Travel / Tourism Spots in Okinawa Area

  • Suimui Utaki
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    4.0
    5163 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Shurikinjouchou 1-2 (within Shuri Castle Park)
    This place of worship is situated in front of the walls of Shuri Castle, and is one of 10 sacred sites within the castle. Existing since before the castle was erected, this holy site is said to have been around since the creation of the Ryukyu Kingdom, and its long history is evident in the several poems about Suimui Utaki present in the Omoro Soshi, the oldest compilation of Ryukyuan songs. The current structure was restored in December of 1997.

    Yes, the main buildings at Shurijo Castle have burnt down and there are efforts to clean the area up and start construction again. Although most buildings are no longer here, I feel the castle area...

  • Sefa Utaki
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    4.0
    1044 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
    774 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
    703 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.

    I had a wonderful time walking through the museum. I was especially happy to see their exhibits of the past. Also they have a wonderful shop which for me has the best collection of post cards. free...

  • Katsuren Castle Ruins
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    4.5
    566 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.

    Katsuren Castle Ruins are one of the UNESCO listed sites around Okinawa. The castle is free to visitors and there is a nice free parking lot across the street. The castle is perched on top of a hill...

  • Busena Marine Park
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    4.0
    557 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...

  • Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave
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    3.5
    659 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 cave shows nature at its most fascinating. However, some of the human additions need work. I liked the various colors to subtly highlight the stalactites, but the Christmas-style lights detract...

  • The Tower of Himeyuri / Himeyuri Peace Museum
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    4.5
    424 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
    457 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.

    Nice small detour on the way to the hotel, visiting the castle is free but its worth to pay the Y 500 extra for the small, but modern museum at the entrance to lean a bit more about Okinawan history...

  • The Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters
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    4.5
    406 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.

    amazing how these guy dug this set of tunnels with only a axe. during the walk I noticed some tunnels dont have access. I hope one day they open those areas up. Nice little museum with some moving...

  • Nakagusuku Castle Ruins
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    4.5
    370 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunkitanakagusukuson Ogusuku 503
    Nakagusuku Castle Ruins, located on a hill overlooking Nakagusuku Bay, is a Renkaku enclosure-style consisting of six enclosures. The Ryukyu Kingdom is said to have had as many as 300 castles, and Nakagusuku Castle is in the best state of preservation among those castles as well as having a high historical value. The splendid castle wall drawing a beautiful curvy line with laid stones utilizes the natural terrain, and it is registered as a World Heritage Site as well as one of Japan’s top 100 famous castles.

    I visited the castle ruins on a Sunday afternoon and there were not many people here. Entrance price is cheap, 400 Yen. There is not a whole lot of information on the castle, I really want to know...

  • Daisekirinzan
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    4.5
    386 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.

    Daisekirinzan is definitely worth a visit, especially if visiting Cape Hedo. Our phone guided us directly to the parking lot no issues and there was a huge parking spot. There is an entrance fee...

  • Nirai Kanai Bridge
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    4.0
    397 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nanjoushi Chinen Chinen
    This 1,200-meter bridge leads from Prefectural Road 86 to National Route 331. The name “Nirai Kanai” refers to the utopia beyond the horizon where the gods reside. The beautiful curve of the bridge makes it appear as if it’s floating in mid-air, and at its highest point is an observation deck above the tunnel that offers a spectacular view. The sight of the cobalt blue sea sparkling beneath the sun is sure to enchant you.

    This place offers a stunning sea view with a curve bridge. It is worth a stop over visit. It is located beside a two military camps. There is no proper parking place. One has to park illegally at...

  • Tamaudun Royal Mausoleum
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    4.0
    414 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”.

    Built in 1501, the mausoleum was built to re-entomb King Sho En and is the Royal Mausoleum. I recommend visiting the mausoleum while touring the Shuri Castle as it is right down the street and part...

  • Shurijo Castle Park (Shurijo Castle)
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    4.5
    78 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Shurikinjouchou 1-2
    The Ryukyu Kingdom existed for 450 years from 1429, and Shuri Castle boasted the glory of the Kingdom and was the center of politics, diplomacy and culture. It was also a symbol of the kingdom. It is said to have high cultural and historical value as its unique architectural style is a fusion of Chinese and Japanese castle fortification culture and the castle was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000. It was destroyed by fire at one stage during World War II, but was restored in 1992 with Shuri Castle Park being opened.

    This is a really enjoyable place. The atmosphere is very relaxing while the tea and traditional sweets are delicious. It is a nice stop while visiting the castle. In contrast to European...

  • A Paradise for Subtropical Plants Yubujima
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    4.0
    324 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...

  • 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.

    Such a breathtaking assortment of sights. I admittedly did not witness as much of the factory, but the sightseeing is great if you enjoy staring at beautiful sights for hours on end. Going into the...

  • Ryukyu Glass Village
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    4.0
    203 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...

  • Ishigaki Island Canoeing Tour Lagoon
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    5.0
    178 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.

    I’ve visited this place several times while living here. There are a few make your own souvenir shop, which can be fun for visitors or kids. It’s pretty empty during the weekdays and I haven’t seen...

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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