Travel / Tourism Spots in Okinawa Area

  • Yui Rail Museum
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    4.0
    4099 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.

    Only took it to get to the airport from Naha city, was a bit crowded at around 9am (tourists and commuters), but the trip was smooth. You can get a ticket easily from the machines (QR code on the...

  • Sefa Utaki
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    4.0
    1035 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nanjoushi Chinen Kudeken
    Sefa Utaki is a historical site located in Nanjo City, Okinawa Prefecture. In December 2000 it was designated as part of the Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Within Sefa Utaki there are six Ibi (sacred areas), from one of which, Sangui, there is a wonderful view of Kudaka Island (known as the “Island of the Gods”). Sefa Utaki is still venerated as a sacred place, and many people come to pray here.

    It is nearby Cape Chinen Park which we whisked by from. The carpark is pretty near the ticket office to purchase admission tickets. Thankfully the staff at the ticket office briefed us on the way to...

  • Naminoue-gu Shrine
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    4.0
    765 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Wakasa 1-25-11
    This temple located on a cliff edge above the waves has a long history. Naha Port was a base for trade with China, Southeast Asia, Korea and ancient Japan long ago, and it is said that shipping leaving the port would pray for a safe voyage, and shipping entering the port would give thanks for their safety. Various events such as the Shinkosai, Okinawan sumo tournaments, Ryukyu dancing and Enbu Taikai tournaments are held during and around the annual festival on May 17.

    10 minutes walk from central Naha, right next to a beautiful beach. This is a working shrine that is frequented by local people. We went to the New Years Eve ceremony !

  • Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum
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    4.0
    694 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.

    Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Gallery *** must visit *** Another place you cannot miss when you visit Okinawa. A half day visit to the museum will allow you to have a quick glimpse into the...

  • Busena Marine Park
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    4.0
    553 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nagoshi Kise 1744-1
    Busena Marine Park is located at Cape Busena, near Nago City. An underwater observatory has been built in the waters off the cape, providing a 360-degree view of the beautifully colored fish through 24 underwater windows. Glass-bottomed boats depart from the pier near the observatory, enabling visitors to “stroll” through the ocean. Please note that there is an admission charge for the observatory, and there is also a charge for the trips in the glass-bottomed boats (packages combining the two activities at a specially reduced price are available).

    We had 2 activities; taking the glass-bottom boat and climbing down the water tower. Sailing out to the sea and looked at the sea bed through the glass at the bottom of the boat was quite an...

  • Katsuren Castle Ruins
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    4.5
    555 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Urumashi Katsurenhaebaru 3908
    Amawari is said to have brought prosperity to Katsuren in the 15th century, and this is the castle where he resided. It was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2000. It stands on a hill between 60 and 98 meters above sea level, and it makes clever use of the natural cliff, featuring walls that form a graceful curve. The “Ichi-no Kuruwa (1st enclosure) ,” the highest point, offers an amazing view of the mountains and outlying islands that surround Kin Bay.

    Like most things in Okinawa it really pays to have a hire car to visit. It is possible via public transport but it will take you some time to get there from Naha. Its a beautiful castle ruins with...

  • Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave
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    3.5
    651 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Ishigakishi Ishigaki 1666
    Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave is a large limestone cave which developed naturally over a period of about 200,000 years. It has a total length of 3.2 kilometers, out of which approximately 660 meters is open to the public. The limestone cave which was created from coral reef has many highlights such as the “Suikinkutsu” (water harp cave) where you can enjoy the sound of water dripping and the “Totoro Stalactite” which is similar to Totoro. The inside of the cave has been illuminated creating a fantastic atmosphere. The tour of the caves takes about 30 minutes.

    This was a great cave adventure, I was surprised how warm it was walking thru this cave. A nice long walk underground self-guided tour at your own pace.

  • The Tower of Himeyuri / Himeyuri Peace Museum
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    4.5
    423 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Itomanshi Ihara 671-1
    Himeyuri Memorial Tower is a cenotaph dedicated to the Himeyuri student corps who died in the Battle of Okinawa. The Himeyuri student corps was a group of 240 students and teachers of the Okinawa Shihan Women's School and Okinawa Daiichi Women's High School who were mobilized as a nursing unit for the Okinawan Army Field Hospital, towards the end of the Pacific War. Following the US military's advance at the end of May, they were withdrawn to the southern part of Okinawa Island, and abruptly disbanded in June. However, over 100 of them lost their lives soon after. In 1989, this museum was established to teach people about the wartime experiences of the Himeyuri student corps. The museum displays exhibits of the Himeyuri student corps personal possessions and photographs. There is also a diorama which is a reproduction of the Ihara Third Surgical Cave Hospital. The museum aims to make people consider war and peace through learning about the Himeyuri student corps' experiences.

    As I was not brought up with this part of ww2 it is interesting to understand what happened here. This site is one of remembering the people who were helping the wounded in the war and were they...

  • Zakimi Castle Ruins
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    4.0
    448 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunyomitanson Zakimi 708-6
    Gosamaru was renowned as a master castle architect, and these are the ruins of a castle he built at the start of the 15th century. It is replete with amazing sights, including the smooth curve of the castle walls and the elegant arch gateway, said to be the oldest in Okinawa. It is also a registered World Heritage Site. From the top of the castle, you can enjoy a splendid view of the East China Sea, and the sight of the sun sinking into its beautiful blue depths is one you won’t want to miss.

    We arrived by car from Best Western Okinawa Onna which is pretty nearby. Admission is free except for the museum. It’s a smaller castle Ruins than Nakijin Castle Ruins. We finished the walk atop the...

  • The Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters
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    4.5
    402 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Tomigusukushi Tomigusuku 236
    The Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters is an underground bunker complex constructed in 1944. There were around 450 meters of tunnels in total; the aim was to enable the defense of Okinawa to be carried on for as long as possible. The underground complex held a total of around 4,000 personnel; many lives were lost here. In 1970, 300 meters of the tunnels (including the command center) were restored, and opened to the public. There is a museum with a display of items recovered from the underground bunker complex, including weapons, uniforms, letters written to family members, etc.

    Best way to go about this museum is to start at the exhibition area where there were some artifacts and facts on the naval division and the war. Then, you will enter the tunnel down to where used to...

  • Daisekirinzan
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    4.5
    378 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunkunigamison Ginama 1241
    This is Japan’s only subtropical Karst topographical landform, created 200 million years ago by the corrosion of limestone by rain and other natural forces. It has been considered a holy site since ancient times, and four courses are available that introduce visitors to unusually shaped rocks, large rock formations, subtropical forest, and other natural scenery. There is also a barrier-free course for the elderly and children. Come enjoy the wondrous paradise formed by Nature’s own hand.

    Visited with my elderly parents. Theres a 600 metres wheel chair friendly route so it was managable for my parents. Along that route, theres a pavilion where my parents could rest while I explored...

  • Tamaudun Royal Mausoleum
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    4.0
    411 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Shurikinjouchou 1-3
    This is a mausoleum which was built in 1501 by King Sho Shin for the purpose of reburying the remains of his father, King Sho En, and thereafter successive generations from the dynasty were buried here. The grave chambers are divided into three rooms: the middle chamber is a room where remains are enshrined before the bones of the dead are cleansed, and the bones of the king and the queen are in the eastern chamber while the bones of other family members are buried in the western chamber. The whole mausoleum is a stone-built structure representing a palace with a shingle roof of that time, and the area of the cemetery is 2,442 square meters. It was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2000 as “Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu”.

    For some odd reason, the thing that struck me the most here was the older woman who was raking the dirt of footprints and leaves. I felt like she was still in the service of the kings, probably...

  • Valley of Gangala
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    4.0
    161 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nanjoushi Tamagusuku Maekawa 202
    Valley of Gangala is a subtropical forest that originated when a limestone cave collapsed hundreds of thousands of years ago. The valley occupies an area of about 47,995 square meters, and the distance to walk through the valley is about one kilometers. You can experience an ancient natural environment in the valley where there are large trees called “Giant (Ufushu) Gajumaru trees” known as the wise men of the forest as well as the Inagu Cave and the Ikiga Cave. A full-time guide accompanies tours through the valley in order to protect the abundant nature which is highly valuable to both archaeology and folklore science. The time required to take the tour is about one hour 20 minutes.

    The most unique thing about this cafe is the setting. Beware of the drippings from the stalactites! The cafe serves coffee and drinks only.

  • A Paradise for Subtropical Plants Yubujima
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    4.0
    322 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Yaeyama-gun Taketomicho Komi 689
    "This remote island belongs to the Yaeyama Islands southwest of Okinawa Main Island. It is located just east of Iriomote Island, and you can go back and forth between these islands on a water buffalo cart that travels across the long shallow sea. On the island, where there is a rich natural environment with lush subtropical plants, you will find the butterfly park, where you can observe pupa of Japan's largest butterfly ""tree nymph butterfly"" sparkling in gold color, a water buffalo pond where water buffalo rest, a bougainvillea garden, restaurants and shops as well."

    We visited this small island as we were in Iriomote island. I think most of people participate optional tour but we went there by ourselves. To get there at first you need to move to the water...

  • Ryukyu Glass Village
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    4.0
    202 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Itomanshi Fukudi 169
    This handmade Ryukyu glass workshop, one of the largest in the prefecture, is located in Itoman City. There, visitors can purchase or even make their own works of Ryukyu glass, one of Okinawa's most notable handicrafts. Visitors can watch glass craftsman create works of Ryukyu glass at the 1,300-degree Celsius kiln located at the center of the workshop. Visitors can try a wide range of glass making experiences such as making accessories or photo frames, which are suitable for all ages, as well as making a one-of-a-kind glass. Some of the workshop's other attractions include a direct sales shop, an outlet shop, and a Ryukyu glass museum that shows off the stunning craftsmanship of Ryukyu glass artisans.

    We toured the glass village and while all of the glass items displayed and for sale were beautiful, unfortunately the furnace used for making things was under construction/repair. A typhoon had...

  • Nutima-su Sightseeing and Salt Manufacturing Factory
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    4.0
    227 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Urumashi Yonashiromiyagi 2768 Co., Ltd. Inu Mase
    This salt factory is on Miyagi Island, the second island accessible from Urama City’s marine road. It created a salt production process called the “room temperature instant airborne crystallization production method,” which has garnered patents in 13 countries as well as a Guinness Record for its mineral-rich characteristics. Take a tour of the factory and see how the salt’s appealing snowy color is made. There’s also an official shop and cafe, and all of the salt used at the cafe is produced at the factory. The shop offers food items, cosmetics, and samples of “silk salt,” which is said to enhance beauty.

    As we had time before heading to American Village, we decided to make a trip to this salt factory. Turned out that it was not really worth the time and long drive there. Factory is small, and we...

  • Roadside Station Toyosaki
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    4.0
    167 Reviews
    Transportation
    Okinawa Pref. Tomigusukushi Toyosaki 3-39
    Situated along the road to Tomigusuku, Roadside Station Toyosaki is Japan’s westernmost roadside rest area. Roadside Station Toyosaki comprises: an Information Station, providing tourist information for Okinawa Prefecture; the JA Okinawa Food Hall, offering local cuisine, snack foods, and shops selling local specialty products; and the Tomigusuku Tourist Plaza—Teiguma Hall, which has displays of Uji-zome (Okinawan fabrics dyed using sugar-cane dye), an Uji-zome sales area, and an area where visitors can view Uji-zome being made (visitors can also try their hand at making Uji-zome themselves; this activity must be booked in advance). Roadside Station Toyosaki is located around 13 minutes’ drive from Naha Airport, and around five minutes’ drive from the nearest Expressway interchange. It is next door to Okinawa’s largest car rental facility, making it a very convenient spot for tourists who want to explore Okinawa by car.

    A wide selection of foods from Okinawa without having to pay the tourist prices. A great place to go for souvenirs for friends and family!

  • Ishigaki Island Canoeing Tour Lagoon
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    5.0
    176 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Ishigaki-shi Miyara 1053-65
    This canoe tour service offers canoeing experiences that convey the appeals of Ishigaki Island including its nature, environment, and lifestyle. The company was started by someone who moved into a house on the banks of the Miyara River after falling in love with Ishigaki Island. They boast a well-equipped shop located right next to the starting point of each tour. It features a parking lot, restrooms, changing rooms, heated showers, and a waiting area. They pride themselves on the quality of their service, which offers guests peace of mind. They warmly welcome beginners, single travelers, and even infants to participate in their tours, which allow participants to thoroughly enjoy the clear blue sea as well as the mangrove jungles characteristic of this tropical island from the seat of a canoe.

    There are several companies offering Ishigaki Island kayak tours and I am not sure that this review is for the one we booked at the tourist counter on the harbour. It was called Eco Tour. Picked us...

  • Murasaki Mura historical village
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    3.5
    226 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunyomitanson Takashiho 1020-1
    Murasaki Mura is a large experience-oriented theme park located in Yomitan Village. Visitors can experience traditional crafts and culture, water activities, sports, cooking classes, etc.; more than 100 different experience activities are available in over 30 different workshops. There is also a buffet-style restaurant, and the Okinawan Soba Noodles restaurant (with its delicious noodle broth), is particularly popular. Accommodation is available adjacent to the park.

    Great things to see. My family and I really enjoyed our self and we took lots of pictures. The have a butterfly area but it needs to be updated and we saw horseback riding that we would love to go...

  • Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum
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    4.0
    167 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Wakasa 1-25-37
    This museum opened in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture 60 years after the sinking for the Tsushima-maru in order to convey to children about the important of peace and life and to put the souls of the victims to rest, and to properly portray the event for future generations. The tour route starts on the second floor, where there is also an exhibit about the voyage and hit and sinking of the Tsushima-maru. The names and portraits of the Okinawan schoolchildren evacuees and victims are displayed on the first floor.

    A very interesting museum. But you have to be able to read Japanese kanji (Chinese characters) as there are no translations into other languages. I speak Japanese, but cannot read Kanji, so...

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.

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