Okinawa: Japan’s Hidden Gem

Looking for your next beach holiday? Why not consider one of the world’s best kept holiday secrets.

If you’ve ever asked yourself ‘Where is Okinawa?’, you’re probably not alone. Many international travellers know very little about Japan’s southernmost prefecture. There are roughly 160 tropical islands that make up Okinawa, which is also known as the Ryukyu Islands. Okinawa has a very different look and feel from the rest of Japan, making it the perfect travel destination for those who love to discover and explore new places.

Here, we show you some of the top things to do when visiting Okinawa for the first time:

Zamani Island 

While there are many islands to choose from, the lesser known Zamami Island is perfect if you’re looking for some peace and quiet in the sun. Zamami Island is only a 90 minute ferry ride from the capital of Naha and is renonwed for its world-class scuba diving, with glorious clear seas and unspoilt reefs. Zamami Island is also littered with various camping sites, making it an ideal destination for outdoor-lovers. 

Top tip: If you’re visiting between January and March, make sure you check out some humpback whale spotting.

Visit your local Izakaya (Japanese Tavern) 

Don’t expect your typical Japanese sushi rolls or Yakitori sticks in Okinawa. The cuisine here is famous for its variety and unique flavours, as a direct result of its beachy location and history. Traditional dishes such as Goya Champuru, Okinawa Soba and taco rice are a must. Make sure you pair your meal with a glass of Awamori, Okinawa’s indigenous liquor.


Okinawa Soba


Churaumi Aquarium

While most activities in Okinawa are outdoors, a visit to one of the world’s largest aquariums is essential. The aquarium is spread out over three floors and offers an array of activities and things to do for the whole family, such as  several outdoor pools where you can watch a free dolphin or sea turtle show. The highlight of the visit is the massive Kuroshio Tank, which houses a huge variety of species including twogiant whale sharks.

The Peace Memorial Museum

For history buffs, Okinawa does not disappoint. Like Hiroshima, Okinawa was the setting of one of  World War 2’s bloodiest battles.This tragic event has had a lasting impact on the area including the establishment of many monuments and museum.  One of the most popular sites isThe Peace Memorial Museum which provides an in-depth look into The Battle Of Okinawa and the reconstruction that followed.

Top tip: Bring your passport or international I.D card as international visitor’s receive a discount on their entry.

By: Francisco Torres

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