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
- 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,
- Safe Travel in Okinawa Post-COVID
- Learn the basics of safe travel in Okinawa in a post-COVID world / This much is certain: the coronavirus pandemic has forever changed the face of travel. But to keep things in perspective, the world has faced significant travel challenges as recently as 2001.
- 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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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
- Explore Okinawan History and Pottery Traditions
- Dive into Okinawan history with a visit to an ancient castle site, and explore a yachimun pottery village / Located on the east coast of the south-central part of Okinawa’s main island, Nakagusukuwan Port offers an
Flavors of Okinawa
- 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
- 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
- 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”)
- Urumarché-the Heart of Farm to Table Food
- Discover why this Okinawa marketplace is the perfect place to take your tastebuds on a culinary adventure / For travelers, it is always a good sign when you find a place that is popular with the locals. Urumarché, a market in Uruma City,
Shopping & Relaxation
- 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.
- 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.
- IIAS Okinawa Toyosaki: One-Stop Shop for Fun
- An entertainment and shopping complex with something for everybody / IIAS Okinawa Toyosaki is an expansive entertainment and shopping complex only 20 minutes from Naha Airport.
- Enjoy a Luxury Stay at a Villa Resort
- Enjoy luxury on island time at these high-end Okinawan villas / For those who want to enjoy the many charms of Okinawa in private luxury, there’s no better choice than a stay at a villa resort.
Activities & Experiences
- 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 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
- Okinawa Diving Guide
- Discover what makes Okinawa such a captivating diving destination / The waters around Okinawa support around 200 of the world’s 800 species of coral. They are a paradise for sea life, rich in nutrients,
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
- Presenting the Power of Okinawa “Power of Textiles”
- How did the unique view of the world shown in traditional Okinawan textiles come about? Muneyoshi Yanagi, a researcher of folk arts with a deep understanding of Okinawa’s traditional culture, said “Wherever you go in Japan, there are few regions that can match the exceptional and diverse fabrics found in Okinawa.