Okinawa is a rare tropical paradise that mixes a beach-going culture with a preservation of the past. Try exciting watersport, tan on white-sand beaches, watch whale sharks gliding in an aquarium or visit a castle that once protected the archipelago’s rulers.
Okinawa is the main island of the Okinawa Prefecture, an archipelago of 160 islands south of mainland Japan. Its main access point is Naha, a busy urban sprawl that also serves as the region’s capital. Find shopping, food and crowds along Kokusai-Dori, Naha’s main street. While here, taste Okinawan soba, a soup-noodle dish famous to the area.
Not far from town, the hilltop Shuri Castle reminds visitors of the island’s ancient history. Take a short drive south from Naha to the Peace Memorial Park, where monuments pay tribute to the quarter of a million American and Japanese civilians and soldiers who died here in World War II. It was one of the Pacific’s most fierce battles.
To the north, the Ocean Expo Park gives visitors the chance to learn about the archipelago’s marine life. See whale sharks cruising alongside tropical fish at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, home to one of the world’s biggest fish tanks. Nearby attractions such as a re-creation of a 17th-century Okinawan village and a botanical garden boasting more than 2,000 orchids make northern Okinawa a satisfying daytrip destination.
The island features miles of popular and less-crowded beaches that are a great to visit throughout summer. The best swimming months are between April and October. Scuba dive amongst rock formations at Mission Beach or enjoy views from the lighthouse at Cape Zanpa.
Not far from the coast, walk to the Hiji Waterfall or traverse stunning pineapple fields in Nago Pineapple Park. Follow subterranean streams of photograph stalactites at Gyokusendo Cave.
Fly into Reach Okinawa’s Naha Airport from Japan or China. Get around the city by bus. Alternatively, rent a car (or moped) to travel further afield. Tours can be booked through Naha’s travel agencies.
Shopping, Castles and Culture
Naha’s lively main street is home to an array of superb restaurants, souvenir shops and galleries selling fine glassware.
Marvel at huge whale sharks in one of the world’s largest aquariums at this marine center that recreates the aquatic environment of Okinawa’s waters.
This American-style mall offers a huge selection of shopping and entertainment options as well as one of the biggest amusement parks on Okinawa.
Take a tour of this lavishly decorated hilltop castle that was home to powerful Japanese kings for more than 400 years.
Discover one of the most spectacular natural landscapes on Okinawa and get close to deadly snakes at this diverse theme park.
Explore the waterfront in Naha with a trip to Tomari Port. Stroll along the beautiful beaches or visit the shops in this culturally-rich area.
Journey to some of Okinawa main island's best attractions as you see the world's largest fish at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, learn fun facts about pineapples at Nago Pineapple Park, and buy yourself treats at Okashi Goten, a shop specialized in Beni-imo sweet potato and other original sweets.
Make the most of your stay in Okinawa during a sightseeing tour that leads you to a selection of the tropical island's top sites. Tune in to an audio-guide offered in multiple languages while cruising to idyllic destinations like Nago Pineapple Park, Kouri Island, and the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.
Unlock the charms of Okinawa during a full-day sightseeing tour to some of the island's most popular sights. The ideal tour for ocean-lovers, this excursion makes stops at Kouri Island, the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, and Busena Marine Park to peer beneath the surface of the sea.
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Fall head over heels for Okinawa during a sightseeing tour that covers the best of the prefecture in a single day. Nature aficionados rejoice during this tour that includes a scenic stop at Cape Hedo, a gentle trek through Dai Sekirinzan Park, and admission to Okinawa's world-class aquarium.
Experience Okinawa like never before during a sightseeing tour to attractions like Shuri Castle, Okinawa World, and the Ryukyu Glass Village. Soak up Okinawa's flavor and see the best of the island destination in a single day, tuning in to an audio-guide to complement your adventures.