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33 of the Best Things to Do in Okinawa

Okinawa is Japan’s top island resort destination. The water’s warm enough to swim from the end of March to the middle of October, so beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts alike flock to the prefecture for its enviable climate. But Okinawa offers much more than pristine beaches. Whether its expansive castles, buzzing nightlife, or mouthwatering delicacies, Okinawa is a treasure trove of delightful experiences. In this article we’ll go over 31 of the best things to do in Okinawa, to ensure you get the most out of your trip.

Index

  • 1 Visit Shurijo Castle World Heritage Site

  • 2 Explore Kokusai Dori

  • 3 Stop by a Local Supermarket

  • 4 Check Out Naha’s Kitchen: First Makishi Public Market

  • 5 Okinawa Food

  • 6 Churaumi Aquarium

  • 7 Gyokusendo Cave

  • 8 Visit Kouri Island

  • 9 Get in Touch with Nature at Yambaru National Park

  • 10 Head to the Beaches on Okinawa Main Island

  • 11 Take a Day Trip to the Kerama Islands

  • 12 Relish the Nightlife in Naha

  • 13 Ryukyu Music

  • 14 The Blue Cave

  • 15 The Valley of Gangala

  • 16 Take in the Sights at Cape Manzamo

  • 17 Witness the Eisa Dance

  • 18 The Umikaji Terrace Senagajima

  • 19 Minatogawa Stateside Town

  • 20 Stay at an Artsy Hotel

  • 21 Mihama American Village

  • 22 Tour Orion Happy Park Brewery in Nago

  • 23 Have a Toast Okinawan Style

  • 24 Stroll through Bise Fukugi Tree Road

  • 25 Bullfight in Uruma

  • 26 Ryukyu Mura and Okinawa World

  • 27 Peace Memorial Park

  • 28 Take Home a Traditional Craft

  • 29 Shikina En

  • 30 Seifa Utaki

  • 31 Go Island-Hopping from Ishigaki

  • 32 Add in a Quick Trip to Miyakojima

  • 33 Hop over to Yoron Island of the Amami Islands

  • 1 Visit Shurijo Castle World Heritage Site

    Shurijo Castle

    Shurijo Castle

    Shurijo Castle was originally built in the 14th century as the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom. A distinguishable trait is the gusuku stone walls surrounding the castle, which are made especially captivating by the nightly illuminations. Ryukyu Buyo, a traditional dance style unique to Okinawa, can also be seen at the castle on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, when they offer 3 performances a day.
    Shuri Castle Festival is a yearly event that takes place in late October/early November, offering royal processions and candlelight paths.

    Nakijin Castle

    Nakijin Castle

    The Nakijin Cherry Blossom Festival is another annual event in late January/early February that features bright sakura against the gusuku walls of Nakijin Castle Remains, as well as nighttime illuminations

    Nakijin Castle

    Nakijin Castle

    Shurijo Castle Park (Shurijo Castle)
    rating 4627 Reviews
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Shurikinjouchou 1-2
    Phone
    0988862020
    Nakijin Castle Ruins
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunnakijinson Imadomari 5101
    Phone
    0980564400
  • 2 Explore Kokusai Dori

    Kokusai Dori

    Kokusai Dori

    Known as the main street of Naha City, Kokusai Dori, which literally translates to International Street, has it all. Stop in one of its steak houses or browse through a glassware shop before heading into one of the multitudes of clothing and souvenir stores. The bustling strip stays open until around 11 p.m., so you can grab dinner and wait until the heat dies down to do some more shopping or find another bar to try.

    Kokusai Dori

    Kokusai Dori

    Kokusai Dori

    Kokusai Dori

    Kokusai-dori Street
    Address
    Okinawa ken Naha city
    Phone
  • 3 Stop by a Local Supermarket

    Don Quijote

    Don Quijote

    San-A Naha Main Place is the supermarket that the locals use. They have an expansive selection of everything from clothing to sushi, all at reasonable prices. So you can save that extra yen for another purple sweet potato tart. Don Quijote on Kokusai Dori also carries everyday items as well as an impressive collection of souvenirs, in addition to their more eccentric items. But both locations are great for getting the crumbly chinsuko cookies and purple sweet potato tarts that are Okinawa souvenir staples.

    Don Quijote

    Don Quijote

    Don Quijote

    Don Quijote

    SAN-A Naha Main Place
    rating 2 Reviews
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Omoromachi 4-4-9
    Phone
    0989513300
    Don Quijote International Dori
    Address
    Okinawa Naha-shi Matsuo 2-8-19
    Phone
    0989512311
  • 4 Check Out Naha’s Kitchen: First Makishi Public Market

    First Makishi Public Market

    First Makishi Public Market

    The Makishi Public Market is a retro-style covered shopping area that’s home to an array of stands selling fresh shellfish, local delicacies and colorful produce.

    First Makishi Public Market

    First Makishi Public Market

    One thing you don’t want to miss while you’re browsing is the pork tamago, which is actually Spam and egg fried together. It’s a specialty of Okinawa, and Pork Tamago Onigiri Honten is known far and wide for their pork tamago rice balls. The cozy shop offers all kinds of styles, so you can grab one and continue exploring the alley of Makishi.

    Pork Tamago Onigiri Honten

    Pork Tamago Onigiri Honten

    Pork Tamago Onigiri Honten

    Pork Tamago Onigiri Honten

    Makishi Public Market, Naha
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Matsuo 2-10-1
    Phone
    0988676560
    Pork Tamago Onigiri main branch
    rating 241 Reviews
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Matsuo 2-8-35
    Phone
    0988679550
  • 5 Okinawa Food

    Okinawa soba

    Okinawa soba

    Okinawa soba comes in a lot of styles, but the base noodles are made of wheat instead of buckwheat, and they sit in a savory soup, usually topped with pork. Then there’s rafute, which is a pork rib that’s stewed in brown sugar and soy sauce, for a slightly-sweet and filling dish. Next up ischampurū, which is stir fry that usually has spam, eggs and bitter melon. Sata andagi are deep fried dough that are like doughnut holes, but they’re crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. Jimami-dofu is tofu made from peanuts instead of soybeans, giving it a mild sweetness and bouncy texture. Umibudo, or sea grapes, are actually a type of seaweed with little globes that look like grapes, and they normally come with vinegar or soy sauce to dip.

    rafute

    rafute

    champurū

    champurū

  • 6 Churaumi Aquarium

    Churaumi Aquarium

    Churaumi Aquarium

    The crown jewel of the Churaumi Aquarium is the Kuroshio Sea Tank. One of the largest such tanks in the world, it stretches 35 meters long and 10 meters deep, housing whale sharks and manta rays that glide by for a truly surreal experience. After the aquarium, don’t forget to check out the Ocean Expo Park, as it has not only dolphin shows, but also a planetarium and a few cafes and restaurants for a nice recharge.

    Churaumi Aquarium

    Churaumi Aquarium

    Churaumi Aquarium

    Churaumi Aquarium

    Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
    rating 4 Reviews
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunmotobuchou Ishikawa 424 (inside Ocean Expo Park)
    Phone
    0980483748
  • 7 Gyokusendo Cave

    Gyokusendo Cave

    Gyokusendo Cave

    Located inside Okinawa World theme park, Gyokusendo Cave is the second-largest cave in all of Japan at over 5,000 meters long. It has over 1 million stalactites, the most of any cave in the country, as well as dozens of unique rock formations and natural pools that are situated around an easy walkway, making for excellent pictures. If you’re visiting Okinawa, then this natural wonder should definitely be on your list.

    Gyokusendo Cave

    Gyokusendo Cave

    Okinawa World (Culture Kingdom / Gyokusendo Cave)
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nanjoushi Tamagusuku Maekawa 1336
    Phone
    0989497421
  • 8 Visit Kouri Island

    Kouri Bridge

    Kouri Bridge

    Kouri Island is a scenic little getaway that only takes about 20 minutes to circumnavigate in a car. Aside from the emerald ocean and pristine beaches, this island is famous for another reason: Heart Rock. This adorable rock formation is, as you may have guessed, shaped like a heart, and it’s begging to be added to your Instagram and social media accounts. But just getting to Kouri Island is half the fun. It’s connected to Yagaji Island by Kouri Bridge, which stretches 1,960 meters and gives a breathtaking driving experience as you ride along the water’s edge. And it’s all completely free.

    Kouri Bridge

    Kouri Bridge

    Heart Rock

    Heart Rock

    Kouri Island
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunnakijinson Kouri
    Phone
    Kouriohashi Bridge
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunnakijinson Kouri
    Phone
  • 9 Get in Touch with Nature at Yambaru National Park

    Yambaru National Park

    Yambaru National Park

    This expansive park covers over 13,000 hectares and is full of hiking and local wildlife. One experience you can’t miss is kayaking through Gesashi Bay Mangrove Forest, though. Once you trek through to the biggest mangrove tree in Japan, you should take advantage of the guided river kayak tours to get another view of the park.

    Yambaru National Park

    Yambaru National Park

    For another adventure, there’s a guided night trek through the Uwaga Jungle. Discover the vibrant flora and fauna of Okinawa armed with only a flashlight.

    Uwaga Jungle

    Uwaga Jungle

    Uwaga Jungle

    Uwaga Jungle

    Yambaru National Park
    Address
    Okinawa Prefecture Kunigami-gun Kotohira Village, Ogimi village and Higashimura
    Phone
    Remarks
    【URL】https://www.env.go.jp/en/nature/nps/park/yambaru/index.html
    Uwaga Jungle
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nanjoushi Tamagusuku Maekawa 1336 Okinawa World Visitor Cabin
    Phone
    0989484489
    Remarks
    【URL】https://www.gyokusendo.co.jp/okinawaworld/uwaga-jungle/en/
  • 10 Head to the Beaches on Okinawa Main Island

    Beach

    Beach

    This is what you came for. The Main Island of Okinawa has several beaches that are all easy to access and have their own distinct atmosphere. Mibaru Beach is a low-key spot for snorkeling and coral reef tour in a glass-bottomed boat. Sunset Beach is next to American Village and has a little more action, as well as paddle boards for rent. Sesoko Beach is a laid-back atmosphere to watch the sun set into the ocean. Emerald Beach is white sand and clear water for your tropical getaway. And that’s just to name a few.

    Shimbaru Beach
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nanjoushi Tamagusuku Hyakuna 1599-6
    Phone
    Sunset Beach
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunchatanchou Mihama 2
    Phone
    Sesoko Beach
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunmotobuchou Sesoko
    Phone
    Emerald Beach
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunmotobuchou Ishikawa 424 Ocean Expo Park
    Phone
    0980482741
  • 11 Take a Day Trip to the Kerama Islands

    Kerama Islands

    Kerama Islands

    Only 50 minutes by ferry from Hakuminato in Naha, the Kerama Islands are an amazing tropical escape.
    Aka Island was chosen as one of the 100 best beaches in the world, and the proof is in the crystal clear water and white-sand beaches. Snorkeling is highly recommended here, as, if the season is right, you might catch a glimpse of sea turtles.
    Furuzamami Beach on Zamami Island holds the enviable spot of Trip Advisor’s Best Beach in Japan for 2018. The water is clear cobalt and the reefs are teeming with life.
    Kume Island is home to Hate-no-hama, a picturesque beach outlet that’s completely encompassed by the emerald-green sea. A scene out of a dream.

    Kerama Islands

    Kerama Islands

    Kerama Islands

    Kerama Islands

    Aka Island
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Shimajirigunzamamison Aka
    Phone
    Zamami Island
    Address
    Okinawa Prefecture Shimajiri-gun Zamami-son
    Phone
    Kume Island
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Shimajirigunkumejimachou
    Phone
  • 12 Relish the Nightlife in Naha

    Kokusai Dori Yataimura

    Kokusai Dori Yataimura

    You definitely don’t have to go home in Naha.
    Start the night off with a trip by Kokusai Dori Yataimura, also called Street Food Village. The cozy food stands have both food and alcohol, so you can have a seat outside and take in the friendly vibe of a little block party.
    Tucked in the backstreets of Makishi Public Market are lively bars that sell drinks for cheap. Getting there isn’t easy, but stumbling out is the real trick.
    If clubs are more your style, then Epica is the only place to be. Lasers, dancers, DJs, and drinks, this club goes up all night.

    Kokusai Dori Yataimura

    Kokusai Dori Yataimura

    Epica

    Epica

    Kokusai-dori Street Yatai Mura
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Makishi 3-11-16, 17
    Phone
    epica okinawa
    Address
    Okinawa Naha
    Phone
    0988607748
  • 13 Ryukyu Music

    Ryukyu Music

    Ryukyu Music

    Okinawa has its own flavor of music that harkens back to a simpler time, with the main instrument being the sanshin, an older version of the shamisen. There are plenty of izakayas that have live performances by local artists, and the easy melodies of shima-uta island songs set the mood perfectly for a laid-back evening with a few drinks. Live a night at island pace.

  • 14 The Blue Cave

    The Blue Cave

    The Blue Cave

    Cape Maeda has arguably the most famous diving and snorkeling spot in Okinawa: the Blue Cave. The azure waters of Okinawa make for great pictures, but this is on another level. The cave is located in the center of Cape Maeda, and when seen from underwater, everything is bathed in a surreal blue glow from sunlight emanating through the cave’s entrance. The pictures will be priceless.

    The Blue Cave

    The Blue Cave

    Cape Maeda (Blue Cave)
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunonnason Maeda 469-1
    Phone
    0989825339
  • 15 The Valley of Gangala

    Cave Cafe

    Cave Cafe

    The lush subtropical forest of the Valley of Gangala is a revitalizing expedition that lets you take a break from the beaches. And it was all once part of a limestone cave. During the tour you’ll get to experience the Cave Cafe—a coffee shop that sits right under the stalactites of the cave itself. Guided tour require prior reservations, so don’t forget to plan ahead!

    The Valley of Gangala

    The Valley of Gangala

    Valley of Gangala
    rating 141 Reviews
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nanjoushi Tamagusuku Maekawa 202
    Phone
    0989484192
    Remarks
    【URL】 https://peraichi.com/landing_pages/view/gangalaen
  • 16 Take in the Sights at Cape Manzamo

    Cape Manzamo

    Cape Manzamo

    Aside from the gorgeous panoramic views of the sea, Cape Manzamo is famous because of one of its rock outcroppings is shaped like an elephant’s trunk. The sea has hollowed out part of the inside of the cliff, and the result is a unique shape sure to make you smile. It only takes about 20 minutes or so to stop by and snag a picture of this spot, so drop by on your way to another destination.

    Cape Manzamo
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunonnason Onna
    Phone
  • 17 Witness the Eisa Dance

    Eisa Dance

    Eisa Dance

    The eisa is a traditional dance in Okinawa that incorporates taiko drums and the sanshin. Ryukyu Mura and Okinawa World hold their own eisa shows, but there’s no better time to see this performance than at the 64th Okinawa Zento Eisa Matsuri in August. Groups come from all over Okinawa to compete for the best performance, representing different styles and interpretations of the Okinawan tradition.

    Eisa Dance

    Eisa Dance

  • 18 The Umikaji Terrace Senagajima

    Umikaji Terrace Senagajima

    Umikaji Terrace Senagajima

    Senagajima Island is a 15-minute drive from Naha Airport, and the Umikaji Terrace is a wealth of all things Okinawa, from local sweets and dishes to traditional crafts and glassware. It’s a little resort that might remind you of the south of France, and the atmosphere is classy and laid-back. They also have projection mapping shows at nighttime that paint the resort in brilliant colors. The shows happen every day, rain or shine, and they take place at 7 pm, 7:30 pm, 8 pm, 8:30 pm, 9 pm, and 9:30 pm. So you’ll have ample chance to catch one.

    Umikaji Terrace Senagajima

    Umikaji Terrace Senagajima

    Umikaji Terrace Senagajima

    Umikaji Terrace Senagajima

    Senagajima Umikaji Terrace
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Tomigusukushi Senaga 174-6
    Phone
    0988517446
    Remarks
    【URL】https://www.umikajiterrace.com/
  • 19 Minatogawa Stateside Town

    Minatogawa Stateside Town

    Minatogawa Stateside Town

    Minatogawa StateSide Town is an area that was originally housing for the US military, but it’s become a retro-style encampment of chic cafes and general stores. Stop over in Proots first, a hip shop with handmade crafts, for some shopping before heading over to Limpid for a homey, beachside vibe with stylish French fare. Cafe Green Green has a diverse menu of Asian dishes, but the Apple Pie a la Mode while you sit on the terrace is a warm weather treat. Those are only a few of the many options StateSide Town has to offer. Exploration is well rewarded here.

    Minatogawa Stateside Town

    Minatogawa Stateside Town

    Minatogawa Stateside Town

    Minatogawa Stateside Town

    Minatogawa Stateside Town

    Minatogawa Stateside Town

    Address
    沖縄県浦添市港川2-17
    Phone
    0989413939
  • 20 Stay at an Artsy Hotel

    Spice Motel

    Spice Motel

    Spice Motel, built as a motel when the U.S. was occupying Okinawa, was renovated by an architectural design office.The retro stylings are blended with a modern touch, but you can book a room straight out of the 70s for the complete experience. There’s also an airy cafe and a terrace with astroturf and forest views, plus a rooftop deck that has a claw-foot tub. It’s a smart take on a 70s classic that will feel like your personal getaway.

    Spice Motel

    Spice Motel

    Spice Motel

    Spice Motel

    SPICE MOTEL OKINAWA
    rating 12 Reviews
    Address
    1066 Kishaba, Kitanakagusukuson, Nakagamigun Okinawa Main island
    Phone
    098-923-1066
    Remarks
    【URL】 http://spicemotel.com/

    2019/06/07Check-in (2 persons per room)※Nightly fee per person Update date:2019/05/24

  • 21 Mihama American Village

    Mihama American Village

    Mihama American Village

    This entertainment complex is a lively incarnation of American life. And here that means a Ferris wheel, tons of shopping, and, of course, fast food. Have a Blue Seal Ice Cream cone for delicious Japanese flavors in an American-style shop, or pop in to A&W for hamburgers and root beer floats before you cruise around the vintage clothing section at American Depot, which has items imported straight from the US. Top it all off with a walk to Sunset Beach, where you can watch the sun sink into the ocean at sunset.

    Mihama American Village

    Mihama American Village

    Mihama American Village

    Mihama American Village

    Mihama American Village
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunchatanchou Mihama
    Phone
    Remarks
    【URL】 https://www.okinawa-americanvillage.com/?lang=en
  • 22 Tour Orion Happy Park Brewery in Nago

    Orion Happy Park

    Orion Happy Park

    Orion Beer is a refreshing classic native to Okinawa, and you can tour their brewery to see how they manufacture the tasty beverage, as well as sample the goods yourself at the tasting afterwards, all for free! Orion Beer Fest takes place in July 2019 on Ishigaki Island, where you can enjoy live music and freshly brewed Orion all night long. Beer lovers should also be on the lookout for World Beer Fest Okinawa Octoberfest, too.

    Orion Beer

    Orion Beer

    Orion Happy Park
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nagoshi Agarie 2-2-1
    Phone
    0980544103
    Remarks
    【URL】 https://www.orionbeer.co.jp/en/
  • 23 Have a Toast Okinawan Style

    Awamori

    Awamori

    While you’re wandering around the local watering holes, don’t forget to try the Okinawan alcohol. First up is awamori, a distilled rice-based beverage that packs a punch. It’s normally mixed with ice water, but the adventurous can have it neat, too. Next is habushu, which is a liqueur made from awamori with a pit viper inside the bottle. Don’t worry, though; the venom dissolves in alcohol. And then there’s the ubiquitous Orion Beer for a quick go-to.

    Habushu

    Habushu

  • 24 Stroll through Bise Fukugi Tree Road

    Bise Fukugi Tree Road

    Bise Fukugi Tree Road

    Feeling like an early morning walk? Bise Fukugi Tree Road is the perfect spot to have an easy stroll while experiencing the native scenery of Okinawa. This tranquil trail encompassed by fukugi trees will give you time to wander and ponder. You can even rent a bicycle and coast along the path until you reach Cape Bisezaki, where serene sea views await.

    Bise Fukugi Tree Road

    Bise Fukugi Tree Road

    Bise Fukugi Tree Road
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunmotobuchou Bise
    Phone
  • 25 Bullfight in Uruma

    Bullfight in Uruma

    Bullfight in Uruma

    It’s not an overstatement to call Uruma a city of bullfights, and aficionados come from far and wide to see the All-Island Bullfighting Tournament held in spring, summer, and fall. Bulls go head-to-head against each other for the top spot in a competition that regularly brings in close to 5,000 people. Come see an Okinawa tradition and learn the lingo for this exciting sport.

    Bullfight in Uruma

    Bullfight in Uruma

    Uruma Ishikawa Multi-purpose dome
    Address
    Okinawa Uruma Ichi Ishikawa
    Phone
    0989655634
  • 26 Ryukyu Mura and Okinawa World

    Ryukyu Mura

    Ryukyu Mura

    Okinawa has two theme parks that put the best of Okinawan culture on display: Ryukyu Mura and Okinawa World. From eisa performances to ryukyu costume pictures and live pit viper shows, these parks recreate the ancient culture and customs of the islands. Walking around the old-world structures and listening to the sanshin might make you feel you’ve slipped back in time. A day in these parks is a good day.

    Ryukyu Mura

    Ryukyu Mura

    Okinawa World

    Okinawa World

    Ryukyu Mura
    rating 2 Reviews
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Kunigamigunonnason Yamada 1130
    Phone
    0989651234
    Okinawa World (Culture Kingdom / Gyokusendo Cave)
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nanjoushi Tamagusuku Maekawa 1336
    Phone
    0989497421
  • 27 Peace Memorial Park

    Peace Memorial Park

    Peace Memorial Park

    Set on the final battleground in Okinawa during World War II, the Peace Memorial Park is a somber reminder of the costs of war. It’s divided into a Peace Zone, Prayer Area, Peace Ceremony Zone, and Recreation Zone, and they cover an expansive area filled with greenery. The Peace Memorial Museum displays pictures and articles from the war, and the Cornerstone of Peace is engraved with each name of everyone who lost their lives in the Battle of Okinawa. Take the time to remember the price of peace

    Peace Memorial Park

    Peace Memorial Park

    Peace Memorial Park

    Peace Memorial Park

    Peace Memorial Park
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Itomanshi Mabuni 444
    Phone
    0989972765
  • 28 Take Home a Traditional Craft

    Ryukyu Glass Village

    Ryukyu Glass Village

    These traditional crafts have been passed down from the Ryukyu Kingdom. Make your own ryukyu glass cup at Ryukyu Glass Village, a glass factory carrying only handmade products; the process takes about 5 minutes. Or craft a lion-dog shisa figure at Gala Aoiumi, a laid-back workshop overlooking the sea. Head to Tsuboya Yachimun Dori, or Pottery Road, to pick up a piece of stylish yachimun pottery in one of the many shops. Remember: souvenirs are available at craft shops, too!

    Take Home a Traditional Craft

    Take Home a Traditional Craft

    Take Home a Traditional Craft

    Take Home a Traditional Craft

    Ryukyu Glass Village
    rating 181 Reviews
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Itomanshi Fukudi 169
    Phone
    0989974784
    Remarks
    【URL】https://www.ryukyu-glass.co.jp/
    Gala Aoi Umi
    rating 98 Reviews
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nakagamigunyomitanson Takashiho 915
    Phone
    0989583940
    Remarks
    【URL】 http://www.gala-aoiumi.com/en/
    Tsuboya Yachimun Street
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Tsuboya
    Phone
  • 29 Shikina En

    Shikina En

    Shikina En

    Located on a small hill south of Shuri Castle sits the gardens of Shikina-en. Constructed during the end of the 18th century, the gardens are a mixture of Japanese, traditional Okinawan and Chinese aesthetic. Featuring delicately built, wooden palace buildings embellished in typical Okinawan style, with red tile roofs, Chinese bridges reaching over the park’s ponds and a Japanese style landscape garden it's a tranquil escape. Though Shikina En was completely destroyed during the devastating Battle of Okinawa of 1945, in 2000, the park was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status given its significance to the prefecture’s history and Kingdom of Ryukyu.

    Shikina-en garden
    rating 478 Reviews
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Maji 421-7
    Phone
    0988555936
  • 30 Seifa Utaki

    Seifa Utaki

    Seifa Utaki

    The most sacred site in all of Okinawa prefecture is arguably Seifa-utaki, in English Seifa-utaki translates literally to the "purified place of Utaki". The area is believed to be one of the seven sacred places to have been built by Amamikiyo, the god of ancient spirits worshipped by the Ryukyu people. Managed by Kikoe no Okimi, highest female religious leader, the place was considered so sacred even men were forbidden from entering. As legend has it the king of Ryukyu is rumored to have dressed in woman’s attire to gain access through the entry gate. Unlike many other parts of Okinawa the forest surrounding Seifa-utaki was saved from damage during World War II and as a result is full of rare ferns and orchid plants unique to the island. If you do plan on making a visit be aware that opening hours are from 9am to 6pm and admission is 300 yen for adults and 150 yen for children.

    Sefa Utaki
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Nanjoushi Chinen Kudeken
    Phone
    0989491899
  • 31 Go Island-Hopping from Ishigaki

    Go Island-Hopping from Ishigaki

    Go Island-Hopping from Ishigaki

    Thanks to the rise of low-cost carriers, there are relatively cheap flights, about 20 per day from Naha, going to Ishigaki Island, and it only takes around an hour in the air. The real fun starts once you’re there, though. From Ishigaki you can use ferries to island hop to the outlying islands. Taketomi Island has water buffalo and white-sand beaches for a chill vibe. Kohama Island is a verdant wonder with its sugarcane fields. Iriomote Island is a wealth of mangrove forests and waterfalls. Stargazers won’t want to miss Hateruma Island, where the night sky is so clear you can see 84 of the 88 constellations. If you decide to snorkel on your island tour, you might even spot a manta ray.

    Go Island-Hopping from Ishigaki

    Go Island-Hopping from Ishigaki

    Go Island-Hopping from Ishigaki

    Go Island-Hopping from Ishigaki

    Go Island-Hopping from Ishigaki

    Go Island-Hopping from Ishigaki

    Ishigaki Island
    Address
    Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture
    Phone
  • 32 Add in a Quick Trip to Miyakojima

    Miyakojima

    Miyakojima

    It takes about 50 minutes to get to Miyakojima from Naha Airport, and 15 flights leave a day. Beach lovers will want to make the trip. Yonaha maehama Beach is consistently voted the best beach in Japan by the Traveler’s Choice on Trip Advisor, and some even call it the best beach in Asia. The idyllic stretch of powdery white sand leading into the crystal-clear cobalt water stretches for 7 km, so no need to worry about crowding. And to top it all off, there’s a good chance you’ll run into some sea turtles.

    Miyakojima

    Miyakojima

    Miyakojima

    Miyakojima

    Miyako Island
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Miyakojimashi
    Phone
    Yonaha Maehama Beach
    Address
    Okinawa Pref. Miyakojimashi Shimoji Yonaha 1199
    Phone
  • 33 Hop over to Yoron Island of the Amami Islands

    Amami Islands

    Amami Islands

    Technically, Yoron Island belongs to Kagoshima Prefecture, but it’s easy to get to from Okinawa. While it takes about 40 minutes by plane, there’s only 1 flight a day from Naha. There’s also 1 ferry per day from Naha Port and Motobu Port, and they take 4.8 hours and 2.5 hours, respectively, so you’ll want a good game plan. Once you arrive, you’ll have 60 beaches to choose from. Yurigahama Beach stands out with its dreamlike sandbar that only appears during low tide from spring to summer. Since Yoron is sister cities with Mykonos, there’s a white-walled area that looks like it’s plucked from the Aegean Sea. And nighttime is another treat; look up for a sky full of bright, bright stars.

    Yoron Island

    Yoron Island

    Amami Islands

    Amami Islands

    Yoronjima Island
    Address
    Kagoshima Oshima Yoroncho Chabana
    Phone
    Yuriga Hama
    Address
    Kagoshima Prefecture Oshima-gun Yoron-cho Oganeku coast offshore
    Phone
    0997975151
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