Comprised of over 160 islands, Okinawa is located in southern Japan, surrounded by the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Rich in natural treasures, you can find beautiful nature and pristine beaches in Okinawa. Go on an expedition into the jungle, spend an afternoon chilling on one of the magnificent beaches and coastlines or enjoy an extraordinary diving experience at the best diving spots across the islands. Be sure not to miss out the unique traditional culture and the outstanding local food culture in Okinawa!
In the Northern part of Okinawa island, you can experience Okinawa’s rich natural scenery, as well as chilling out in resorts with your loved ones. One of the most popular attractions in Northern Okinawa is the Churaumi Aquarium located in Motobu, here you can witness a dynamic world of marine life in the world’s second largest aquarium. In Nago, there is Busena Marine Park, the only underwater observatory tower on the island. While you are at it, take a ride on the glass bottom boat to have a great view of the beautiful Okinawa sea.
Maeda Point is the most popular scuba diving and snorkeling spot in Onna Village of Central Okinawa. Located next to the East China Sea, dive into the clear water and get ready to be surrounded by a great abundance of coral reef and fish. The famous “Blue Cave” is also located here where you can gaze upon the mysterious blue colour of the sea, a very rare natural phenomenon. There is also a wide variety of coexisting cultures found on the Main Island, for example the pottery village in Yomitan famous for its traditional craft or the American village in Chatan, a popular shopping and entertainment area for young people.
The southern part of Okinawa Main Island covers most of the best shopping districts on the Island. In Naha City, there are many souvenir shops, restaurants and even the only duty free mall, located on Kokusai Street. The “Ashibinaa” outlet mall in Tomigusuku City is adjacent to Naha City. Sefa-utaki is considered a sacred area filled with many historical sites, reflecting the rich Ryukyuan history. Gyokusendo Cave, a beautiful limestone cave in Nanjo is recognized as a natural monument with over 300,000 years of history.
Having a hard time planning an itinerary for a family trip? In Okinawa, you don’t have to worry as there are many child-friendly attractions. Bring the kids to the theme parks such as the Dino Park or the Blue Seal Ice Park. The outdoor parks in Japan are great for kids to play around with the super long and exciting roller slides for the whole afternoon. If you are travelling in groups, you should definitely check out ATV adventures which are suitable for kids or with a group of friends.
With all the beautiful beaches and blue sea in Okinawa, you wouldn’t want to miss the wide range of water activities here. Swim with a wild whale shark in a whale shark diving experience, or enjoy the breathtaking view of the underwater horizons at the many great diving spots in Okinawa. Stand up paddle boarding and marine walking are also some good options to enjoy the clear seawater of this wonderful island.
You will never get bored of Okinawa as you could try different activities in each season. Winter is the best season for whale watching and cherry blossom viewing. Cherry blossoms in Okinawa are the first to bloom in Japan starting from mid-January to early February due to its warm climate. Sports lovers must not miss the annual pro-baseball spring training camps where 9 of the 12 Japanese pro-teams will train in Okinawa.
In Spring, flowers bloom all over Japan. Visit the Yohena Hydrangea Garden which opens only in May and June or take on the challenge in the sunflower maze in Itoman Peace Memorial Park in March. Embark on a journey to the Iriomote Island to be surrounded by the Yaeyama Hime Fireflies from late February to late April.
Summer and Autumn are the time for festivals and celebrations. One of the biggest festivals must be the Ocean Expo Park Summer Festival where you could enjoy firework displays, beach activities and listen to some great music performances. The Naha Giant Tug of War held annually in Autumn is certified by the Guinness World Records, using a 200m long rope. Immerse yourself in the festivals and have a great time with the Okinawa locals together!
The food in Okinawa is very unique compared to other parts of Japan. Take a bite of the rafute, the pork belly dish stewed in soy sauce and fish broth and melts perfectly in your mouth. You could pair rafute with the famous Okinawa soba too. The Blue Seal Ice Park is a famous ice cream brand based in Okinawa, also locals' favourite. You can try out all kinds of ice cream flavours and even make your own ice cream there! Fancy an adult beverage? Orion beer originates from Okinawa and you could go on a beer factory tour in the Orion Happy Park to see how the famous Orion beer is produced!
Okinawa boasts a wide range of accommodation options, no matter if you are travelling on a budget, in groups or with your family. If you are visiting Okinawa for the first time then you should stay in Nago as there are many resorts located there, allowing tourists to explore all kinds of activities around. Get yourself a place at Naha if you would like to enjoy the city’s nightlife to its fullest.
The main transportation on the main island of Okinawa are monorail, buses and taxis. The Yui Rail connects Naha Airport to the city center. Rental cars is also a popular and convenient option to get around Okinawa freely. If you plan to visit some of the remote islands in Okinawa, rental cars, bicycles or motorcycles are more recommended as public transportation may not be available or is less convenient.
Average: 17°C - 21°C
Make sure to pack a windproof jacket.
Average: 19°C - 25°C
Great time for trekking.
Average: 26°C - 31°C
Be aware of heavy rains in August.
Average: 21°C - 28°C
Perfect time for snorkeling and kayaking.