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.
Located in Naha City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ryukyu Islands and Kokusai Dori. Peace Memorial Park and Fukushu-en Garden are also within 10 minutes. Kenchomae Station is 6 minutes by foot and Miebashi Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Naha City Centre, this hotel is steps from Kokusai Dori and Ryukyu Islands. Naha City Museum of History and Palette Kumoji are also within 5 minutes. Kenchomae Station is only a 2-minute walk and Miebashi Station is 9 minutes.
Located in Onna, this beachfront hotel is in a national park, just steps from Manza Beach and Ryukyu Islands. Onna Seaside Park Nabii Beach and Cape Manza are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in Naha City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Naminoue Beach and Kokusai Dori. DFS Galleria Okinawa and Shurijo Castle are also within 6 mi (10 km). Asahibashi Station is 12 minutes by foot and Kenchomae Station is 19 minutes.
Offering direct access to the beach, this Itoman resort is within 3 mi (5 km) of Bibi Beach, Okinawa Outlet Mall Ashibinaa, and Toyosaki Chura Sun Beach. Ryukyu Glass Graft and Senagajima Umikaji Terrace are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Located in Onna, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk, just steps from Ryukyu Islands and Tiger Beach. Nakadomari Site is 2.3 mi (3.8 km) away.
Located in Naha City Centre, this hotel is steps from Ryukyu Islands and Peace Memorial Park. Kokusai Dori and Shiseibyo Temple are also within 10 minutes. Asahibashi Station is 7 minutes by foot and Kenchomae Station is 13 minutes.
This family-friendly Nago hotel is located near the beach, 1 mi (1.6 km) from Busena Marine Park, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Mission Beach and Nago City Hall. Cape Manza and Neo Park are also within 9 mi (15 km).