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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.
Situated near the airport, this hotel is steps from Ryukyu Islands, Senaga Island, and Senagajima Umikaji Terrace. Okinawa Outlet Mall Ashibinaa and Aeon Naha Shopping Center are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in Naha City Centre, this hotel is steps from Ryukyu Islands and Peace Memorial Park. Naminouegu Shrine and Naminoue Beach are also within 15 minutes.
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.
Situated on the boardwalk, this spa hotel is steps from Ryukyu Islands and Emerald Beach. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and Okichan Theater are also within 10 minutes.
Nestled on the beach, this Onna resort is within 3 mi (5 km) of Tiger Beach and Nakadomari Site. Iha Castle Ruins and Bios no Oka Nature Park are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Nestled on the beach, this Nago resort is just steps from Ryukyu Islands and Busena Marine Park. Busena Beach and Bankoku Shinryokan are also within 10 minutes.
Situated near the boardwalk, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ryukyu Islands and Ryugujo Butterfly Garden. Motobu Genki Village and Oceanic Culture Museum Planetarium are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Naha City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps from Ryukyu Islands, Peace Memorial Park, and Kokusai Dori. Palette Kumoji and Naha City Museum of History are also within 10 minutes.