100 Things to Do in Okinawa, the Beach Island Paradise of Japan, in 2018

  • OKINAWA
  • RECOMMENDED
  • VARIOUS AREAS
  • Okinawa is a gorgeous collection of islands around 400 miles south of mainland Japan. It boasts sandy white beaches, glamorous hotel resorts, and fun activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, and swimming with marine animals. It is also home to several sightseeing spots such as gardens and castles, making the group of islands a worthwhile visit for those vacationing for a summer break.

    Okinawa is a popular spot for people to escape the busy city life and get some serious seaside therapy. There are also many great outdoor activities you can participate in besides swimming and sunbathing. If you’re heading to Okinawa, try out these 100 things to do in one of Japan’s most beautiful prefectures.

    Would you like to stay in Okinawa? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

    Things to Do on Okinawa’s Main Island

    The largest and most populated of the Okinawan Islands, the main island is home to the lively town of Naha, as well as the majority of hotels and resorts.

    1. Enjoy a Day of Kayaking and Snorkelling at the Blue Cave

    In Okinawa, there are some fantastic opportunities to try kayaking and snorkelling. With this deal, you can do both on the same day! Admire the panoramic views of cliffs and coastlines from the kayak, and snorkel and explore the mysterious Blue Cave. This day out is great for small groups and ideal for those who wish to experience Okinawan sea activities.

    Booking details: Enjoy A Day of Snorkelling at Okinawa Blue Cave with Kayaking

    2. Go Paragliding

    Paragliding is enormous fun and from the sky, you can really appreciate Okinawa’s views. You and a veteran pilot will board a motor paraglider together so it doesn’t matter if you don’t have any experience. There are two crafts in flight so you can take plenty of pictures together. This experience is great for all ages and any experience level.

    Booking details: Paraglide the Beautiful Blue Skies of Okinawa

    3. Rent a Go-Kart and Ride Around Chatan

    What better way to enjoy the sunshine than in a go-kart? Have an exciting time riding around Chatan town in Okinawa. Feel the thrill of driving in a real go-kart! Please make sure that all drivers have either a Japanese driver’s license or an international driving permit before you book.

    Booking details: Rent Go-Karts and Ride Around Chatan, Okinawa

    4. Take a Romantic Sunset or Night Cruise, Dinner Included

    Okinawa is an incredibly romantic place to go as a couple. Why not do something special for your loved one and book a boat cruise? Watch either the sunset or see the starry skies, watch a live performance, and enjoy a romantic dinner together. This gorgeous evening with your partner will surely be the cherry on top of a beautiful holiday.

    Booking details: Sunset or Cruising Tour in Okinawa (Gorgeous Dinner)

    5. Go Snorkelling with Whale Sharks

    The whale shark is the largest species of fish in the world and gentle by nature. There is a chance in Okinawa for you to go snorkelling with them! This truly memorable experience is something animal lovers don’t want to miss. All scuba diving equipment is provided and for the fee you also get transportation and insurance. This experience is suitable for people ages 6 to 59.

    Booking details: Enjoy Snorkelling with Whale Sharks in Okinawa

    6. Snorkel for Cute Tropical Fish in the Blue Cave

    If snorkelling sounds interesting for you but you’re not sure about whale sharks, this might be more up your alley. Visit the lovely Blue Cave and snorkel for adorable tropical fish! You can even feed them and see how many you can gather. English-speaking staff members are available to guide you and the diving equipment is provided. Please check the age and health problem restrictions in the link below before you book.

    Booking details: Enjoy a Blue Cave and Cute Tropical Fish Snorkelling Tour

    7. Learn to Cook Traditional Food From Okinawa in Naha

    Interested in cooking and learning about traditional Okinawa food? In this private cooking class in Naha, you can learn about the palace cuisine of the Okinawan Ryukyu Kingdom, visit a local market, cook together, and then enjoy the delicious flavours of this fresh and healthy cuisine.

    Booking details: Learn to Cook Traditional Food from Okinawa in Naha

    8. Taste Awamori, a Strong Okinawan Liquor

    Awamori is a very famous Okinawan shochu liquor. If you’re interested in trying it, consider taking this factory tour and tasting session on the main island of Okinawa. Learn about the process of the distillation and visit the factory cellar. Taste some fresh and unique awamori with your English-speaking host. Of course, this is only suitable for adults. Please note the drinking age in Japan is 20.

    Booking details: Taste Awamori, a Strong Okinawan Liquor, at a Factory

    9. Enter the Prehistoric Gangala Valley

    Join the guided tour to the Gangala Valley where you’ll find lush forests and ancient caves. Take an exciting trek in this fascinating part of Okinawa and then enjoy a drink at the nearby cafe. This tour is perfect if you enjoy light hiking and exploring natural places.

    Booking details: Enter the Prehistoric Gangala Valley

    10. See All the Best Historical Sites of Naha

    Naha, Okinawa is not only popular for its outdoor activities and relaxation, but also for its many historical sites that tell tales of the former Ryukyu Kingdom. Explore Naha’s Shuri Castle, Shikinaen Garden, Navy Underground Headquarters, and Tsuboya district. Learn about the area’s rich history, both ancient and wartime. This tour is perfect for those who would like to know more about Naha’s history and really appreciate the area.

    Booking details: See all the best historical sites of Naha, Okinawa

    11. Cook Okinawa Cuisine with Goya

    Goya is a vegetable used a lot in Okinawan cooking and is said to be one of the secrets to Okinawan longevity. Try this cooking class where you can cook one of three dishes using this nutritious local ingredient. Unlike the cooking class mentioned earlier, in this one you cook at a Japanese family’s house. Make new friends and cook with local people during your stay in Okinawa.

    Booking details: Cooking Experience Okinawa Cuisine with GOYA

    12. Visit Churaumi Aquarium and Pineapple Park, Airport Transfer Included

    Even if you’re not staying near Naha, you can still take this tour as it includes an airport transfer to and from Naha Airport. Visit the northern part of the island to see whale sharks and manta rays at Churaumi Aquarium. Afterwards, stop at Nago Pineapple Park to sample some locally grown pineapple. Check out some traditional art at Glass no Mori before heading back to the airport in the afternoon. Great for families and children!

    Booking details: Visit Churaumi Aquarium & Pineapple Park with Airport Transfer

    13. See the Best of Okinawa on a One-Day Sightseeing Bus Tour

    Ideal for those who are visiting Okinawa for the first time and are unable to rent a car, this one-day tour takes you on a bus to see lovely local places such as Kouri Island Bridge, the Churaumi Aquarium, and Ryukyu Village. Cover several of Okinawa’s beautiful sights and relax in a hassle-free full-day tour.

    Booking details: See the best of Okinawa on a One-day Sightseeing Bus Tour

    14. Tour Churaumi Aquarium and Kouri Island from Naha, Okinawa

    This tour takes you to Churaumi Aquarium, the Kouri Ocean Tower observatory, and Mori no Glass art studio to see some local traditional artworks. This convenient bus tour ensures you can see some of the best that Okinawa’s main island has to offer.

    Booking details: Tour Churaumi Aquarium and Kouri Island from Naha, Okinawa

    15. Cook a Traditional Pork Dish

    This cooking class is hosted by a local Okinawan fluent in English and his family. Pork is another popular ingredient for Okinawan food and your host will teach you to make one of three delicious pork dishes. Spend an afternoon with a Japanese family preparing a yummy, meaty dish!

    Booking details: Pork Okinawan Traditional Cuisine Cooking

    16. Book a Professional Photo Shoot

    Do you want some stunning photographs of you and your partner or loved ones in Okinawa but don’t have time to take pictures? Maybe you’d prefer professional-level shoots in the right light and in great locations. Consider booking this four-hour photo shoot where a professional will take high-quality images of your trip. Your host will suggest good places or you can request to visit specific locations. Get perfect pictures of your time in Okinawa emailed to you after the shoot and create some beautiful memories.

    Booking details: Book a 4-hour Photo Shooting Tour in Okinawa, Japan

    17. Churaumi Aquarium Ticket with Full Day Bus Tour of Okinawa

    This tour includes a visit to the Churaumi Aquarium to admire the colourful marine wildlife and options to see the Busena Underwater Observatory, Nago Pineapple Park, and the Mihama American Village. There is an audio guide in English as well as seven other languages. This action-packed day ensures you’ll get to see some of the best Okinawa has to offer all in one fun day.

    Booking details: Churaumi Aquarium Ticket with Full Day Bus Tour of Okinawa!

    18. Take a Trip Around South Okinawa Island with a Local

    If a bus isn’t for you, try touring round the southern part of Okinawa with a local in their car! The host grew up in this part of the island and can show you many places little-known to most tourists. The day includes exploring Shuri Castle, eating lunch together at a local restaurant, exploring the sacred Sefa Utaki, and sampling delicious tempura at Oujima, also called Tempura Island. See Okinawa from a local’s eyes and possibly make a new friend!

    Booking details: Take a trip around South Okinawa island with a local!

    19. Go Paddle Boarding

    Have a pleasant day out paddle boarding and challenge yourself to stand up! The beautiful beach in which this activity takes place has hardly any waves, meaning you can appreciate the surrounding cliffs and have a fun and relaxing time. If you’re staying in Onna Village, this tour also includes a hotel pickup service.

    Booking details: Try a Stand Up Paddle adventure in Okinawa!

    20. Playing with Squirrel Monkeys at a Bar in Naha

    Would you like a dining experience that’s a little different? You might have heard of cat cafes in Japan but in Naha, Okinawa, they have a bar featuring squirrel monkeys! Watch these playful animals as you try unique food and drink prepared by the staff. You can also spend some time in the monkey area where you can feed them. Drink as much as you like at this interesting establishment!

    Booking details: Enjoy playing with Squirrel monkeys at a bar in Naha

    21. Visit Ogimi Village and Pick Fruit

    Ogimi is a picturesque village on Okinawa’s main island. Take a tour of the village and see the famous “bashoku” traditional cloth. Then pick some delicious fresh fruit with local people! Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear. Gardening gloves are also a good idea.

    Booking details: Enjoy Ogimi village fruits picking & village tour, Okinawa!

    22. Have a Two-Night Detox Beauty Stay

    If you haven’t booked your hotel yet and you’d love to have three days of beauty treatments, look no further than this excellent package. Have a two-night stay in the terrace club in Busena where you’ll enjoy a body pack and scrub, body treatments, and yoga. This gorgeous detox stay also includes use of the hotel services such as breakfast, the swimming pool, sauna, gym, library lounge and bar, and even a butler service! Book something special during your stay in Okinawa.

    Booking details: Experience the Detox Beauty Stay, in Okinawa

    23. Reservation for the Southern Links Golf Club

    If you love golf, try playing it surrounded by Okinawa’s natural beauty! This overnight stay includes use of the beach golf course and there’s an option to have caddies included. Golf lovers would adore this one-night getaway.

    Booking details: Reservation for The Southern Links Golf Club in Okinawa

    24. Have a Traditional Bingata (Okinawan Dyeing) Experience in Naha

    Bingata is the traditional form of fabric dyeing in Okinawa. If you’re interested in this art form, get on down to this workshop and make your own tote bag by trying out bingata dyeing! Learn a little about the history and methods of bingata and create your very own bag. You can also shop for your own items at the workshop. Art fans would enjoy this activity.

    If you’d like a similar experience that is more suitable for children, check out the bingata craft experience in Uruma city.

    Booking details: Enjoy Traditional Bingata (Okinawan Dyeing) Experience, Naha

    25. Visit the Karate Museum

    Did you know that Okinawa was the birthplace of karate? If you like martial arts, you can’t miss a trip to the Karate Museum. A curator, who is also a karate instructor, will talk about the history of Okinawa and you can see old photographs and items on display. Check out the calligraphy works offered at a special discount and absorb the ambiance of the nearby karate dojo.

    Booking details: Visit the Karate Museum

    26. Explore South Okinawa’s Nature and History

    This 1-day bus tour covers many great places in southern Okinawa. These include a visit to Shuri Castle, the Navy Underground Headquarters, and Gyokusendo Cave, said to be the most beautiful cave in Asia. Spend the day exploring beautiful Okinawa and the many delights it has to offer its visitors.

    Booking details: Explore south Okinawa’s nature and history on a bus tour

    27. Enjoy 5 Great Attractions in a Bus Tour from Naha

    Here, you can see five of Okinawa’s best spots in just one day. These include the aquarium, Manza Cape, Ryukyu Village, Okashi Goten, and Nago Pineapple Park. Experience what old Okinawa life was like in the village and take amazing photos of the big blue sea at Manza Cape.

    Booking details: Enjoy 5 Great Attractions in a bus tour from Naha, Okinawa

    28. Explore Kouri Island and Ryukyu Village

    On this day out, you can stroll across the Kouri Island Bridge to explore the luscious island before heading to the Tropical Dream Center to see the wildlife. Take a break at Yanbaru Ikoi no Mori Rest House. If there’s time, you can visit the aquarium as well. Head to Ryukyu Village to see traditional dancing and music and even have the chance to see a habu snake. This fun experience would be an excellent addition to your holiday.

    Booking details: Explore Kouri Island and Ryukyu Village in Okinawa!

    29. Visit Okinawa’s Famous Tourists Spots and Enjoy a Dinner Show

    This tour is similar to previously mentioned days out because they include a visit to Churaumi Aquarium and Kouri Island Bridge. However, with this option, you can also experience an exciting dinner while watching a traditional dance in Urashima! Choose between three different courses including a baked lobster and crab soup option. Enjoy traditional Okinawa and take your vacation to the next level.

    Booking details: Visit Okinawa’s Famous Tourists Spots & Enjoy a Dinner Show!

    30. Hike Up Mt. Sekirinzan and See Marine Life at the Aquarium

    This exciting activity leaves from Naha. Climb Mount Sekirinzan and take in the gorgeous views of the hills and the ocean. Then head to Churaumi Aquarium to see some awe-inspiring marine life including sharks and tropical fish. Later you can drop by some souvenir shops and grab some gifts for your loved ones back home. This tour is great for young people and families.

    Booking details: Enjoy a Tour of Churaumi Aquarium & Mt. Sekirinzan, Okinawa

    31. Enjoy the Amazing View of Okinawa from a Helicopter

    Flying in a helicopter and seeing the world below is a luxurious experience. See Okinawa from the sky with this exciting helicopter trip! You can choose from three different options including Chibishi to Maejima, the Kudaka Island course, and the Kerama Islands National Park course. Tax and insurance is included in the price. Keep in mind that the tour may be cancelled if the weather is bad.

    Booking details: Enjoy the Amazing View from a Helicopter in Okinawa!

    32. Visit the Peace Memorial and More by Private Car

    What better way to get around than by private car? With this tour, you’ll see the former Navy Underground Headquarters, the Himeryuri Peace Monument, the Peace Memorial Museum, Shuri Castle, and more. There is also time for shopping if you’d like to get souvenirs. This great tour is perfect for small groups and ensures you get around Okinawa in style.

    Booking details: Visit the Peace Memorial in a Okinawa Private Car Tour

    33. Experience Okinawa’s Traditions at a Guest House in Kichi

    If a resort hotel doesn’t strike your fancy how about staying in a guest house? This quiet and cosy accommodation has nearby parks and beaches for a comfortable stay and is located in Nakajin. A few activities such as making sweets and playing traditional instruments are also available. Check out the link below for more information.

    Booking details: Experience Okinawa’s traditions at guest house Kichi!

    34. Have Dinner With a Cultural Show in Naha

    When you eat out in Okinawa, why not book a dance show to enjoy with your meal on one of the nights of your stay? Choose between several local meals and watch an original show on stage in downtown Naha. Some cuisine options include pork shabu-shabu, pork steak with papaya salad, and several course meals. Attend this event during one of your free nights in Naha and make your evening meal extra special!

    Booking details: Enjoy Okinawa Dinner Yotsutake with a cultural show in Naha

    35. Watch a Fish Auction and Make Sushi in Nago

    Nago, Okinawa is home to a vibrant and colourful fish market. Head there to watch (or even join) an exciting fish auction before heading to a local bar to make fresh sushi! Try cutting up the fish and making fresh servings under the guidance of a professional chef. After that, you can eat your delicious creation!

    Booking details: Watch Fish Auction and Make Sushi in Nago, Okinawa

    36. Make Soba Noodles and Learn to Play the Sanshin at a Local Home

    The sanshin is a traditional Okinawan stringed musical instrument. This cosy activity involves visiting the home of a delightful old couple who will teach you how to play this traditional instrument! After that, you can make soba noodles together and try sata andagi, an Okinawan doughnut. Spend a nice afternoon with a charming Japanese family and learn something new.

    Booking details: Make Okinawa soba and Learn Sanshin at Local Home in Okinawa

    37. Have Dinner with a Local Family

    This is an opportunity to spend an evening with a Japanese family and eat a home-cooked meal with them. Make some delicious food together and learn some local dialect. Experience cooking in a Japanese home environment and make some delicious discoveries along the way.

    Booking details: Have dinner with a local family

    38. Harvest Sugarcane and Eat Okinawa Soba Noodles During a Home Visit

    With this activity, you can also spend time with a local family but this time it’s outdoors! Experience the challenge of harvesting sugar cane at their farm and slurp delicious homemade noodles for lunch. You can also learn some Okinawan dialect here and potentially make great friends with a friendly local family.

    Booking details: Harvest sugarcane and make Okinawa soba during a home visit

    39. Have a Trial Diving with Sea Turtle in Okinawa!

    Finally, this exciting diving course allows you to swim with sea turtles! Explore the ocean with these beautiful and endangered creatures in their natural habitat. If you’re staying in Naha, the host can pick you up from your hotel. Lunch is included and you can eat it on the deck of the boat.

    Booking details: Have a Trial Diving with Sea Turtle in Okinawa!

    40. Visit the Naha Municipal Tsuboya Pottery Museum

    This museum in Naha displays pottery works, particularly Tsuboya ware, including vases, teaware, ceramics, and ornaments. Pottery is a large part of Okinawan culture so if you are interested in art, be sure to check out this museum and contribute to the interest in this local art form.

    Naha Municipal Tsuboya Pottery Museum website
    Access

    41. Visit Shuri Castle

    Shuri Castle is an impressive structure with influence from Japan and China. This World Heritage Site is worth a visit if you’re interested in Asian architecture, and it is home to various events throughout the year. Be sue to check it out when you go to Naha.

    Shuri Castle website
    Access

    42. Try Local Cuisine at Yunangi

    Wanting to sink your teeth into Okinawan food? Try Yunangi, one of the favourite restaurants in Naha, which offers mouthwatering seafood dishes and local delicacies such as tofu, pork, Okinawan noodles, and squid ink risotto. Treat yourself at this charming eatery and have a meal you won’t easily forget.

    Yunangi Tabelog page
    Access

    43. Visit Kafu Banta

    Considered one of the top view points in Okinawa, Kafu Banta can be found on Miyagi Island, which is accesible by car from Okinawa’s main island. Kafu Banta has grassy cliffs, white sand, and a beautiful reef, a truly gorgeous spot that is worth seeing if you’re visiting Miyagi.

    Access

    44. Walk the Gorgeous Bise Fukugi Tree Road

    Fukugi Tree Road is a stunning trail surrounded by trees that you can walk or cycle down. It is truly refreshing to wander down this road in the peace and quiet with a sea view, and the famous aquarium is very close by as well. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

    Access

    45. Visit the Ryugojo Butterfly Garden

    蝶 綺麗‼️

    A post shared by 筒井光康 (@guangkangtongjing) on

    Also near the aquarium is this small house, which is worth visiting if you are in the area. Inside are hundreds of butterflies and flower bouquets. If you’d like the butterflies to land on you, wear a bright colour such as red, purple, orange, or pink. The enclosure also has red hats that you can borrow. There is also a souvenir shop selling Okinawan gifts.

    Ryugojo Butterfly Garden website
    Access

    Things to Do on Ishigaki Island and the Yaeyama Islands

    Farther south and closer to Taiwan than the main Island, Ishigaki is a popular choice for holidaymakers. Its quiter atmosphere and sparkling blue seas make it a must-visit for lovers of the tropical.

    46. Try an Introduction Diving Course

    Ishigaki Island has some stunning underwater sights including manta rays, tropical fish, and coral reefs. Immerse yourself in this aquatic world by taking an introductory diving course! You’ll have a trial dive at the Coral Reef and if you select the full-day option, you can then go and try to spot manta rays by diving and snorkelling. After that, you’ll head back to the shop to eat lunch together. You’ll even receive a special CD with photographs taken during your dive. This is suitable for people over 10 years old.

    Booking details: Try an Introduction Diving Course! – in Ishigaki Island

    47. Go Jungle Trekking and Take a Zipline

    Explore Ishigaki’s island beauty in an eco-friendly way by trekking the jungle-like forests and checking out some unique plants. After the trek, take an exciting zipline back down to the starting point! You can take the morning tour or the afternoon tour and the booking also includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.

    Booking details: Explore Ishigaki Island! Jungle Trekking & Zip Line

    48. Join an Acerola Beauty Spa Program on Taketomi Island

    This beauty program takes place on Taketomi Island and is a two-night stay of rejuvination. Perfect for stressed and busy people who need a break to be spoiled, you can take an bath of acerola, a skin-brightening and anti-ageing superfood. Enjoy a day of acerola picking and eating and have some spa treatments to brighten and refresh your skin. This leisurely relaxation stay will surely give you the refreshing boost you deserve.

    Booking details: Join & Enjoy Acerola Beauty Spa Program in Okinawa!

    49. Venture Out on a Half-Day Island Tour of Ishigaki

    Ishigaki Island is also worth checking out for its pretty views, activity locations, and beaches. Explore Ishigaki for half a day on this tour, where you’ll see Kabira Bay and Tamatorizaki Viewpoint. Stop for lunch and overlook the ocean while you try out Yaeyama-style cuisine.

    Booking details: Venture Out on Half-Day Island Tour of Ishigaki, Okinawa!

    50. See Ishigaki and Taketomi

    Experience the best of the Yaeyama Islands by taking this full-day tour of Ishigaki and Taketomi. Hop on a bus and visit the Kabura Bay with an optional glass-bottom boat tour to see the local wildlife in its natural habitat. In the afternoon, you’ll head to Taketomi Island. Ride a water buffalo cart and take in the views of Ryukyu Village. Lunch at Aunt Pozu’s restaurant is included.

    Booking details: Enjoy A Full-Day Island Tour of Ishigaki and Taketomi!

    51. Enjoy Visiting Four of the Yaeyama Islands

    See Iriomote, Yubujima, Kohama, and Taketomi all in one day from the comfort of a bus! Your guide will show you local attractions and places where you can sample fresh local foods. Shop for souvenirs, take plenty of photographs, and make your trip one to remember.

    Booking details: Enjoy Visiting Four of The Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa!

    52. Go Waterfall Trekking and Canyoning on Iriomote Island

    Iriomote is an island perfect for exciting outdoor activities. Try waterfall trekking, jungle trekking, and canyoning on one of these two offered courses. Explore the beautiful nature and enjoy the fresh air and exercise. A professional guide will help you with canyoning so don’t worry if you don’t have any experience.

    Booking details: Go Waterfall Trekking & Canyoning at Iriomote Island

    53. Try Diving in Ishigaki’s Beautiful Ocean

    If Ishigaki is more accessible for you, try this cool beginner’s diving course at the beach! It’s fine even if you’ve never been diving before as the day’s course gives you time to get used to it. After lunch, you’ll dive properly and see some amazing underwater sights including tropical fish and coral.

    Booking details: Enjoy Trial Diving in beautiful Ishigaki’s Ocean!

    54. Try Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

    Stand-up paddleboarding is a fun activity that is similar to surfing, except it’s on calm water. With Ishigaki’s sparkling sea and breathtakingly beautiful scenery, what better way to spend a sunny day than trying paddleboarding? You can try the Coral Reef Course for beginners, or if you’re a seasoned paddleboarder, you can try the Tropical River or Wave Riding Courses. You can try this on Ishigaki (the link below) and you can also try it on Iriomote.

    Booking details: Enjoy Stand-up Paddle Boarding in Ishigaki!

    55. Visit One of Ishigaki’s Stunning Lighthouses

    Ishigaki Island is home to two beautiful landmarks: Hirakubo Lighthouse, which overlooks the bay at the Hirakubo Peninsula about an hour’s drive from town, and Uganzaki Lighthouse, which overlooks rocky scenery in one of the most beautiful areas of the island. Lighthouses are exciting places full of history, and snapping photos of these beauties is an excellent way to spend a day on Ishigaki.

    56. Check Out the Limestone Cave

    石垣島鍾乳洞! 暖かい地下でした! #石垣島 #鍾乳洞

    A post shared by Kenichi Taira (@runrun1980) on

    One of Ishigaki’s many natural wonders is the beautiful limestone cave, noted for its mysterious stalactites. Locals have decorated this cave with charming illuminations so that visitors can enjoy it to its fullest. Be sure to visit this attraction and admire the natural beauty that took 200,000 years to form.

    Ishigaki Limestone Cave website
    Access

    57. Trek Mt. Omoto

    #石垣島 #於茂登岳 #登山

    A post shared by hitomi (@tokino2927) on

    Relatively small compared to other Japanese mountains, Mt. Omoto is the tallest peak in Okinawa at 528 meters. It’s a lovely trek that takes only an hour or so for those with an average level of fitness. From the top, you can see great views of the island. This is a great idea if you don’t feel like going to the beach and you’d like to get some light exercise.

    Access

    58. See the Yaeyama Palm Tree Grove

    At the foot of Mt. Omoto is a beautiful natural wonder of ten-meter palm trees. This place is free to enter, and nearby is a place to get refreshments, including the highly recommended “dragon fruit juice.” Keep in mind you may only want to spend ten to twenty minutes here as the grove itself isn’t very big. It’s an excellent stop-off before heading for the mountain.

    Access

    59. Relax on One of the Island’s Marvellous Beaches

    Ishigaki has some of the loveliest stretches of sand in all of Okinawa. If you’re in the mood for sun, sand, and sea, be sure to visit Ishigaki’s Sunset Beach, which is a great place to be in the evening, Yonehara Beach with its beautiful coral reef, and Fusaki Beach, located near the resort village.

    60. Bird Watch at Banna Park

    Banna Park is a spacious park in town with large slides and climbing frames for children, which is ideal if you are travelling as a family. It’s a great place to relax on a warm day and there is also a chance you might spot some of the local birds there. Head to the egg-shaped tower to spot them or borrow a segway and enjoy a cool breeze as you explore.

    Banna Park website *Japanese only
    Access

    61. Visit Torinji Temple

    【Trip to ISHIGAKIJIMA 2017】1st day!

    A post shared by mizue🇯🇵🇺🇸 (@1983juliana) on

    You can’t visit Japan without checking out some of the local temples. Torinji Temple is a Buddhist structure and the oldest wooden building in Okinawa. It’s worth a visit if you are interested in Japanese temples. You can also see the nearby Gongendo Shrine while you’re there.

    Access

    62. See Fantastic Views

    sky

    A post shared by Yuki Hariguchi (@yukihariguchi) on

    From the Tamatorizaki Observatory, you can get magnificent sweeping views of the bay, the reef, and the beautiful surrounding nature. Make you way to the top of this elevated structure and appreciate Ishigai’s natural beauty. The observatory is towards the north side of the island and is a great stop-off before going to Sunset Beach.

    Access

    63. See How Many Shiisa You Can Spot

    #okinawa#shiisa#shisa#獅子

    A post shared by nakakohashimoto (@nakakohashimoto) on

    Ishigaki is a good place to spot shiisa, statues that resemble something between a lion and a dog, creatures that have long been considered protectors of the Okinawa islands. You’re bound to see these at monuments, temples, and sights, so keep an eye out for these charming statues during your stay on Ishigaki and beyond.

    64. See the Beauty of Kabira Bay

    Kabira Bay is considered to be one of the most beautiful parts of Ishigaki Island. It is certainly the most photographed. Marvel at sparkling blue waters and white sands. Unfortunately, swimming is prohibited because of the boats and jellyfish, but you can take photos from the observation spot or take a boat ride of this lovely area.

    Access

    65. Go Stargazing

    You can’t see good views of the stars from larger Japanese cities like Tokyo and Osaka, but from Ishigaki Island, you can witness some truly breathtaking sights in the sky. The Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory’s facilities are open to the public, and are a wonderful way to spend a romantic afternoon.

    Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory website *Japanese only
    Access

    66. Gorge on Sushi

    Hitoshi is a highly rated restaurant on Ishigaki Island that serves beautifully fresh seafood, including sushi, sashimi, and fresh shrimp. Find out why this is one of the local favourites on Ishigaki Island and treat yourself!

    Hitoshi Tabelog page
    Access

    67. Shop for Souvenirs at Euglena Mall

    Though nothing compared to the bustling shopping department stores of large Japanese cities, Euglena Mall is a nice shopping street if you need a retail fix on this beautiful island. Grab some souvenirs and browse the surrounding streets for pop-up shops. This mall tends to get busy after around 4:00pm when tourists get back from their day trips, so go earlier if possible.

    Euglena Mall website
    Access

    68. See the Submarine Remains on Yonaguni Island

    Have a truly unique diving experience and see the submerged remains of a mysterious submarine. Some say it was made by man and others say it is natural. This haunting monument, discovered in 1985, is easily visible and accessible for any level divers and is a highly-rated activity on this small island near Ishigaki. Don’t miss it, and try to decide whether you think it came by naturally or not.

    69. See the Last Sunset

    #日本最後の夕日が見える丘 #与那国島

    A post shared by 海斗 (@kaito__official) on

    Yonaguni is the westernmost island of Japan, and in this scenic spot near Kubera Bari, you can see the sun go down at the latest time, when it is already dark on the mainland and the other islands of Okinawa. Spend a romantic evening with your loved one at this recommended viewing spot.

    Access

    70. See the Westernmost Japanese Monument

    日本最西端! #与那国島西崎 #日本最西端の碑 #最果ての地

    A post shared by emiko616 (@emiko616) on

    While you are in Yonaguni, be sure to check out the westernmost monument, which has a sea view and a nearby lighthouse. This is also a great place to watch Japan’s last sunset.

    Website
    Access

    Things to Do on Miyako Island
    71. Go Fishing

    Do you like fishing? In Okinawa, there’s an opportunity to take a boat to Ikema Island, which is connected to Miyako Island. Have a great day of fishing in the coral reef sea and marvel at the diversity of marine life in that area. Take in the beautiful surrounding views and see how many unusual fish and shells you can see. People of any level are invited to join this activity and children are also welcome.

    Booking details: Go Fishing on Miyako Island

    72. Enjoy Diving and Snorkelling

    Miyako Island is known for having some of Japan’s best beaches and is a great destination for diving and snorkelling. Head to the island for a full day course of snorkelling to see tropical fish and other marine life. A half-day course is also available. You can also opt for a full or half-day diving course.

    Drinks and snacks are included in the price and there is also an option to rent an underwater digital camera for an extra fee.

    Booking details: Enjoy Diving and Snorkelling at Miyako Island

    73. See the Stunning Ikema-Ohashi Bridge

    This long bridge on wide-open blue waters connects Miyako Island and Ikema Island. As well as using it to cross the sea, take some time to marvel at the charming fusion of island nature and innovation here.

    Access

    74. Visit the Gorgeous Yonaha Maehama Beach

    現実逃避 #前浜ビーチ #伊良部島 #三角点 #ウミガメ遭遇

    A post shared by かなえ (@dgmpdjmp) on

    If you only visit one beach on Miyako Island, make it this one! Yonaha Maehama Beach has beautiful white sands, splendid views of the sparkling blue sea and sky, and opportunities to try diving and snorkelling nearby. There is also a car park if you’ve rented transportation. Grab your sandals and beach ball and have a relaxing day in the sun!

    Access

    75. Witness the Beauty of East Henna Cape

    As well as stunning beaches, Miyako Island is home to the gorgeous East Henna Cape. If you’re not in the mood for sand, this fantastic spot is a beautiful example of Okinawa’s charming natural beauty. Rent a car and drive down this lovely peninsula and take some photographs while you bask in one of the most beautiful spots in the prefecture.

    East Henna Cape website
    Access

    76. Visit the Miyakojima City Museum

    Interested in Miyako Island’s history and folklore? This museum in the town area is a great place to visit to learn about the island community’s history, culture, and local legends. With a lot of visual attractions and a reasonable entrance fee, it’s worth visiting for an afternoon.

    Miyakojima City Museum website
    Access

    77. See Sweeping Views from the Ryugujo Observation Deck

    台湾から宮古島に戻ってきましたー\(^o^)/ 私の宮古島のめっちゃお気に入りスポット竜宮城展望台(^^) 去年初めてダイビングで宮古島に来た時に竜宮城展望台からの景色を見て物凄く感動したのを今でも鮮明に覚えています😆❤ 宮古生活も残り僅か。。。 一日一日を大切に過ごして行きたいです(><) #宮古島#沖縄離島#おきなわ#ダレカニミセタイケシキ#ダレカニミセタイウミ#タビジョ#旅行好きな人と繋がりたい#写真好きな人と繋がりたい#海好きな人と繋がりたい#ファインダー越しの私の世界#島暮らし#エルモが居る生活w#車の免許欲しい

    A post shared by I'm always with Elmo (@a.i0105) on

    You can easily reach the small Kurima Island where you can see some lovely sweeping views from the Ryugojo Observation Deck, where you can see Miyako Island and the ocean. For some perfect photographs and a windy stroll, don’t miss this from your itinerary.

    Miyakojima City website *Automatic translation available
    Access

    78. Visit the Grave of Nakasone Toyumya

    The tomb of Nakasone Toyumya looks like something from a fantasy novel. This impressive archaelogical site is great for a stop-off while you’re taking a walk.

    Access

    79. Stop Off at Shimoji-Shima Island

    大好きな17end☺️ 早く暖かくなって欲しい気持ちでいっぱい🍀 今日は雪の為、大渋滞🚗💦💦 そして遅刻⤵︎⤵︎ 子供の頃は、雪が嬉しかったけど、今では通勤不安に変わり… たった1日の積雪でこりごり😢 雪国の方は、毎日、毎朝すご〜い‼︎ #okinawa #miyakoisland #miyakojima #bluesky #bluesea #sky#sea#airplane #instagood #ig_japan #17end #100post #ana#沖縄#宮古島#下地島#宮古ブルー#南国#癒し#海#空#飛行機#ブルーチャージ #沖縄好き#ハワイ好き#ダレカニミセタイケシキ #ファインダー越しの私の世界 #旅行好きな人と繋がりたい #写真好きな人と繋がりたい

    A post shared by 美ら海 (@coralreef25bluesky) on

    Miyako Island also has a connecting bridge to Shimoji-shima Island, a smaller mass of land yet large enough to have its own town hall. There is lots to do on Shimoji-shima, such as relaxing on the Toguchinohama Beach, seeing the Toriike Pond, and hiking Mt. Makiyama. This island can also be reached by plane.

    Access

    80. Visit the Breathtaking Cape Funausagibanata

    Also on Shimoji-shima Island is this impressive piece of Okinawan greenery, perfect for a breezy walk. There you’ll find the observatory facility, which is another place to get marvellous views of the surrounding area. Take some gorgeous photos and breathe in the nature around you here before heading back to Miyako Island.

    Access

    81. Eat Fresh Bread at Moja no Pan

    📍宮古島/沖縄/日本🇯🇵 ・ 初日に大好きになって毎日通ったパン屋さん🍞 価格も味も接客も惚れ惚れでした💯💮 ・ そしてモジャさんが1杯ずつ淹れてくれるコーヒーがすごい美味しい☕️ ・ #モジャさん本人に一番似てるのは3枚目のイラスト ・ 11時のオープンにはすでに行列👭 14時過ぎには売り切れて閉まっちゃう程の人気👏✨ ・ 愛するあんぱんは人気すぎて幻級… 滞在中1度しかお目にかかれなかった😭 ・ 次も絶対行く☺️💛❤️ ・ #国内旅行#旅行#沖縄#宮古島#女子旅#朝ごはん#パン屋#モジャ#モジャのパン#パン好き#trip#travel#girlstrip#japan#okinawa#miyakojima#breakfast#lunch#cafe#coffee#breaktime#dayoff#retrip_okinawa#retrip_miyakojima#retrip_cafe#bakery

    A post shared by Shiori (@imans_shiori319) on

    Ths charming hole-in-the-wall shop sells fresh bread rolls hot from their ovens, including plan, walnut, black sesame, and more. If you are craving baked goods on-the-go, give this place in town a try.

    Moja no Pan Tabelog page
    Access

    Things to Do on Zamami Island
    82. Rent a Bike and Cycle Around Zamami Island

    If you are spending some time in Okinawa, you can get a ferry from Naha city to the beautiful Zamami Island, which is under two hours away. This small but stunning island has perfect scenery and good roads to cycle on and is small enough to cycle around in a few hours (but be warned, there are some hills!). You can rent bikes from many of the small motels, guesthouses, and diving shops located at Zamami dock.

    Website
    Access

    83. Try Some Marine Sports

    Zamami Island is fantastic for exciting marine sports. According to the island’s English guide, you can go scuba diving, sea kayaking, and snorkelling. Make your trip really memorable by trying one of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences and spot some stunning local wildlife.

    84. See Humpback Whales

    If you visit Zamami Island in winter, it’s the perfect time to go humpback whale watching! Tours are held from December to April. Whale watching is a fantastic experience, so be sure to try it if you go during the cooler months. Be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.

    Okinawa Hai website
    Access

    85. Visit One of Zamami Island’s 25 Beaches

    古座間味ビーチ #沖縄 #古座間味ビーチ #座間味島

    A post shared by Tomoko (@tomoko_t0324) on

    Another paradise for beach lovers, Zamami is home to over twenty-five different beaches! The most popular of these are Ama Beach and Furuzamami Beach. Don’t forget your swimwear!

    86. Go Hiking

    Take a break from the beach and head to the northeast of the island. There you’ll find Mt. Nakadake and Mt. Otake, small but pretty mountains where you can enjoy a pleasant walk and lovely views of the surrounding areas. Mt. Takatsuki is also closer to town and offers a delightful walk.

    Things to Do on Iejima Island
    87. Visit the Lily Field Park

    #沖縄 #伊江島 #ゆり祭り #リリーフィールド公園 #lily

    A post shared by erichooonnn (@erichooonnn) on

    Iejima Island has a lovely field full of lilies, and perfect if you’re looking for a peaceful stroll. In the middle of April, the locals hold the yearly Lily Festival, so be sure not to miss it if you’re visiting that time of year.

    Lily Field Park website *Automatic translation available
    Access

    88. Unwind on Emerald Beach

    You can’t visit an Okinawan island without going to the beach! Emerald Beach is named for its gorgeous green-blue sea, and it looks likes it came straight from a resort brochure. This beach is safe and very well-kept and is a fantastic place to visit with your family. It has a beach rental shop and free-to-use shower facilities. Entrance is free even if you’re not staying at the nearby resort.

    Emerald Beach website *Automatic translation available
    Access

    89. Check Out Mt. Gusuku

    Iejima is almost all flat, so you can easily spot the 172-meter Mr. Gusuke. It’s a really easy walk with steps all the way to the top, and suitable for any level hikers. There’s a pretty panoramic view from the top of the island and the sea. For a refreshing afternoon and some light exercise, be sure to check out the only hill on the island!

    Access

    90. Explore Nyatya Cave

    Nyatya Cave is a historical landmark that is a little way off from GI Beach. Right in front of the ocean, you can enter this cave and get some lovely views of the sea. If you’r a fan of caves and rock formations, be sure to wander over here on a sunny day!

    Access

    Things to Do on Tokunoshima Island

    Although Tokunoshima Island is actually part of Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu, it is georgraphically near Okinawa and easily accessible from the Okinawan islands.

    91. Discover Okinawan Fruit at Tokunoshima Fruit Garden

    As a tropical island, Tokunoshima has a fruit garden that you are free to explore. You can also try some juicy local pineapples and other unusual finds! There is also a small lookout point where you can see the sea on a clear day. On site, you’ll also find a gift shop featuring goods made from some of the local fruit, and there are animals such as goats and ponies to see here too. This is a pleasant day out that you can enjoy with your family.

    Tokunoshima Fruit Garden website *Japanese only
    Access

    92. Explore the Kanomisaki Soetzu Tunnel

    This charming tunnel-like path through Okinawan trees is like something from an adventure movie! In the northeast of Tokunoshima, near the coast, you can visit this beautiful area near the sea, a great opportunity for an easy walk and a relaxing time among local plants as well as the sparkling blue ocean.

    Access

    93. Eat Delicious Yakiniku

    Yakiniku is barbecued meat, and Adan Yakiniku offers delicious marbled beef and more that you can grill yourself and enjoy. They also offer a delicious meat and vegetable bowl that makes for a rich and tasty lunch. Yakinoku is a well-loved dish in Japan so be sure to experience this restaurant during your time on Tokunoshima Island.

    Adan Yakiniku Tabelog page
    Access

    94. Walk Along the Shore at Aze Prince Beach Beachside Park

    This beach has a nice combination of rock and sand and is a nice place to stroll after your meal. It is located close to various restaurants and the small town of Kametsu, making it easy to access.

    Access

    Things to Do on Kume Island
    95. Marvel at the Natural Tatami Rock

    A tatami is a Japanese straw mat often used in residential houses and traditional restaurants. Tatami Rock was named for the unusually flat formation, hexagonal and pentagonal stones, formed from lava in the Miocene period. To reach this fascinating attraction, take the bridge over to Ojima Island.

    Tatami Rock website *Automatic translation available
    Access

    96. See the Ruins of Gushikawa Castle

    Mainland Japan has a lot of castles, and long ago in the 15th century, Kume Island did, too. This historical landmark is now a ruin, but a fascinating site to visit that will fill you with a sense of adventure, and perhaps some sadness that the structure hasn’t survived. You can also spot the Mifuga Rock Formation from here.

    Access

    97. See Mifuga Rock

    #ミーフガー #久米島 #滞在時間2時間 #沖縄出張 #沖縄に帰ります

    A post shared by Masakazu Daikubara (@masakazudaikubara) on

    Just a short walk from the castle ruins is the mysterious rock formation, Mifuga. The cliff has a natural gap in it, like a window overlooking the ocean. Have a stroll of the surrounding area and snap some photos of this interesting landmark!

    Access

    98. Grab a Sweet Treat at Shimafuku

    In Kume Island’s Nakadomari area, there is a popular dessert shop where you can select from a wide variety of cakes, cookies, and American waffles. If you’re in the mood for some delicious cakes and you’re on Kume Island, this is the place to be.

    Shimafuku Tabelog website
    Access

    99. See a Real Samurai House

    A post shared by tzuyu chen (@tzuyu0717) on

    Uezuke House, or the Uezu Residence, is a place where you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time to the days of the samurai warriors. These quaint grounds are well preserved and give you an insight into Okinawan life before modernisation. It is recommended you have a guidebook or a native guide with you when you go because there isn’t much English information.

    Uezu Residence website *Japanese only
    Access

    100. Discover Yajiyagama Cave

    This natural cave is filled with stalactites and has a few paths on which you can walk, coming out to beautiful landscapes. Inside the cave, you can see glittering stones if you shine your flashlight onto them, and you might even see some bats and old pieces of pottery used as offerings to the dead long ago. If you arrive around midday to 4:00pm, there is sometimes a guide there, but it is up to you whether you would like a guide or explore on your own.

    Access

    Be sure to book over-the-phone medical support during your trip where you can get professional health advice, help finding nearby pharmacies and clinics, and interpretation services when you’re at medical facilities. Also consider making use of the island’s car rental services.

    If you need internet on the go, consider renting a Wifi router for a hassle-free internet connection wherever you are in Japan. Finally, if it’s your first time in Okinawa, try out the airport to hotel transfer service for easy commute between your accommodation and the airport.

    With these awesome activities and tours in Okinawa to try, no doubt your itinerary is getting full! It’s important to experience as much as possible during your stay at this gorgeous group of islands and hopefully, you’ve found some things that are suitable for you and the people you’re travelling with.

    Would you like to stay in Okinawa? Check out all the hotels in the area here!

    Featured image: jp.fotolia.com/