A diverse group of more than 150 subtropical islands, Okinawa offer colourful coral reefs, pristine beaches and dense jungles. It’s also host to a vast array of attractions centred on water sports, scuba diving, historical sites and cultural institutions.
Things to do in Okinawa Prefecture
Get oriented in Okinawa with a stroll down Kokusai Street, the main drag of Naha. Under swaying palm trees, the street hosts a constant parade of shoppers, bars, eateries and stalls selling souvenirs, clothing and colourful kariyushi “happiness shirts”. Keep an eye out for authentic Ryikyu glass creations.
The ocean beckons with water sports ranging from jet skiing to wakeboarding, parasailing and spearfishing. Try skimboarding or lounge on the sand at Tropical Beach or Araha Beach. Scuba diving operators can transport you to the Kerama Islands for world-famous dive sites and a chance to swim with giant sea turtles.
Learn the art of Minsaa weaving at the Ishigaki Island Minsaa Kogeikan, an arts and crafts museum featuring the intricate textile art form. Don’t miss exploring Iriomote Jungle in the Yaeyama Islands. Tour guides lead you through subtropical old-growth forests on hiking trails or kayaks.
Eating in Okinawa often involves various versions of Okinawan soba noodles, including dishes with awamori liquid, chili peppers and pickled ginger. A favourite spot is Shimujo soba shop in Naha. Kokusai-dori Street teems with izakaya taverns, such as Jizake Yokocho cranking out Okinawan folk tunes.
Getting around Okinawa Prefecture
You can use buses, taxis and a monorail departing from Naha Air Base. You can also rent a car on the air base, under 30 kilometres from Okinawa. Numerous ferries provide access from Tomari Point to surrounding islands.