OKINAWA GUIDE

Okinawa Guide - Okinawa attractions, beaches, islands, World Heritage Sites, pictures, climate, history and Okinawa maps. Okinawa is tropical holiday destination with world class diving sites and beautiful white sand beaches.

Okinawa is Japan's tropical play ground, which refers to Okinawa Prefecture which includes hundreds of islands and the main island of Okinawa. The main island of Okinawa is mainly composed of coral and is surrounded by many beautiful beaches which are said to be the best in Japan. Okinawa's tropical climate makes it a great place to relax and enjoy yourself. Okinawa features fabulous tropical coral reefs with a large biodiversity making Okinawa a popular destination for divers and casual snorkelers a like.

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OKINAWA LOCATION

The chain of islands that make up Okinawa Prefecture is more than 1,000km long and starts near Kyushu and heads south towards Taiwan. The capital of Okinawa Prefecture, Naha, is on the main island of Okinawa. Okinawa is also known as The Ryukyu Islands or Ryukyus, after the Ryukyu Kingdom which flurished on the islands from the 12th century.

Shuri Castle - Okinawa

Shuri Castle Okinawa

OKINAWA PREFECTURE MAP



OKINAWA PREFECTURE ATTRACTIONS

OKINAWA PREFECTURES

Okinawa Prefecture

Okinawa Prefecture
Okinawa is Japan's southernmost prefecture, and consists of hundreds of islands known as The Ryukyu Islands or Ryukyu's, in an island chain over 1,000 km long, which extends southwest from K...

OKINAWA PREFECTURE CAPITAL

Naha

Naha
Naha is a coastal city on the southern part of Okinawa Island facing the East China Sea. Naha is the largest city and capital of Okinawa Prefecture. Naha features banks, many shopping malls,...

OKINAWA DISTRICTS

Bise
Bise District in Motobu Okinawa is attractions include the village of Bise with its hundreds of deep green Fukugi trees planted in rows to provide the houses of the village with protection ...

OKINAWA MAIN CITIES and TOWNS

Nago

Nago
Nago is a tourist town located in the northern part of the main island of Okinawa. Nago is particularly popular because of its beautiful beaches including the main beach, also known as Nago ...

OKINAWA ISLANDS

Aguni Island
Aguni Island is famous for its rows of beautiful garcinia trees and cycad (king sago) palms. Aguni Island features a picturesque sandy coastline on the eastern side and sheer cliffs along we...

Hamahiga Island

Hamahiga Island
Hamahiga Island is only 4km off the coast of the main island of Okinawa. Hamahiga Island today is popular for its beautiful beaches, including Hamahiga Beach, but in the Ryukyu traditional c...

Henza Island

Henza Island
Henza Island is a popular location to visit as it connected to Yokatsu Peninusla on the main island of Okinawa via the very picturesque Kaichu-doro, causeway and bridge. Half way along Kaich...

Ie Island
Ie Island features many great diving and fishing spots, plus white sandy beaches in the southern part of the island. In the north of Ie Island is the Lily Field Park which features 20,000 wh...

Ikei Island

Ikei Island
Ikei Island is famous for its beautiful beach, Ikei Beach. Ikei Island is located off the east coast of the main island of Okinawa, but is connected via a series of road bridges/tunnels whic...

Ikema Island
Ikema Island is just to the north west of Miyako Island and is connected to Miyako Island via a long road bridge....

Irabu Island
Irabu Island is an island in the Okinawa group to the south west of the main island Okinawa Honto and just west of the larger Miyako Island. Irabu Island has a road bridge connecting it to t...

Iriomote Island
Iriomote Island is a major eco tourism destination and is sometimes referred to as the "Galapogos of the East" and the "last unexplored region of Japan". The wild life on Iriomote Island inc...

Ishigaki Island
Ishigaki Island is an island in the Okinawa group to the west of the main island Okinawa Honto. Ishigaki Island is the second largest island in the Yaeyama Island group. Both the city of Ish...

Izena Island
Izena Island is famous for its cultural assests and is the birth place of King Sho En, the ancestor of the Second Sho Shi Dynasty of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Izena Island is to the north of the m...

Kouri Island
Kouri Island is famous for its Kouri Bridge, which is the longest open road bridge in Japan spanning 2,960 metres. Kouri Bridge connects Kouri Island to the main island of Okinawa via Yagaji...

Kume Island
Kume Island features many historic sites including sites relating to Kumejima Pongee (soft thin woven cloth frequently made of silk) which is said to be the original inspiration for all Japa...

Minna Island
Minna Island is a crescent shaped island which is popular with divers, snorkelers and swimmers. The beach on Minna Island features white sand and clear waters. Minna Island is just off the c...

Minna Island - Miyako Islands
Minna Island is small island which is part of the Miyako Island Group to the south west of main island of Okinawa. Minna Island shouldn't be confused with Minna Island in Motobu Okinawa....

Miyagi Island
Miyagi Island Okinawa contains several spiritually significant sites to the Ryukyus including the Shinugu Shrine Ruins, Nagusuku Udun (burial tomb) and Yan Spring. Miyagi Island Beach is in ...

Miyako Island
Miyako Island (Miyakojima) features very clear waters and very white sand beaches. In the right light Miyako Island features the striking contrast and colour difference of the white sands, t...

Okinawa Honto

Okinawa Honto
Okinawa Honto, normally just refered to as Okinawa, is the largest island of a group consists of hundreds of islands known as The Ryukyu Islands or Ryukyu's, in an island chain over 1,000 km...

Taketomi Island
Taketomi Island features a traditional Okinawan village which is a designated nationally Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings. The traditional village on Taketomi...

Tarama Island
Tarama Island is a very flat island in the Miyako Island Group. Tarama Island is famous for its Hachigatsu Odori Festival which features three days and three nights of dancing and music in t...

Tokashiki Island
Tokashiki Island is just 32km west of Naha on the main island of Okinawa and is the largest of the Kerama Islands. Tokashiki Island is world famous for its extremely transparent waters and i...

Tonaki Island
Tonaki Island features traditional Okinawan residences and is designated as one of the Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings in Japan. Tonaki Island is located to the west ...

Yagaji Island
Yagaji Island is famous for its Kouri Bridge, which is the longest open road bridge in Japan spanning 2,960 metres. Kouri Bridge connects Kouri Island at Nakijin Village to Yagaji Island at ...

Yonaguni Island
Yonaguni Island is the western most of the islands of Okinawa and is only 100km away from Taiwan, which can just be seen on a clear day. Yonaguni Island is the site of some large submerged s...

Zamami Island
Zamami Island is famous for whale watching when in January through to April humpback whale breed in the waters just off the island. Zamami Island is part of the Kerama Islands, which are to ...

OKINAWA CASTLES

Katsuren Castle

Katsuren Castle
Katsuren Castle is believed to be the oldest castle in Okinawa and is a World Heritage Site. Katsuren Castle is a gusuku (Okinawan) style Japanese Castle. Katsuren Castle over looks Awase an...

Nago Castle
Nago Castle was a Japanese Castle built in the 14th century and in Nago on the island of Okinawa. Today only ruins remain of Nago Castle....

Nakagusuku Castle

Nakagusuku Castle
Nakagusuku Castle in Kitanakagusuku Okinawa and is a World Heritage Site. Nakagusuku Castle is a gusuku (Okinawan) style Japanese Castle built in approximately 1440 by legendary Ryukyuan com...

Nakijin Castle
Nakijin Castle in Nakijin Okinawa and is a World Heritage Site. Nakijin Castle is a gusuku (Okinawan) style Japanese Castle which dates back to the late 13th century, and was constructed by ...

Shuri Castle

Shuri Castle
Shuri Castle in Shuri Okinawa and is a World Heritage Site. Shuri Castle is a gusuku (Okinawan) style Japanese Castle which dates back to the 14th century, and was constructed by the Ryukyu ...

Urasoe Castle
Urasoe Castle was an Okinawan style Japanese Castle in Urasoe on the island of Okinawa. At the time of its construction in the late 13th century, Urasoe Castle was the centre of the Chuzan p...

Zakimi Castle

Zakimi Castle
Zakimi Castle in Yomitan Okinawa and is a World Heritage Site. Zakimi Castle is a gusuku (Okinawan) style Japanese Castle which was completed in 1422 by the Ryukyuan military leader Gosamaru...

OKINAWA LANDMARKS

Cape Hedo
Cape Hedo (Hedo Misaki) is the northern most point on the main island of Okinawa. The ocean off Cape Hedo is the meeting point of the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea. Cape Hedo features...

Cape Zampa

Cape Zampa
Cape Zampa is a peninsula on the western side of the main island of Okinawa, which features a beautiful beach, a section of rocky shoreline which is a popular fishing spot and a white lighth...

Higashi-hennazaki
Higashi-hennazaki is a peninsula at the south eastern tip of Miyako Island Okinawa, which is a designated Place of Scenic Beauty. Higashi-hennazaki features a light house which provides spec...

Hiyajo Banta
Hiyajo Banta also referred to as Hiyajo Cliffs, are the tall cliffs which run along the north eastern coastline of Kume Island. Along the top of Hiyajo Banta runs the main Kume Island road w...

Kaigungo Navy HQ
Kaigungo Navy HQ is a historic site from World War II located in Tomigusuku. Kaigungo Navy HQ is the preserved remains of the Imperial Japanese Navy's HQ at the time of the Battle of Okinawa...

Maeda Point

Maeda Point
Maeda Point (also referred to as Cape Maeda) is the most popular dive and snorkling spot on the main island of Okinawa. Maeda Point features many fish and some decent walls....

Manazamo

Manazamo
Manazamo is a place of scenic beauty on the main island of Okinawa, where there is a contrast of three colors: the green of the grass on top of the bluff, the grey of the rocks and the blue ...

Meefugah
Meefugah is two huge rocks which have to lay against each other because of erosion and disintegration of the rocks. Meefugah is on Kume Island....

Nakamura House

Nakamura House
Nakamura House is the historic house of the wealthy and powerful Nakamura family who controlled the Nakagusuku region of Okinawa. Nakamura House, which is now open to the public, was constr...

Okinawa Convention Center
Okinawa Convention Center is the largest convention center in Okinawa with a capacity for 5,000 people. Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan on the main island of Okinawa is also the home ar...

OKINAWA TEMPLES

Gokokuji Temple
Gokokuji Temple is a Buddhist temple which was founded in 1367 in what is now Naha Okinawa. Gokokuji Temple was a major temple of Chuzan Kingdom and the Ryukyu Kingdom, but was also later as...

Sogenji Temple

Sogenji Temple
Sogenji Temple was a Buddhist temple and mausoleum for the royalty of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Most of Sogenji Temple was destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa (1945), however the substaintial s...

Sonohyan-utaki

Sonohyan-utaki
Sonohyan-utaki is an area within Shuri Castle which includes the religiously significant Sonohyan-utaki stone gates, built in 1519, and a grove of trees and plants leading to the gates. The ...

OKINAWA SHRINES

Naminoue Shrine
Naminoue Shrine is a shinto shrine in Naha Okinawa. Naminoue Shrine was founded in 1890 on a site that had been sacred in the Ryukyan religion. Naminoue Shrine is set on top of bluff looking...

Seifa-utaki Shrine

Seifa-utaki Shrine
Seifa-utaki Shrine is the most sacred site in Okinawa and a World Heritage Site. Seifa-utaki Shrine consists of some striking natural rock formations including an arch formed between two mas...

OKINAWA MUSEUMS and ART GALLERIES

Himeyuri Peace Museum
Himeyuri Peace Museum that depicts the history of the Himeyuri Corps, the female students and teachers who were mobilized as nurses during the war on Okinawa....

Native Okinawan Village
Native Okinawan Village is reproduction of a typical Okinawan village at the time of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Native Okinawan Village is within the Okinawa Ocean Expo Park....

Oceanic Culture Museum
Oceanic Culture Museum features a planetarium with the ability to project more stars than any other in the world. The Oceanic Culture Museum Exhibit Hall is currently closed for renovation w...

Okinawa Prefectural Museum
Okinawa Prefectural Museum depicts the history and culture of Okinawa, which includes a heavy focus on the life on and surrounded by the sea....

Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum
Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum depicts the history and events surrounding the Battle of Okinawa in World War II and its impact on the civilians of Okinawa....

Ryukyu Mura

Ryukyu Mura
Ryukyu Mura is a living recreation of a traditional Okinawan village, featuring actual Ryukyan houses that have been relocated from all over the islands of Okinawa. Ryukyu Mura features perf...

OKINAWA THEATRES and CONCERT HALLS

National Theatre Okinawa
National Theatre Okinawa building was completed in 2004, but the site has a long history as a performing arts site for traditional Okinawa performing arts. National Theatre Okinawa holds per...

OKINAWA GARDENS and PARKS

Busena Marine Park
Busena Marine Park just south of Nago Okinawa on Busena Cape features a narrow pier with an underwater observatory which places the viewer around 3 metres under the water. From this vantage ...

Cape Chinen Park

Cape Chinen Park
Cape Chinen Park in southern region of the main island of Okinawa, features picturesque views of the coastline, Pacific Ocean along with Kudaka and Komaka Islands....

Fukushu-En Park
Fukushu-En Park is a Chinese style garden in Naha Okinawa....

Greenery Kingdom
Greenery Kingdom also known as the Tropical & Subtropical Arboretum of the City Greenery Project, features tropical and subtropical plants displayed by species and by their climatic zone...

Nago Castle Park
Nago Castle Park, in Nago in Okinawa, is famous for its cherry blossom and is considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. Nago Castle Park features thousands of cherry blossom tr...

Neo Park Okinawa
Neo Park Okinawa in Nago Okinawa is nature park, which features several distinct habitats including Amazon jungle, African savannah, Southeast Asia and Oceania. Neo Park Okinawa star attract...

Okinawa Battlefield Quasi National Park
Okinawa Battlefield Quasi National Park is the sight of some of the last stages of the Battle of Okinawa. Okinawa Battlefield Quasi National Park includes the Cornerstone of Peace, Peace Pra...

Okinawa Ocean Expo Park
Okinawa Ocean Expo Park is the site of the International Ocean Expo that was held in 1975. Okinawa Ocean Expo Park includes Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Oceanic Culture Museum, Native Okinawan...

Shikinaen Garden

Shikinaen Garden
Shikinaen Garden was part of the Shuri Castle complex, however today the grounds of Shuri Castle have been reduced, leaving the Shikinaen Garden 1.5km from the center of Shuri Castle. Shikin...

Tropical Dream Center
Tropical Dream Center features over 2,000 orchids, an Amazonian aquarium and an observation gallery. Tropical Dream Center is within the Okinawa Ocean Expo Park....

OKINAWA MONUMENTS

Cape Kyan
Cape Kyan today is a picturesque site within the Okinawa Battlefield Quasi National Park, however in 1945 at the last stages of the Battle of Okinawa it was the site where many civilians and...

Tamaudun

Tamaudun
Tamaudun is a substainial stone mausoleum where Ryukyuan royalty are entombed and a World Heritage Site. Tamaudun is in Shuri, Okinawa, only a short distance from Shuri Castle. Tamaudun was ...

OKINAWA AQUARIUM

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is famous for its massive main tank which holds 7,500 cubic metres of water and features panel 8.2x22.5 metres. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium features tropical fish, ov...

OKINAWA BEACHES

Emerald Beach

Emerald Beach
Emerald Beach features a lagoon with three swimming areas and clear water. Emerald Beach is found within the Okinawa Ocean Expo Park....

Hamahiga Beach
Hamahiga Beach, in Katsurenhama on Hamahiga Island, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Okinawa. Hamahiga Beach is a quite beach, with clean white sand, clear blue water and a view along...

Hatenohama Beach
Hatenohama Beach is probably the most beautiful beach in Japan, however such beauty is a little remote. The wonderful white sands of Hatenohama Beach is a strip of sand off the coast of Kume...

Ikei Beach

Ikei Beach
Ikei Beach is small picturesque swimming beach on the small Okinawa island of Ikei Island. Ikei Beach features beautiful clear water, green surrounding vegetation and white sand....

Manza Beach

Manza Beach
Manza Beach is a white sand beach on part of a peninsula which extends out from the west coast of the main island of Okinawa. The 300 metre long Manza Beach is dominated by the multi story A...

Meebal Beach
Meebal Beach Okinawa is a beautiful 2km long shoaling white sand beach, where you can go for a ride on a glass bottomed boat. Meebal Beach is to the south east of Naha on the main island of ...

Nago Beach

Nago Beach
Nago Beach is a pretty and very popular beach in the tourist town of Nago on the main island of Okinawa. Nago Beach is part of the 21st Century Park and features a lifeguard and sea nets for...

Naminoue Beach
Naminoue Beach is the only beach in the urban area of Naha, the capital of Okinawa. Naminoue Beach would be best described as accessible rather than beautiful as the view out to sea is destr...

Nirai Beach
Nirai Beach is swimming beach in Yomitan Village on the central west coast of the main island of Okinawa. Nirai Beach has a lifeguard on duty during most day light hours....

Sesoko Beach
Sesoko Beach is a beautiful beach on the small Sesoko Island in the Motobu region. Sesoko Island is connected to the main island of Okinawa via a road bridge....

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach is a sandy beach which features beautiful views at sun set. Sunset Beach is near the popular entertainment and shopping area of Mihama American Village of Chatan Town....

Yonaha Maehama Beach
Yonaha Maehama Beach (also referred to as Maibama Beach) is a beautiful 7km long white sand beach on west coast of Miyako Island....

OKINAWA BRIDGES

Kaichu-doro

Kaichu-doro
Kaichu-doro, which literally means "Road through the Sea", but is also referred to as the Mid-Sea Road, is a bridge and causeway road that connects the Yokatsu Peninsula on the main island o...

Kouri Bridge
Kouri Bridge is the longest open road bridge in Japan spanning 2,960 metres. Kouri Bridge connects Kouri Island at Nakijin Village to Yagaji Island at Nago City. Kouri Bridge is best seen fr...

Warumi Bridge
Warumi Bridge is a 315 metre long road bridge with a walk way that connects Yagaji Island to the main island of Okinawa. A walk along Warumi Bridge provides an ideal location to see the fabu...

OKINAWA AMUSEMENT PARKS

Wellness Village Motobu
Wellness Village Motobu is a theme park where you can experience many marine sports activities and even swim with dolphins. Wellness Village Motobu also features traditional Okinawan musical...

OKINAWA AIRPORTS

Kadena Air Base
Kadena Air Base (IATA: DNA, ICAO: RODN) is operated by the United States Air Force and is home to the 18th Wing. Kadena Air Base has around 18,000 USA service personal and 4,000 Japanese wor...

Marine Corps Air Station Futenma
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma (ICAO: ROTM) is a USA airbase just 9km north east of Naha. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is home to around 4,000 USA Marines and was built on the site of ...

Naha Airport

Naha Airport
Naha Airport (IATA: OKA, ICAO: ROAH) in Naha Okinawa. Naha Airport is a second class airport, which services both international and domestic flights. In addition to civilian services, Naha A...

OKINAWA TRAIN STATIONS

Omoromachi Station
Omoromachi Station is located near Kokusai Dori, the main shopping street in Naha City. Omoromachi Station Station is also close to the Okinawa Prefecture Office....

Shuri Station
Shuri Station is the mono rail station closest to Shuri Castle and the related World Heritage Sites....

OKINAWA PORTS and FERRY TERMINALS

Naha New Port Terminal
Naha New Port Terminal (also referred to as Aja Port or Naha Shin-ko) in Naha is where the Ryukyu Express and ferries to and from Nagoya, Kobe, Osaka and Tokyo berth....

Naha Port Terminal
Naha Port Terminal in Naha is where ferries depart for other island in the Okinawan group, including Fukuoka, Kagoshima and Amani Islands. Naha Port Terminal is not the same as Naha New Port...

Tomari Port Terminal
Tomari Port Terminal in Tomari Naha is where many ferries depart for other island in the Okinawan group, including Zamami Island....

Unten Port
Unten Port, on the main island of Okinawan, is where the ferries going to and from Izena Island berth....

OKINAWA SHOPPING

Kokusai Dori

Kokusai Dori
Kokusai Dori is the main shopping precinct in Naha, with souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants and fashion boutiques along both sides. Historically Kokusai Dori was known as "The Miracle Mile" ...

Mutsumibashi Shopping Arcade

Mutsumibashi Shopping Arcade
Mutsumibashi Shopping Arcade features mainly food stalls and shops with local Okinawan produce. Mutsumibashi Shopping Arcade, in Naha Okinawa, is a popular shopping arcade that starts on the...

Author: Craig Fryer

Okinawa

OKINAWA

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