Okinawa, Japan’s southern islands, boasts beautiful beaches, balmy skies and a delightful tropical climate. And even though Okinawa might be considered the lesser-known cousin to the nation’s more popular cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, it definitely holds its own when it comes to delivering memorable experience. Do not miss the experience and visit Okinawa during your next trip to Japan.
Okinawa offers stupendous views from above, and equally breath-taking ways in which to get them! It’s an amazing experience for people of all ages, to glide like a bird over the aquamarine seas and the intricate corals. So unless it’s rainy or windy, strap yourself in, and soar!
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
Once you’ve explored Okinawa from above, do it from down below, and discover the alluring coral reefs up close. Encounter marine species and swim alongside turtles and manta rays, also types of reef sharks for that extra thrill. Miyako Island is ideal for these adventures.
When you visit Okinawa, you realize that it isn’t just about the beaches; it’s also about mangroves, waterfalls and jungles that are a haven for backpackers and trekkers. Iriomote Island, the second largest in Okinawa, beckons with the exciting promise of kayaking down a river, trekking through the narrow trails of a lush rainforest, climbing over rocks and arriving at a gorgeous waterfall!
If you want to leisurely take in the raw beauty of the uninhabited Iriomote Island, try a Stand-Up Paddle Board. Of course, you better know how to swim, just in case you decide to take a dip in the inviting waters or the river, or venture towards the powerful waterfalls in the area.
Go Ice Skating
Strange as it may sound, you can indulge in this winter sport at the Southern Hill Sports World near Naha, on a tropical isle. Rent skates or join public skate sessions here at the indoor skating rink, and enjoy a completely different atmosphere once you walk through the doors.
Explore Ogimi and Taketomi Villages
Japan’s southern islands see more people living beyond hundred years of age than any other region. The villages of Ogimi and Taketomi have plenty such inhabitants and you could go island hopping to catch a glimpse of their enormously healthy lifestyle. People remain as active as possible, and the sunny climes allow for a lot of outdoor activities. The food is especially healthy, with tofu and seaweed making their way to the plate very often. In Ogimi, the Village of Longevity, people eat more frequent meals, more green and yellow vegetables, fruits and soybeans, and consume very less salt. The cuisine of Okinawa uses pig, kelp broth and fresh produce, and is famous for the variety it offers.
Camping in the Keramas
The Keramas are a string of islands that hold enormous camping appeal. Take the ferry to the island and camp on its beautiful beaches, grill fish that you have caught, and in all, have an exhilarating camping experience.
Get Awed at the Aquarium
Churaumi Aquarium is the third largest aquarium in the world, with mammoth 40-foot whales being the centre of attraction, apart from manta rays, tuna and bonito that can also be found wandering in the humongous 7,500 tonne overhead tank. Enjoy the surreal feeling of walking under water here.
Visit Historic Sites
Okinawa is entrenched in WWII history, and the Peace Prayer Park, Japanese Underground HQ and other places from that time provide interesting insights into war, and are completely worth visiting.
Okinawa boasts festivals all through the year, like the Cherry Blossom Festival, Obon, Dragon Boat Races, Orion and the Tug-of-War. Be there and enjoy every minute of the celebrations!
Experience this aesthetically endowed corner of Japan in all its beauty and wonder, and take home memories that will remain unforgettable!