5 Important Things to do in Okinawa
Okinawa is a group of over 160 islands that are all a part of Japan.
This archipelago is often referred to as the Okinawa Prefecture, and it is an incredible place to visit. While Okinawa is a popular tourist destination, it is almost impossible to see all that it has to offer if you aren’t staying on one of the islands for an extended period of time.
Whether you are stopping for a few days, or your travels will have you in Japan for longer, make sure you at least hit these top points of interest in this hidden paradise.
Blue Cave Snorkeling
The Blue Cave is on the main island of Okinawa, and is one of the most famous natural areas to explore. If you are an experienced snorkeler, you can dive in and enjoy the caverns and clear water on your own. Even if you have never snorkeled before, however, this is still an activity you can enjoy. There are guides who will be happy to rent you equipment and provide you with some basic training on how to safely snorkel in the Blue Cave. No matter your experience level, this is definitely an activity that you will be talking about for years to come.
Check Out Shuri Castle
Once you are dried off from the snorkeling, you can visit Shuri Castle, which traces its history back to the Ryukyu Kingdom of Ancient Feudal Japan. Its significance, however, does not lay exclusively in the past. Today this castle is the home of the University of the Ryukyus, which helps to preserve this magnificent site. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is definitely a stop you don’t want to miss.
Many people look at aquariums as something of a tourist trap, but the Churaumi Aquarium is unique. It has a strong focus on conservation and helping to reintroduce various forms of Sea Life into the wild. Their commitment to the plants and animals that they house makes this a stop that you can feel good about. Of course, you’ll also have a lot of fun walking through the varied exhibits and seeing the shows.
Canoe at Sunrise
Watching a sunrise (or sunset) over the ocean is something that people enjoy in locations throughout the world. One of the best things about Okinawa is that as a series of islands, there is no shortage of locations where you can enjoy this beautiful event. Choose a morning with a clear forecast and rent a standing canoe to see a sunrise like you have never seen it before. While you can enjoy this in many different areas, one of the best is at the Okinawa Bay, which is a protected reef that generally has beautifully still waters in the morning.
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park
Whether you are a history buff, a WWII enthusiast, or just someone who enjoys a day at the park, the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park is a must visit location. Okinawa was the location of an extensive battle in World War II, but today this park serves as a reminder of the importance of peace in the world. It is definitely somewhere everyone should visit while in Okinawa.
These incredible sites are places that you won’t want to miss when visiting this region of Japan. Just note that they are just the beginning. If you are able to stay in the area for an extended period of time, the 160+ islands of Okinawa will keep you in awe every day.
- By Mr Kim