We've never been to Japan. It's on the list, but has always seemed so far away. This post may just have convinced me that no matter how far, Japan is definitely worth a visit.
If you’re planning to take a trip to Japan, then you definitely need to visit several places in Okinawa as well. With lots of golden sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, tasty cuisine and friendly people, the southernmost group of islands will definitely provide you with a unique experience and show you a laid-back Japan that you probably didn’t know existed.
A bit about Okinawa Prefecture
Contrary to the busy and crowded cities in the main islands of Japan, Okinawa prefecture offers a totally experience through the different attitude and lifestyle of the locals. Okinawa is comprised of two dozen islands which form an arc in the tropical crystal-blue waters. Also known as the Ryukyu Islands, these are the home to a peaceful and relaxed culture where people take life as it is. With amazing scenery, great beaches and snorkeling sites, Okinawa is a top travel destination for thousands of tourists each year.
See Naha and its amazing Kokusai street
Naha is the capital city of Okinawa Island as well as the largest in the prefecture. Hosting 300,000 people, the city is teeming with life, with lots of busy streets, fancy restaurants or open markets. However, the main attraction here is the Kokusai street. It is an entertainment strip which is 1.6 kilometers long, with plenty of places to eat traditional food, small shops to get souvenirs, etc. There you also get to witness old-style architecture. The street is also teeming with life at night, so there are definitely many places to see there even after the sun sets.
Get to see Cape Zanpa and an amazing view
Cape Zanpa is a place located on the west coast of Okinawa Island. It is just 5 kilometers away from the Zakimi castle, a 15th century monument. This quite place 30 kilometers away from Naha is perfect for relaxing and experiencing the breathtaking views from 30 meter high cliffs. You also get to see the Zanpa Lighthouse, an 1974 construction which is 30 meters high and can allow you to see the scenic views surrounding it.
Visit Ishigaki islands
Your trip to Okinawa also can’t miss the Ishigaki Island. A peaceful and quite place unspoiled by modernity, here you can stay and relax around the Kabira Bay, a place with crystal clear blue waters where you can see fish, manta rays and many more marine life forms. The tropical vistas are also facilitated by the many resorts surrounding the Kabira Bay.
Relax on the Taketomi Island
The Taketomi Island is an UNESCO World Heritage site - and for good reason. This is where the original Ryu Kyu village still stands defying time, with old bungalow houses guarded by stone walls as well as lion figures which are supposed to ward off evil spirits. You can visit the island by foot, bicycle or you can try riding in one of the traditional buffalo carts. You can enjoy the unspoiled beaches that look just like they did a few centuries ago, eat traditional food cooked by the locals and just adopt the laid-back style characteristic to these people.
Visit Okinawa and don’t miss a truly rewarding experience that you will cherish for many years to come!
Calvin is a full time traveller and currently exploring Japan. He loves surfing, reading and writing. Most of which can be done on the beach.