Okinawa Prefecture Travel Guide [Japan]

Churaumi, Okinawa
Image Credit: Dolmang

Okinawa Prefecture is one of Japan’s southern prefectures, and consists of hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over 1,000 km long, which extends southwest from Kyūshū to Taiwan.

Okinawa’s capital, Naha, is located in the southern part of the largest and most populous island, Okinawa Island which is approximately half-way between Kyūshū and Taiwan.

Eisa can be seen from July to September in various locations including Yomitan Village, Onna Village, Naha City, etc. and “The All-Okinawa Eisa Festival” of Okinawa City.

Bullfighting is basically held on Sundays mainly at the Ishikawa Multipurpose Dome. Admission is from 2,500 yen to 3,000 yen.

Public market. From Miebashi Station on the monorail, walk down Okiei Street towards Kokusai Street, Ichiba-Hondori Street will be on your right about 5 minutes on foot.

Tourists can enjoy an ancient culture with 9 world heritage sites, a strong crafts tradition in ceramics, textiles, and glass, a lively contemporary music scene, breathtaking empty beaches and crowded old world market places.

From the north, there are the Nakijin Castle Ruins (Nakijin Village), Zakimi Castle Ruins (Yomitan Village), Katsuren Castle Ruins (Katsuren Town), Nakagusuku Castle Ruins (Nakagusuku Village, Kitanakagusuku Village), Tamaudun Royal Mausoleum, Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate, Shurijo Castle, Shikina-En Gardens (Naha City), and Sefa Utaki (Nanjo City).

We recommend dividing your routes into the Central and Northern Course (Nakijin Castle Ruins, Zakimi Castle Ruins, Katsuren Castle Ruins, Nakagusuku Castle Ruins) and the South Course (Tamaudun Royal Mausoleum, Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate, Shurijo Castle, Shikina-En Gardens, Sefa Utaki). Rental cars and taxis are recommended for visiting surrounding areas.

Usually, from the middle of December to the end of March, you can go whale watching in the seas adjacent to Okinawa. You can go whale watching in the vicinity of the Kerama Islands and there are boats for whale watching departing from Naha City, Yomitan Village, Onna Village, Kerama Islands (Zamami Village, Tokashiki Village).

For uninhabited islands near the Okinawa Main Island, you can visit Nagannu Island with its pure white beach. You can also visit Komaka Island from the Chinen Kai-yo Leisure Center in addition to Nap Island from the Moon Beach Resort.

In Okinawa, the cherry blossoms begin to bloom from the Northern Okinawa Main Island (Yae-dake and Nago Castle Ruins) from the end of January and they are in full bloom on the Southern Okinawa Main Island (Yogi Park and Yaese Park) in the middle of February.

You can swim at the beaches in the Yaeyama Region from the end of March and the beaches on the Okinawa Main Island from the beginning of April if the weather is fine. The best season for swimming is from July to the beginning of October. It may be a little cold at the end of October.

There are a large number of diving spots from the northern area to southern area as well as outlying islands in Okinawa. Okinawa has a great environment including surf shops where everyone from beginners to experienced divers can enjoy diving.

Major surfing points are Suicide Point (Komesu Coast/Itoman City), Sunabe Point (Miyagi Coast/Chatan Town), Ikei Island Point (Yonashiro Town) and Mizukama Point (Mizukama Coast/Kadena Town) , etc.

You can enjoy cuisine using unique ingredients including Okinawan vegetables such as goya, and pork is eaten from the ears to the feet. Famous dishes include “Canpuru”, stir-fried tofu and vegetables, and “Rafute”, pork stew.

In Okinawa, 60Hz AC100V is used and electrical products not for overseas use require a transformer. In addition, A type plugs with two vertical flat pins are also necessary.

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Okinawa: Ocean Expo Park and Churaumi Aquarium

 

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