Spots in Central Okinawa / Western Coast Area

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Hill of bios
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    4.0
    311 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.

    This was a very nice place especially if like gardens. It was peaceful and comfortable walk. Make sure you give it at least an hour plus to walk around.

  • Nirai Beach
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    4.5
    320 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunyomitanson Gima 600
    Nirai Beach boasts some of the most transparent cobalt blue water in the prefecture, not to mention gorgeous white sand. This natural beach is in front of Hotel Nikko Alivila and offers plenty of ocean activities, including snorkeling, riding a boat with a glass bottom, and jet skiing, among other things. The sight of the vast expanse of water turning amber underneath the setting sun is breathtaking indeed.

    Nirai Beach is truly Okinawan at heart. Not a touristy trap, but a place of cultural importance. The area is surrounded by nature. Lovely ocean, flora, people. Its quite a cultural experience to...

  • Ikei Beach
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    3.5
    231 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Urumashi Yonashiroikei 405
    Ikei Island is a remote island accessible via a marine road extending from the eastern part of Okinawa’s main island. This beach is in the southern part of the island, where you can enjoy gazing at the serene cobalt blue sea, as well as partake in marine sports such as diving, snorkeling, and sea kayaking, not to mention barbeques and other activities.

    いくつかの口コミに、ビーチを利用する際は、料金を徴収されるという違法行為があるとの報告でしたが、私が利用した時は、特にそのような事はありませんでした。 いずれにしても、仮に、違法行為があったとしても長くは続かないでしょう。 ビーチだけの話をすれば、穴場ですし、海もキレイなのでオススメです。 売店も少しあるので、食事の心配もありません。 See some reviews are collected...

  • 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...

  • Okinawa Zoo & Museum
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    4.0
    190 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...

  • 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...

  • Depot Island
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    4.0
    195 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunchatanchou Mihama 9-1
    Located in Mihama’s American Village, Depot Island is a commercial facility that features over 60 different stores for shopping, relaxation, dining, and more. The architecture and atmosphere are meant to evoke an American feel that visitors can enjoy simply by strolling about. Many shops offer tacos and other foods you can eat on the go. The facility faces the sea as well, making it a popular destination for viewing the gorgeous sunset.

    You couldn’t drag me through here even if you chained me to Thor from GOT and several oxen. I hate shopping at the best of times and this is a worthless, consumerist, knickknack paradise full of faff...

  • Ayahashi Seaside station
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    3.5
    166 Reviews
    Shopping
    Okinawa Pref. Urumashi Yonashiroyahira 4
    This seaside station is annexed to an archive containing materials about the Okinawan navy. Located on the marine road that connects Yokatsu Peninsula and Henza Island, it is surrounded on both sides by the beautiful sea. The first floor contains special Uruma City products along with a fresh fish section and a buffet-style restaurant. The second floor features the “Sea Culture Archive,” which contains materials on the history of Katsuren Peninsula as well as folklore materials and a Maran vessel exhibition. You'll also find materials on the construction of the marine road.

    The most complete area in Kaichudoro! You can come to eat , to walk around, to see the ocean , to listen the music , to play marine sports !

  • Mihama American Village
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunchatanchou Mihama
    It is a major resort area that opened in 1998. It runs along Chatan Town’s National Highway Route 58 and the large Ferris wheel on the seashore is a landmark. There are a large number of shops and restaurants, including amusement facilities which are mainly popular among young people. The adjacent sunset beach as its name suggests is the perfect spot to view the beautiful setting sun. In the evening, you can enjoy the brilliant illumination of the Ferris wheel.
  • Nakamura Family Resident
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    4.0
    121 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunkitanakagusukuson Ogusuku 106
    This house has all of the characteristics of pre-war Okinawan residential buildings, and has been designated a national Important Cultural Property. It is rare on Okinawa’s main island for there to be an example of such premises in good condition, and it is a valuable monument to know about the lives of upper-class farmers at that time. Built in the middle of the 18th century, it is a wooden building with a hip roof and tile roofing.

    I found this an interesting place. Amazing its still remains and as such I consider this a must see. Free shuttle bus from the mall and it also stops at the castle. We walked from the Castle to here...

  • Terme Villa Chula Yu
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    4.0
    128 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Okinawa Nakagami-gun Chatancho Mihama 2
    "Terme Villa Chula Yu is a hot spring facility located next to the hotel ""The Beach Tower Okinawa"" in Mihama, Chatan Town, Nakagami County. It contains an outdoor bath fed directly by a natural sodium hydrogen carbonate spring and has a large bath and a sauna indoors. In addition in the outdoor swimsuit zone, there are a healing pool using hot spring, a multipurpose pool, and a shallow pool. Visitors can also make use of massage services and a restaurant."

    In our trip to Okinawa we have visited an Onsen on a daily basis, each time we try a different one. Of the bunch we have experienced, this was a real bummer. The entry fee was quite high (compared to...

  • Gala Aoi Umi
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    4.0
    107 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunyomitanson Takashiho 915
    Gala Aoi Umi is an interactive facility beside the sea in Takashiho, Yomitan Village. There is a salt processing factory, an atelier, a studio for Ryukyu glass and pottery, marine services, “coral field” for cultivating coral, and various kinds of production, snorkeling and coral seedlings can be experienced. It also has an ocean view restaurant which takes advantage of its position, a pizza shop as well as an ice cream shop where a salt ice cream using Okinawa’s sea salt can be enjoyed.

    We are visiting Okinawa after being gone for 8 years and decided to venture back by this place. It doesn’t seem like you can make the salt anymore but you can purchase it. We had a great time at the...

  • Futenmangu Shrine and Cave
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    4.0
    94 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Ginowanshi Futenma 1-27-10
    This is one of the Ryukyu Eight Shrines that received special treatment from the royal government of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Located in the Futenma area of Ginowan City, Okinawa Prefecture, it is the largest shrine in central Okinawa and has many visitors. It has a 280-meter-long caves with two entrances and three large plazas, and the cave is a city-designated cultural property where you can see cave notches showing traces of past water flow.

    We paid a visit to this shrine which is nice but very small. Roadwork was handled nearby. Half the room is set for souvenirs sale. Not so interesting if I may.

  • Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park
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    4.0
    65 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Okinawashi Hiyagon 5-3-1
    This park covers a vast site of 70.4 hectares. It opened in 1987 as the main venue of the national sports festival Kaiho Kokutai, and is divided into a sport zone, a forest and water zone, and a beach zone with a greenery, ocean and sun theme. There are also six sports facilities in the north side of the park, and a bicycle center, paddle boating and an automobile campsite in the south side.

    Camping ground with bbq field, bicycle practicing available with rental bikes, kite flying, water parks, large playground, boat cycle, etc. Park is awesome for families.

  • oHacorte Minatogawa Main Branch
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    4.0
    79 Reviews
    Style / Fashion
    Okinawa Pref. Urasoeshi Minatogawa 2-17-1#18
    [oHacorte] Minatogawa Main Branch is an exotic tartlet shop located in the corner of residential district for foreigners in Minatogawa, Urazoe City. A fruit tartlet with fresh seasonal fruit and lightly sweetened cream on top of crispy puff pastry baked slowly is superb and popular as a souvenir or a gift. An eat-in area and a variety shop which handles daily items and interior goods are also attached.

    My 2 kids love confectioneries, so when I read about oHacorte, I was determined to have them try their tarts. The tarts were gorgeous. We bought a blueberry one that costs ¥860 and a mixed fruits...

  • Okinawa Soba Hamaya
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    4.5
    325 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunchatanchou Miyagi 2-99
    This 36-year-old Okinawa soba noodle restaurant is a symbol of Okinawa. Their traditional salty soup that uses no soy sauce has the condensed savoriness of pork, chicken and skipjack, and is popular for its unique irresistible flavor. Their “Hamaya soba” with pork cartilage soki boiled until soft and their “Okinawa soba” topped with cartilage soki and boneless rib of pork are especially popular.

    So glad we visited. Its very casual inside - you pay at the vending machine out front and get a ticket - prices are great. The soba was wonderful. The pork is so tender it just melts in your mouth...

  • Southeast Botanical Gardens
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    4.5
    27 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.

    Went here to see the lights in the botanical gardens and then had dinner in the restaurant. Good selection of food on the buffet. Unfortunately found a hair in one of my desserts.

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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