Spots in Naha / Southern 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...

  • Okinawa World (Culture Kingdom / Gyokusendo Cave)
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    4.0
    1272 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nanjoushi Tamagusuku Maekawa 1336
    Visitors to this theme park, one of the largest in the prefecture, can fully experience the history, culture, and natural beauty of Okinawa. There, visitors can enjoy seeing the Gyokusendo, called the most beautiful limestone cave in the orient. They can also try their hand at traditional handcrafts at the Ryukyu Kingdom Castle Town, which is lined with old folk homes that are registered as national tangible cultural properties. Other attractions include the eisa dance performances and habu shows. The park also features a souvenir shop offering a wide range of souvenirs and even a craft beer brewery.

    Information about opening and closing days is wrong in their website (english version). Also information provided to Okinawa tourist office is wrong.

  • 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...

  • Peace Memorial Park
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    4.5
    589 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Itomanshi Mabuni 444
    Straddling the boundary between Itoman City and Yaese Town, Shimajiri District, the Peace Memorial Park is a Quasi-National Park that includes beautiful natural scenery and also historical sights commemorating the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. There is an observation platform with good views along the coast. The area within the Park saw some of the fiercest fighting during the Battle of Okinawa, and was the location of the Japanese Army’s last line of defense. Within the Park, the Peace Memorial Museum houses displays of photographs and relics relating to the Battle, as well as the National War Dead Peace Mausoleum, which records the names of all the people who died during the Battle, along with more than 100 individual memorial steles and cenotaphs. Besides being a place dedicated to the dream of global peace and which aims to send out a message of peace, the Park is also a place that many families visit on weekends and public holidays for picnics and recreation.

    I visited the Peace Memorial Park with a tour group and it did not disappoint. The grounds are much larger then I expected, you need several hours here to explore the grounds, see the museum, and...

  • 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...

  • Shikina-en garden
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    4.0
    526 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.

    A beautiful, historic location. You can easily spend 2 hours walking in the gardens. The peace and tranquality is fantastic. We REALLY enjoyed it and will be going back again soon!

  • Senagajima Umikaji Terrace
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    4.0
    432 Reviews
    Shopping
    Okinawa Pref. Tomigusukushi Senaga 174-6
    This commercial facility is by the sea on the western side of Senaga Island 15 minutes by car from Naha Airport. The food consists mainly of Okinawan dishes, and there's also a craft shop with jewelry and other products for sale. There are 33 establishments in total offering everything from snorkeling to sea kayaking and more, not to mention “FM-Toyomi” satellite studios. Weekly events are held as well, and include the resort-music-focused “Music Night” and performances by street entertainers.

    Beautiful place to chill and enjoy watching planes taking off/landing in Naha airport. Beautiful clear blue skies and fluffy clouds with the sea and beach. Just lovely exploring this island which is...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Jack’s Steak House
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    4.0
    1604 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Nishi 1-7-3
    Located in Naha City, Jack’s Steak House is a long-established steak restaurant that opened in 1953, not long after the end of the Second World War. It offers delicious, high-quality steak at reasonable prices, and is popular with both tourists and locals. The interior, which is reminiscent of an American diner, still features the “A Sign” permit awarded to the restaurant during the American Occupation.

    Great dinning choice. Food was attractive. Price is great overall basis. Hidden in a corner and thus may take an effort to search for the location.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Nakamoto Sengyo Tempura Shop
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    4.0
    220 Reviews
    Shopping
    Okinawa Pref. Nanjoushi Tamagusuku Ou 9
    A tempura restaurant located across the bridge leading to Ojima Island in Nanjo City, Okinawa Prefecture. The restaurant's fluffy tempura is rich in flavor and has been made according to the same recipe since the establishment first opened its doors. The tempura is made with seasonally changing fish and ever so slightly sweet squid. Here you can enjoy piping hot sweet potato tempura, purple yams, slightly salty sea lettuce, and sata andagi buns limited to just a few customers a day. The restaurant also sells salt pickled mozuku seaweed.

    I saw good reviews of this place, so I decided to stop here for lunch. You fill out a form to make an order. The whole time I was there, there was a line up. Tempura was really yummy, and definitely...

  • Department Ryubo (Palette Kumoji)
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    4.0
    146 Reviews
    Shopping
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Kumoji 1-chome -1-1
    This 10-storey shopping mall with two underground levels is conveniently located for shopping and sightseeing, and is approximately 10 to 15 minutes away by car from Naha Airport. Besides clothing stores and restaurants, it also has a movie theater, citizens’ theater and many events. The Naha City Museum of History is located on the fourth floor, and it introduces the history from the imperial period with family documents, photographic materials, arts and crafts, and materials of the Sho dynasty that are National Treasures.

    Huge shopping mall located just right opposite of the entrance of international street. It featured ten levels in total and a great number of famous shops like muji. There was a sky garden on the...

  • Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum
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    4.0
    169 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.

    This museum is very meaningful, and the video they show brought me to tears. The museum staff can provide a brochure in English if you ask for one, which helps to understand the general story the...

  • Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum
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    4.5
    122 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Itomanshi Mabuni 614-1
    The Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum is located within the Peace Memorial Park. It was established with the aim of commemorating all those who died during the Battle of Okinawa, of teaching new generations about the horror of war and the importance of peace, and of contributing to the achievement of perpetual world peace. The Museum’s permanent exhibitions feature photographs of the Battle of Okinawa and related artifacts and materials, as well as the recollections of people who experienced the Battle (including video testimony).

    「その戦争にどんな大義名分があろうと、人と人との殺し合いは、敵も味方も関係なく人の全てを狂わせる」 沖縄戦の残酷な運命を辿った資料が展示されている資料館。どれ一つとっても目を背けたくなるような凄惨な光景が目に飛び込んでくる。戦争によって、沖縄にもたらされた残酷な運命を学ぶのに重要な資料館と言える。 一方、展示の仕方はどこまでも『沖縄に暮らしていた住民の目線』であり、戦争全体の大局の部分はほとんど...

  • Naha Municipal Tsuboya Pottery Museum
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    4.0
    154 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.

    I really appreciated the availability of the iPad tour and used it to learn more about the items on display and the culture and processes of pottery making. It made a good facility a great...

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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