In addition to its impressive megacities and its mountainous and volcanic regions, Japan allows you to discover remote islands bordered by turquoise waters and coral reefs. A trip to Okinawa will enable you to enjoy a beach holiday in an archipelago with comfortable hotels and sunny shores. Like the landscapes of the Pacific, the Japanese islands offer superb seaside views. They stretch to the southwest of its central archipelago. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these remote beaches are difficult to access. Also, a trip to Okinawa remains the most accessible solution to enjoy this natural environment.
The beaches of Okinawa are superb, and a few days are enough to offer you a real rest for a lazy vacation. If you wish, you can visit some of the islands for the day by taking the many ferries circling in this vast archipelago. In addition to its seaside, Okinawa has some traditional and historical places to discover. A stay in Okinawa will allow you a few visits to enhance your stay. Island of the Ryukyu archipelago, Okinawa, is a city whose inhabitants strongly emphasize their past as an independent kingdom and their cultural difference from Japan. Rich in culture, the region is also remarkable for its beaches and the beauty of its waters.
Because of the Japanese language, it might be frightening to visit Okinawa. Still, there are lots of tourist information centers to help you. You can get help from these information centers and explore the city easily. One of the most important things is if you want to understand and digest the rich Asian culture and the region, you have to spend at least 3 – 4 days in Okinawa.
Places to Visit in Okinawa
There are as many places to visit as you would like to see in Okinawa. With its historical and cultural richness and breathtaking nature, Okinawa has a geography where everyone can find something for themselves. Here are the must-see places in Okinawa.
Capital City, Naha
Naha is the prefecture of Okinawa, a modern and dynamic city. On a trip to Naha, you can browse the cosmopolitan area of Kokusai-dori, then head to Makishi Market. You will enjoy strolling in the Fukushu-en garden or discovering the pottery village of Tsuboya. The last famous place, the district of Shuri, will allow you late a castle dating from the 14th century.
From the 15th century, the capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom was located at Shuri on the main island of Okinawa. Largely destroyed during World War II, the medieval castle was restored to its vibrant colors in 1992, and its original structures have been listed by Unesco. Near Shuri Castle, three other places have been classified by Unesco:
- The Royal Shikinaen Garden, built in 1799 around a large pond and two small islets, served as a secondary residence for the Shö family of the Ryukyu kingdom.
- The Sonohyan-utaki stone gate was built in 1519, with Chinese influences.
- The Tamaudun mausoleum, the burial place of the second Sho dynasty, and its imaginary animals, phoenixes, and dragons that watch over the graves.
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park
Okinawa is also known for the battle that took place there during World War II. Located south of the main island, the Peace Memorial Park now pays tribute to the victims on Mabuni Hill, where there is also a memorial museum. Military history buffs can also visit the former underground headquarters of the Japanese Navy, a well-preserved bunker.
Nearly 450 km south of the main island of Okinawa, the ten Yaeyama islands offer the spectacle of lush nature. It takes about an hour from Naha to reach Ishigaki, the gateway to these islands. Do not miss going to Kabira Bay, for its superb panorama of the island, as well as to the limestone cave which has been formed over more than 200,000 years.
Iriomote Island, the second largest after Okinawa Island, is easily accessible from Ishigaki. It takes 45 minutes to reach it by boat. Its main attraction is a jungle that covers it almost entirely. Among the animals that sneak in a species of endemic tom of which only a hundred members remain the Iriomote wild cat. On the island of Taketomi, about ten minutes from Ishigaki by ferry remains an old hamlet with traditional houses with red roofs and stone walls. Even further at the southwestern end of Japan is the island of Yonaguni, from where you can even see the coast of Taiwan, a hundred kilometers away. It is also renowned for being home to Yonaguni-san, Japan’s giant moth.
Best Places to Stay in Okinawa🏨
Like the rest of Japan, Okinawa’s culture is also vastly different from other regions. Thanks to its diverse nature, thousands of visitors visit Okinawa. Thus there are also lots of hotels in the region. From luxurious paradise-like hotels to nothing more than bed and breakfast, here are the best hotels of all kinds where to stay in Okinawa island.
Luxurious Places to Stay in Okinawa💰💰💰
Suppose your expectation from a hotel is enormous rooms, a spa center, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a gourmet restaurant. In that case, you have specific places to look. These are the most luxurious places where to stay in Okinawa.
Suppose you are looking for an ultra-luxury hotel to stay in Okinawa. In that case, you must have heard of Hotel Monterey Okinawa Spa & Resort. You can enjoy the wonderful sea while staying at the hotel with a private beach on Tiger Beach. Also located right next to PGM Golf Resort Okinawa, it is the most luxurious hotel you can stay in Okinawa. You will leave Okinawa renovated with its large rooms, two different swimming pools, and thermal baths. One of the most essential features the hotel offers its visitors is 7 different dining options. You can taste the most delicious dishes of Asian cuisine or the world’s most essential cuisines. Hotel Monterey Okinawa Spa & Resort offers its visitors a dream holiday with its services. You can be sure you are in the best place in Okinawa where to stay.
Another preferred luxury hotel in the region is Okinawa Harborview Hotel. It is possible to reach many places on foot from the hotel located in the city center of the capital Naha. The hotel also offers services such as an outdoor pool, fitness center, and a pool bar, which are open during summer. Suppose you are curious about the nightlife of Naha. In that case, you can visit the bars and nightclubs in the surrounding area by taking advantage of the hotel’s location.
Located in the city center of Naha, you can walk to many places you might want to visit, from Hewitt Resort Naha. Moreover, the Hewitt privilege you are used to does not leave you alone in Okinawa. After a day of exploring, unwinding at the hotel’s spa center and resting in its large beds will be among the best things to do on vacation. The warm colors used in the rooms furnished in a modern design instantly make the visitors feel at home.
Budget-Friendly Places to Stay in Okinawa💰💰
You don’t just have to stay in luxury hotels to explore Okinawa’s historical texture or witness its unique nature. You can even extend your vacation for a few days in budget-friendly hotels. Moreover, there are many options in Okinawa where you can do this. These are the most budget-friendly places where to stay in Okinawa, Japan.
A hotel where you can have the most delicious breakfasts from Italian and Mediterranean cuisine in Far East Asia may not sound like a budget-friendly hotel, but there is such a place. Hotel Aqua Citta Naha is one of the best hotels you can stay in Okinawa. You can reach many important places with a short walk to explore the surroundings from the hotel located in the city center. If you want to leave a hectic day behind you, there is an endless pool on the hotel’s terrace. Hotel Aqua Citta Naha is a surprising place where to stay in Okinawa.
Located on Kokusai Street, the hotel first attracts attention with its spacious rooms, comfortable beds, and large outdoor pool. You can have a great start to the day in well-lit rooms. Another advantage of the hotel’s spacious rooms is that it is suitable for families with children. Suppose you are a family enjoying Okinawa with their children. In that case, you can stay at Palm Royal Naha Kokusai Street, which is budget-friendly but also has a wealth of services. The fact that the hotel is in the city center is also an essential plus for visiting the city and exploring the surroundings.
Although Naha is the capital of Okinawa, it is not the only place to visit. If you want to spend a holiday with the deep blue sea on one side of the endless white sands and the lush green trees on the other, then you should try Ishigaki Seaside Hotel. Moreover, the hotel offers its visitors entertaining services such as jet skiing or scuba diving. Located on Sukuji Beach, you can enjoy a sunny Okinawa day in the outdoor pool if you don’t want to swim in the hotel. Although a budget-friendly hotel with ocean view rooms may sound a bit difficult, it is possible with Ishigaki Seaside Hotel. It is easily amongst the best place to stay in Okinawa Japan.
Cheap Hotels to Stay in Okinawa
Suppose you have a limited holiday budget or plan to allocate a small part of your holiday budget to accommodation. In that case, you can find cheap hotels that are just right for you. Moreover, although these hotels are in the affordable category, they have the potential to surprise you with what they offer.
If you are looking for a cheap place to stay in the capital’s center, Y’s Cabin & Hotel is your address. One of the most prominent features of this hotel is its minimal design, which is known and loved by almost the whole world. It is possible to stay in rooms with minimal design at a very affordable price. If you are just looking for a place to stay, the hotel also offers bunk bed rentals only. Suppose you are looking for a where to stay in Okinawa without car, Y’s Cabin & Hotel Naha Kokusai Street is the best option.
Japan’s notorious minimal design approach is evident here as well. When you enter Guest House Umikaji, your first thought will be how so many things look neat. Located in the city center of Naha, the hotel is one of the ideal places for those who are looking for more than just a place to stay. Moreover, it is possible to keep a bunk bed in a large room instead of a room in the hotel. If being with others and socializing is something you enjoy, then you can also take advantage of bunk beds. However, you need to consider that it also has its own negatives. One of the things you might want to know before going to Guest House Umikaji is that there is a shared bathroom area.
Don’t be confused by the super-luxurious Ferrari that welcomes you in the hotel’s window. Mr. Kinjo in Gusuku is one of the most affordable places to stay in Naha, the capital city of Okinawa. Moreover, although it is reasonable, its rooms have must-have items such as flat-screen TV, hair dryer, kettle, refrigerator, and microwave oven. Being close to some nightclubs where you can spend the evening in the city is a sufficient criterion for many people. If you expect nothing more than a sleeping place Mr. Kinjo in Gusunu is the best place to stay in Okinawa