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
- Saving Okinawa’s Fragile Coral Reefs
- Learn how communities are working together to restore Okinawa’s precious coral reefs for future generations / The islands of Okinawa are surrounded by clear warm waters and ringed with coral reefs.
- 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.
- Yanbaru—Getting Back to Nature
- Explore the forests, mangroves, waterfalls, and unique wildlife of Yambaru National Park. Paddle through mangroves and take a guided night walk to spot rare fauna. / Lush green forests, mangroves, waterfalls, and
- 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,
- Family Fun in Yambaru National Park
- Enjoy local flavors, natural beauty, and family fun in northern Okinawa / Home to the magnificent Yambaru National Park, the northern part of Okinawa Island is an area rich in natural beauty and rare wildlife. Spend an enjoyable day in this exciting part of Okinawa.
Heritage & Tradition
- 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).
- The Beauty and Culture of the Yaeyama Islands
- Explore Okinawa’s remote islands to learn about unique island culture / The Yaeyama Islands include Ishigaki, Taketomi, Kohama, Kuroshima, Hatoma, Aragusuku (Panari), Iriomote, Yubu, and Yonaguni 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)
- Experience Okinawa’s Great Tug-of-War Festivals
- Summer in Okinawa is synonymous with its Great Tugs-of-War, massive festivals to pray for good harvest / Regional festivals are a highlight of travel in Japan, and Okinawa is no exception. A key summer celebration
Flavors of Okinawa
- Dive Deep into Okinawa’s Nightlife in Koza
- Explore the unique nightlife in Koza, the epicenter of Okinawa-US fusion / There are many attractive night areas on Okinawa's main island, such as Naha’s Kokusai Street and environs, and some areas around Chatan.
- Taste Okinawa’s Vegan Cuisine
- Ukishima Garden is a restaurant that offers tasty vegan food in Naha City / Okinawa is one of the world’s “Blue Zone,” areas known for the longevity of their people. Shima yasai (literally “island vegetables”)
- A Gourmet Adventure in Okinawa
- Taste unique dishes made from fresh, local ingredients with a culinary journey in Okinawa / While relatively small, the main island of Okinawa is home to a wealth of diversity. From the lush forests of
- 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.
Shopping & Relaxation
- 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.
- Relaxing Retreats in Northern Okinawa
- Find out why northern Okinawa is the perfect place to get off the beaten path in a post-COVID world / As we carefully plan travel in a post-COVID world, personal health and safety have become our top priorities.
- The Many Charms of Ojima Island
- Explore a charming, cat-filled seaside town with must-try food / Just off the southern coast of Okinawa’s main island, Ojima Island is home to a quaint fishing village. With an abundance of fresh seafood,
- Okinawan Products for the New Normal
- These hand sanitizers offer gentle, effective protection utilizing local, natural ingredients / The spread of COVID-19 has led to a new normal for everyone, which includes regular use of antibacterial products.
Activities & Experiences
- 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,
- Traditional Sabani Boating in Itoman
- Itoman’s traditional fishing boats are a thrilling way to experience the history of the island / I find myself with five companions in a small boat off the coast of Itoman City, only a 20-minute-drive south of Naha Airport.
- Okinawa’s Top 10 Marine Activities
- Discover the best of Okinawa’s ocean activities / Okinawa is known for its blue ocean, white sandy beaches, and glittering sun. Spending time at the beach watching the waves crash onto the shore is a
- Get a Birds-Eye View of Okinawa
- Helicopter tours offer a unique way to appreciate the beauty of Okinawa’s islands / Whether riding on horseback, cruising in a camper van, or under the waves on a diving excursion,
- 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,
- 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.
- The Rural Charms of Ogimi Village
- Slow down and learn the wisdom of a long life in this quaint “village of longevity” / Okinawa Prefecture is one of the world’s “Blue Zones,” areas that have a high concentration of people who exceed the average life expectancy.
- 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.