. You can see about 1,300 types of plants. It is also full of attractions including a place where you can pet animals as well as take a guided tour on a cart which shows you inside the water paradise. One day is not enough to see everything. There are restaurants and cafés where you can glaze at tropical and sub-tropical plants while having a meal on a glass-walled terrace. About 60 minutes by car from Naha Airport.

    Don’t come here for the botanical gardens alone, the main draw is for kids with a petting zoo. If you haven’t interacted with a squirrel monkey or a capybara yet, then this may be one of the unique...

  • OKINAWA Fruits Land
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nagoshi Bimata 1220-71
    OKINAWA Fruits Land located in Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture is a popular sightseeing place. It was refurbished in 2013 and reopened with the concept of an “interactive facility style / original story book” Tropical Kingdom Tale. You can learn about and enjoy the secret of fruit and the story of happiness and others through the tale. The “fruit zone” in the facility grows more than about 30 types of tropical fruit, such as papayas and mangos depending on the season. In the “shopping zone” you can try sweet pineapple. It also has a range of other facilities such as a restaurant, a café and a shop where you can buy souvenirs.
  • Miyakojima City Tropical Plant Garden
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Miyakojimashi Hirara Higashinakasonezoe 1166-286
    The Miyakojima City Tropical Plant Garden is situated on a large property and cultivates 4,000 subtropical plants with about 1,600 species. You can enjoy walking while looking at the plants. The large Malayan banyan which is a landmark of the plant garden is overwhelming. Inside the property, there is a hands-on craft village with nine studios which provide a range of hands-on options, such as pottery, shell work, local cuisine, Miyakouma pony riding experience and Miyako textiles.

Okinawa Areas

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Let go of your image of a busy, ordered Japan and replace it with crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and relaxing folk music: You’ve arrived in Okinawa. A world away from the high intensity of Tokyo, Okinawans appear to live a laid-back beach life on this paradisiacal tropical island that lies in the middle of the East China Sea almost 1,000 kilometers south of mainland Japan’s most southern tip. Home to a spattering of islands, prepare yourself to discover underwater caves, star-shaped sand, and an island culture sometimes unrecognizable from mainland Japan.

Okinawa Photo Album

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