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8 classic sightseeing spots on the main island of Okinawa! Recommended for beginners in Okinawa!

8 classic sightseeing spots on the main island of Okinawa! Recommended for beginners in Okinawa!

2022-08-04 Management office

Okinawa has many attractions such as beautiful seas, delicious food, historical buildings, and culture. Okinawa is a popular tourist destination throughout Japan because of its natural scenery and relaxing atmosphere, which cannot be seen in Honshu.

There are many remote islands in Okinawa, such as Miyako Island and Ishigaki Island, but this time we will focus on the main island of Okinawa and introduce eight attractive sightseeing spots.

There are a variety of places where you can enjoy the natural flavors, shopping and dining, and the unique culture of Okinawa.

This article is sure to make you want to go to Okinawa, so please read to the end.
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International Street

Kokusai-dori is the busiest street in Okinawa with many stores.

The street is approximately 1.6 kilometers long and has about 600 stores, making it a very busy street.

Convenient area for sightseeing

There are many department stores, restaurants, general stores, souvenir shops, and other tourist-oriented stores. "A people-friendly town and a fun town to walk around "is the concept behind the various events held here.

There are also many hotels and guesthouses, making it a good base for a trip to Okinawa.

It is also close to Naha Airport, so you can continue sightseeing until the last minute on your way home.

Recommended Popular Shops

We recommend three popular stores on Kokusai-dori.

Blue Seal (brand name for tarpaulin)

This ice cream store originated in the U.S. and has stores in Japan, mainly in Okinawa.

The key point is that there are basic flavors such as vanilla and unique Okinawan flavors such as red sweet potato and seekerser.

It is also recommended to buy ice cream at Blue Seal and go straight to Kokusai-dori for a bite to eat.

Glass Studio Choshichiya

It is a glass studio famous for "firefly glass ", which was created with the idea of bringing back the Okinawan sea as a memory.

Various colors are available, and the beauty of the sea of Okinawa itself changes with the time and place.

This is the perfect place to find memories of your trip and souvenirs.

Miyakojima no Yukishio - Kokusai-dori Store

"Miyakojima Snow Salt "is a store that sells products made with sea salt from Miyako Island. The sweet and sour taste is appealing, and the food made with Miyako Island snow salt is addictive.

Many popular skin care products for women are also available.

"More Information "
Name: Kokusai Dori (Kokusaidori)
Phone number: 098-863-2755
Space and Facilities: Dining, shopping, and lodging available
URL: https://naha-kokusaidori.okinawa/

Shurijo City

Shuri Castle, once the political, diplomatic, and cultural center of the Ryukyu Kingdom, was registered as a World Heritage site in 2000 and is now one of Okinawa's most famous tourist attractions.

Ryukyu Kingdom

The Ryukyu Kingdom existed for 450 years, from 1429 to 1879.
Okinawa is characterized by a unique culture nurtured through active trade with China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, and this culture remains strong in Okinawa today.

Fire in 2019 destroyed the main building.

A fire broke out on October 31, 2019, damaging eight buildings, including the main hall of Shuri Castle.

The restoration is scheduled for 2026, and the process of restoration is now open to the public under the theme of "restoration to be seen ".

It is regrettable that the original Shuri Castle, such as the main hall, cannot be seen, but on the contrary, there are many parts of the castle that can only be seen now.

For example, the plaza called "Una "is the central part of Shuri Castle where various ceremonies are held throughout the year.

Before the fire, the red tiled stripes were impressive, but now the masonry underneath is exposed, a rare sight that can only be seen now.

"More Information "
Name: Shurijo Castle
Address: 1-2 Shuri Kinjo-cho, Naha City, Okinawa, Japan
Phone number: 098-886-2020
Hours: Free area 8:30~18:00 / Paid area 9:00~17:30
Budget: Adults ¥400, Middle-aged people ¥300, Children ¥160 (free for children under 6 years old)
Space and Facilities: Parking lot

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is an aquarium based on the concept of "exhibiting the rich natural beauty of the Okinawan sea as it is "and is one of the major tourist attractions in Okinawa.

As the concept suggests, it is very spacious, like a real ocean, and is home to a wide variety of creatures.

Experience the whole ocean of Okinawa

The attraction is the various representations of the Okinawan sea, including the powerful giant aquarium "Kuroshio Sea "and "Deep Sea ", which recreates the mysterious Okinawan deep sea.

The whale shark, which has been in captivity since March 1995, holds the record for the world's longest captive breeding, and the world's first successful multiple captive breeding of the southern blue manta ray, are among the many creatures that can only be seen here.

Surrounding area is also full of attractions

There are also many attractive facilities and events in the surrounding area, such as "Oki-chan Theater "where you can enjoy dolphin shows, "Manatee Pavilion "where you can see manatees, the model of the mermaid legend, up close, "Emerald Beach "where the pure white sand beach looks beautiful in the magnificent emerald green sea.

"More Information "
Name: Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Address: 424 Ishikawa, Motobu-cho, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa, Japan
Phone number: 0980-48-3748
Opening hours: 8:30~18:30 (17:30 for admission) during regular season / 8:30~20:00 (19:00 for admission) during busy season
Closed: 1st Wednesday in December and the following day
Budget: Adults ¥1,880, middle-aged people ¥1,250, children ¥620, free for children under 6 (8:00~16:00) / Adults ¥1,310, middle-aged people ¥870, children ¥430, free for children under 6 (admission closes at 16:00)
No Smoking・Cigarette Eating:No Smoking
Space & Facilities: Stylish, calm space. Parking, coin lockers, voice guidance available.

Blue Cave (Cape Maeda)

Blue Cave is a cave located under the cliff at "Cape Maeda "in the central part of Okinawa's main island.

It is called "Blue Cave "because the surface of the sea glows blue due to the reflection of sunlight shining into the cave.

The No. 1 snorkeling and diving spot on the main island of Okinawa

Because of its beauty, it is one of the most popular snorkeling and diving spots in Okinawa.

The fantastic scenery created by nature is miraculously beautiful and will enchant everyone.

Although the word "cave" may conjure up images of dim light, the Ao no grotto is very brightly lit by sunlight, so even those who do not like dark places can enjoy the cave without worry.

Tropical fish can be seen up close.

Being able to interact with tropical fish is one of the attractions of the Blue Cave.

Outside of the Blue Cave, there is a point where many tropical fish live, and you can see them clearly in the very clear water.

The bear anemones popular in the movie "Nemo "and the anemones swaying in the sea will make you feel as if you are in the elegant Dragon's Palace.

"More Information "
Name: Ao no Doukutsu (Blue Cave)
Address: 469-1 Maeda, Onna-mura, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa
Space and Facilities: Nature, tropical fish, snorkeling, diving available

Ganghala Valley

The Valley of Gangara is a popular tourist destination for its natural valley.

A place where you can feel the mystery of nature.

According to excavations, traces of human presence have already been found at this site 30,000 years ago. However, the site has been here long before that, indicating that it has a much longer history than that of mankind.

The vastness and mysterious atmosphere will make you forget your everyday life and make your visit a very special time.

Plenty to see from caves to cafes

Atmospheric caves and caves built inside "Cave Cafe ", vast forests, powerful large trees "and banyan trees "are just a few of the eye-catching spots.

It is a place where people who want to feel nature but are afraid of steep mountain paths can easily enjoy themselves.

Reservations required for guided tours.

It used to be open to the public free of charge, but is now exclusively for guided tours in order to protect nature and not to destroy the atmosphere.

The guide's talk is also full of attention to detail, including being based on Rakugo, so please enjoy that as well.

"More Information "
Name: Gangaranotani (Valley of Gangara)
Address: 202 Maegawa, Tamaki, Nanjo City, Okinawa, Japan
Phone number: 098-948-4192
Budget: ¥2,500 (1 person) / ¥1,500 for junior high school students and older / Free for elementary school students and younger accompanied by their parents
Space and Facilities: Nature, ruins, cafes available

Ginowan Tropical Beach

Ginowan Tropical Beach is a tropical beach located in "Ginowan Seaside Park "in Mashiki, Ginowan City

A popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

It is a popular spot for both tourists and locals to enjoy not only swimming, but also marine sports and barbecues.

If you make a reservation, you can rent barbecue equipment or have food prepared for you.

The long swimming season from late April to the end of October is also attractive. This is a must-see place for those who want to enjoy the Okinawan sea.

Perfect sunset spot

Ginowan Tropical Beach is a great sunset spot due to its location on the west coast.

There is a promenade nearby, so we recommend taking a walk and watching the beautiful sunset.

"More Information "
Name: Ginowan Tropical Beach (Ginowan Tropical Beach)
Address: 4-2-1 Mashiki, Ginowan City, Okinawa, Japan
Phone number: 090-4471-0581
Business hours: 9:00~18:00
Space and facilities: diving, barbecue available. Parking and lockers available.

Ryukyu Village

Ryukyumura is a theme park that recreates life in the Ryukyu Dynasty. Visitors can experience various aspects of Ryukyuan culture, performing arts, and nature.

Various Experiences & Activities

In Ryukyumura, there are many cultural assets from the Ryukyu Dynasty period, such as Ryukyuan traditional houses designated as tangible cultural properties, an Awamori brewery, and a sugar factory where buffaloes work.

And the charm of Ryukyumura is that you can not only see them, but actually experience them as activities.

There are many unique experiences here, including a traditional Ryukyu costume experience and a sanshin (Okinawan guitar) class.

It's like stepping back in time

There are a total of 10 old houses in the park, eight of which are designated as registered tangible cultural properties.

You can go up to the inside of the house for a tour, and are greeted by staff dressed in traditional Ryukyuan costumes.

By the way, to become a staff member of Ryukyumura, you have to study the history of Okinawa thoroughly. This shows the thoroughness to the old-fashioned Ryukyu.

Old clocks and antique tools are everywhere in the house, giving you the feeling of stepping back in time.

"More Information "
Name: Ryukyumura (Ryukyu Village)
Address: 1130 Yamada, Onna Village, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa
Phone number: 098-965-1234
Business hours: 10:00~16:00
Budget: Adults ¥1,500, High school students ¥1,200, Children ¥600, Children under 6 free
No Smoking・Cigarette Eating:No Smoking
Spaces and facilities: Nature, various experiences

Tsuboya Yachimun Street

Tsuboya Yachimun Street is a stone-paved street that retains the traditional Okinawan atmosphere. Various stores such as long-established pottery stores, museums, and cafes line the street.

Compared to the bustling Kokusai-dori, this street has a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere.

pottery is flourishing

"Yachimun "means "pottery "in the Okinawan language. It is characterized by its thick construction and powerful patterns, and has recently become a popular souvenir.

There are many stores selling Okinawan pottery on Tsuboya Yachimun Street. There is also a workshop where visitors can try their hand at shisa making and pottery making.

They make great souvenirs, so please try to find your favorite Yachimun.

Cafes you can taste in Yachimun

There are not only pottery stores but also teahouses and cafes.

The restaurants are all full of a warm and elegant atmosphere, perfect for a short break. You can enjoy Okinawa's local cuisine, which makes the most of colorful island vegetables, at Yachimun.

Some stores have galleries and sell lovely ceramics and glass works.

"More Information "
Name: Tsuboya Yachimun Street (Tsuboya Yachimun Doori)
Address: 1-16 Tsuboya, Naha City, Okinawa, Japan
Spaces and facilities: museum, historical architecture, cafes, various experiences available


We have introduced "eight attractive tourist attractions "on the main island of Okinawa.

With so many places to see in Okinawa, it is hard to decide where to go.

You can enjoy the food and activities to the fullest, or you can immerse yourself in the architecture and experiences of this historically and culturally important place.

Relaxing on the beach while admiring the beautiful ocean is also recommended.

Since each location is often far from each other, it is a good idea to decide on an efficient route in advance.

The spots introduced in this article are not to be missed anywhere, so please refer to them when you travel to Okinawa.

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