Okinawa is cheerful and bright, and has a slightly different climate and food culture from the main island of Japan.
It’s a place where you can enjoy hanging out at the beach, trying traditional crafts, and many other activities.
Below we introduce recommended spots of Okinawa which are extremely popular to not only Japanese but foreign tourists as well.
Popular Sightseeing Spots
Shuri Castle（© OCVB）
If you ever come to Okinawa, you cannot miss Shuri Castle! Shuri Castle is a castle from the times when Okinawa was still a Ryukyu kingdom. It was destroyed in the war, but was restored in 1992. Its bright color is unique compared to other castles in various parts of Japan.
In fact, the restored Shuri Castle is not listed as a world heritage site, but the remains of the castle are. Please view the remains of the ancient through the glass in the main shrine of the Shuri Castle.
Churaumi Aquarium is a spot anyone can enjoy, even on a rainy day. You can have a close look at colorful fishes, and it makes you feel like you are in the Okinawa ocean, even if you can’t dive. At the deep-sea fish corner, there are many mysterious creatures which are rare to see. There is a dolphin show at the Oki-chan theatre, so if you are interested, make sure you check the time schedule.
There is a photogenic cliff at Manzamo which is on the West Coast of Onna-son. Because the cliff looks like the shape of an elephant’s trunk, it is popular to take a photograph by the blue sea with the trunk in the background.
Food you can enjoy only in Okinawa
Okinawa soba（© OCVB）
One of the things that makes Okinawa so special is its food culture which is different from the main island.
There is “Ji-mami tofu” which is made of peanuts instead of soy beans and “Goya-champru” which is made with bitter gourd and other various ingredients.
Okinawa soba made with Japanese soup and Chinese noodle is popular among tourists as well. The taste differs depending on the area, but if you get one with a pork chop on top, it is called Soki Soba.
A popular snack in Okinawa is “Sata andagi” which is a sweet deep-fried doughnut shaped like a ball. Its inside is moist and the outer is crispy.
The most popular Okinawa Souvenir!
brown sugar（© OCVB）
Brown sugar is the most popular and typical souvenir of Okinawa. It’s popular because brown sugar is a concentrated sugar made from cane sugar with all the impurities removed. It is known as a healthy sugar and is easy to carry too. “Chinsuko” and “Beni Imo tart” are popular as well because they are normally in single packets which make them easy to give to individual friends.
The “Shisa” (Okinawan lion statue) displayed everywhere in Okinawa as a guardian angel has various size for souvenirs. Since the expressions on each “Shisa” is different, it it fun to look for your favorite.
If you want to enjoy shopping Okinawa goods near the airport, go to “Umikaji Terrace”!
- Issaki Hoto Festival, the biggest lantern float festival in the Noto Peninsula – Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture
- The City that makes us feel like travelling back in time to the Edo Period – Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture