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
- Your Guide to Whale Watching in Okinawa
- Find out when, where, and how to see these majestic creatures in Okinawa / From January to March, the ocean around Okinawa is full of action. It is the time of year when humpback whales can be seen in the waters around Okinawa’s islands.
- 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
Heritage & Tradition
- Ushiorase—Okinawan Bullfighting
- Experience the exciting tradition of ushiorase—Okinawan-style bullfighting / Ushiorase is an Okinawan style of bullfighting where two bulls lock horns in competition with each other in an arena,
- 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)
- Discover the History of Okinawa
- How Okinawa developed from an ancient kingdom to a modern beacon of peace / For 450 years, before becoming Okinawa Prefecture in 1879, Okinawa was an independent nation called the Ryukyu Kingdom.
- 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.
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.
- Explore the Old-School Atmosphere of Sakaemachi
- Naha’s Sakaemachi area is home to tiny alleyways full of retro charm / My first impression when I arrived in Okinawa was how welcoming people are. Even if you don’t speak Japanese, people seem interested and do their best to
- The Revival of a Ryukyu Spirit
- In addition to awamori, Okinawa is home to imuge, a unique island spirit distilled from sweet potatoes / During the time of the Ryukyu Kingdom, working-class locals brewed their own alcohol.
- 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
Shopping & Relaxation
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
Activities & Experiences
- A Fun Day in Southern Okinawa
- Zoom around on a jungle buggy, shop ‘til you drop, and dine on local delicacies around Naha Port / Naha Port, the gateway to Okinawa for many travelers, offers easy access to popular tourist attractions and facilities.
- Okinawa Snorkeling Guide
- Discover what you can see and where to go for some of the best snorkeling in Okinawa / Okinawa is one of the world’s most coral-rich regions. More than 200 of the world’s 800 coral species can
- Explore Naha by Bicycle
- Explore the sights and streets of Okinawa’s capital city by bicycle / Naha City has an excellent public transportation system. There’s a new bus center, and the Yui Rail urban monorail connects the airport with
- 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,
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.