Okinawa is an island southwest from the mainland and was the former Ryukyu kingdom until 1879. It was a very important strategical location during World War II and today, within Japan, still harbours 74 % of all US military bases (2008, Accessed: 01.10.2019). It is a very good place to go for vacation and can be actually visited seperately from the rest of Japan. In this post i try to summarize some highlights of Okinawa.
The corresponding diary and impressions can be found here.
- opening hours: 08:00 – 17:00
- spendings: ~ 60000 Yen
- suggested time spend in the area: ~ 5 days
- personal rating: 9.5/10
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
fee: 1850 Yen
The most northern part of the Okinawa main island.
Snorkeling at Aharen beach
There are a lot of snorkeling (and diving) possibilities. One of them is at the Aharen beach which is located at the Kerama island 2 hours by ferry to the west of Naha.
Is the main castle of the former Ryuukyuu kingdom and also depicted on the 2000 Yen note.
Nearing the end of World War II there was a bloody battle when the US force invaded Okinawa. War memorial monuments have been constructed in the south of Naha in honor for the fallen soldiers and civilians. More info at japan-guide.com
There are some caves in Okinawa to explore. One of them being the blue cave at Cape Maeda in the center of Okinawa. More info at okinawa-labo.com.
If you are a tourist in Tokyo you can utilize the ANA Experience Japan ticket discount but be careful since they are bound by some requirements (2019). With this a roundtrip ticket from Tokyo to Naha was around 23000 Yen. In Okinawa you want to rent a car. Although there do exist public transportation options, they are just too inflexible. Renting a car for 3 days, 2 people was around 9000 Yen each person including fuel for around 300km (to the north and back) came use 1300 Yen each. To give you a feeling of the size of the island: We avoided highways and needed around 3 hours from the most northern part back to Naha.