Trip ideas, travel stories, and things to do in Okinawa
Whether it is your first time to Okinawa or your fifth, these iconic destinations have something for everyone, from family-friendly fun and beachside bliss to active adventure.
Nature & Wildlife
- Okinawa and SDGs
- Learn how Okinawa is doing its part to promote sustainable development goals / Sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a call to action for all countries to preserve the environment, put an end to poverty,
- Discover Okinawa’s Indigenous Horses
- Get to know the Yonaguni pony, an essential part of life on Yonaguni Island / On the westernmost island in the Ryukyu Archipelago live the indigenous Yonaguni ponies. Since ancient times,
- Explore Picture-Perfect Flower Spots
- Okinawa is a flower-filled paradise, where visitors can enjoy beautiful blooms all year round / The subtropical climate of Okinawa means that the islands are filled with seasonal blooms throughout the year,
- Cherry Blossoms in Okinawa
- Okinawa sees the earliest blooming cherry blossoms in all Japan, and offers great sightseeing opportunities in spring / The arrival of cherry blossoms is the highlight of the Japanese year.
Heritage & Tradition
- Hari—Okinawa’s Maritime Festivals
- Learn about Okinawa’s maritime traditions through exciting boat races / Hari (also called hare in some areas), are maritime festivals held to pray for the safety of fishermen and for bountiful catches.
- Royal Hospitality and Okinawa’s Rich Performing Arts Culture
- Explore the deep world of Okinawa’s traditional performance arts and cuisine / With its infectious rhythm and energetic hand gestures, Okinawan folk music and dance is a wonderful part of spending time on the islands.
- Explore the Crossroad of Okinawa’s Past & Present
- Experience the rich history of the Ryukyu Kingdom at Shurijo Castle / The Ryukyu Kingdom emerged about 600 years ago, when the Ryukyu Islands (which make up present-day Okinawa)
- Shurijo Castle’s Road to Recovery
- Shurijo Castle’s road to recovery is long, but visitors can witness every step of progress / On October 31, 2019, a large fire at Shurijo Castle destroyed nine structures, including the Seiden (Main Hall).
Flavors of Okinawa
- Tracing the Roots of Awamori
- Discover the depth and history of awamori, Okinawa’s representative distilled spirit / A quick ride on the Yui Rail, and once again I found myself in Shuri, Naha’s old city, the heart of Okinawan culture and history.
- 10 Must-Try Okinawa Street Foods
- These are unique dishes not to miss while island hopping / For centuries Okinawa has been a melting pot, a confluence of cultures coming together to create something completely unique.
- Okinawa’s Premium Sugarcane Chocolate
- Learn how one bean-to-bar chocolate shop utilizes local ingredients to make decadent treats / In 2014, Timeless Chocolate, a bean-to-bar artisanal chocolate shop and cafe, opened in Mihama American Village.
- Okinawa is Riding the Wave of Specialty Coffee
- Okinawa has a close-knit coffee community that is pushing the envelope when it comes to producing local brews / The global coffee boom has led to a diversity of outstanding coffee shops in Okinawa
Shopping & Relaxation
- Artistic Okinawan Face Masks
- Add some artistic flair and Okinawan style with these locally produced masks / Face masks have long been a common sight in Japan, but these days, they have also become a fashion statement.
- Family Fun in Chatan
- Enjoy a sightseeing cruise, luxury shopping, local food, and more in central Okinawa / Chatan is a town located in the central part of Okinawa’s main island, a place where Okinawan, Asian, and American cultures all mix.
- Okinawa’s Ethical Denim
- How one Okinawan company is taking trash and weaving it into beautiful, high-quality denim / The sugarcane plant thrives in Okinawa’s warm climate and is a valuable source of sugar. Bagasse is a fibrous byproduct
- Take a Relaxing Trip to Kume Island
- Relax and feel refreshed with a tropical retreat to Kume Island / Kume Island is blessed with pure water, which might help explain its Okinawan name, Kumi no Shima, which means “most beautiful island.”
Activities & Experiences
- 10 Must-Try Traditional Okinawan Experiences
- Take a deep dive into Okinawan culture with these quintessential traditional experiences / With such a breadth of cultural diversity, it can be hard to know where to start exploring in Okinawa.
- A Pilgrimage to the Ruins of Tamagusuku Castle
- Follow in the footsteps of Ryukyu kings with a journey to ruins steeped in myth / Nanjo is a city in the southeast of Okinawa’s main island. It is also the location of Sefa-utaki, a World Heritage Site,
- Visiting Tsuboya Yachimun Street
- Naha’s Tsuboya Yachimun Street is the epicenter of Okinawa’s pottery traditions / Whether you are sitting at a dining table or walking through the aisles of a souvenir shop, the eyes are automatically drawn to the colors
- Get to Know Naha
- These three themed tours are the perfect way to explore Okinawa’s capital / The city of Naha is multifaceted. It was the main port and trade hub in the heyday of the Ryukyu Kingdom,
- Rich Creativity at Yambaru’s Annual Art Festival
- The Yambaru Art Festival is an annual event that celebrates the fusion of creativity and nature / The Yambaru Art Festival is an annual event in Yanbaru, the northern part of Okinawa’s main island.
- Workcation in Okinawa
- Enjoy Okinawa’s relaxed island vibes with a workcation getaway / As more and more jobs transitioned to accommodate working remotely, the concept of the “workcation” was born. With its diverse accommodation options,
- Contribute to Okinawa’s Sustainability with Responsible Travel
- Join the island communities of Okinawa in their effort to preserve the environment they call home / For more than 20 years, Okinawa has nurtured a growing trend toward achieving sustainability on all levels of society.
- Accessible Tourism Thrives in Okinawa
- In 2007 Okinawa drafted Japan’s first Barrier-Free Declaration, to show its continued commitment to welcoming all tourists / In 2007 Okinawa drafted Japan’s first Barrier-Free Declaration to welcome all tourists,
- Presenting the Power of Okinawa “Power of Pottery”
- In Okinawa, pottery is known as “yachimun” and the beautiful colors and carefree forms make these pieces exciting, guaranteed to make serving food more fun. From Naha, it took about 50 minutes by car to get to Yomitan-son where I met the hands that craft such pottery.