Day 1: Arrive, check-in, and explore the capital of Okinawa Prefecture
Getting to Okinawa from Tokyo or Osaka:
When traveling to Okinawa Main Island, you will touch down at Naha Airport (OKA). Located in the capital city of Okinawa, Naha Airport is the only airport on Okinawa Island.
It takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach Naha Airport from Tokyo. The journey from Osaka to Naha Airport is about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Accommodations: The Hyatt Regency Hotel Naha
After you’ve visited the baggage claim at Naha Airport, catch a taxi for a quick 15-minute ride to your first accommodation, The Hyatt Regency Hotel Naha Okinawa. The contemporary hotel is located in the heart of the city center and is within close proximity to both shopping and sightseeing. After you’re settled into your room, take time to explore the capital city.
• Address: 3-6-20 Makishi Naha-shi, Okinawa, Japan 900-0013
Experience what life was like during the Ryukyu Dynasty with dinner and entertainment at Yotsudake
For an unforgettable dining experience complete with dance, culture, and Ryukyu-inspired cuisine, visit Yotsudake. Just minutes from your accommodations, this Okinawan restaurant embodies life during the Ryukyu Dynasty, with dance performances, magnificent spreads of ethnic foods, and an overall appreciation of the Imperial Era. Dining at Yotsudake is included in this package.
The Hyatt Regency Hotel Naha Okinawa is within proximity of many sights and experiences, including Makishi Public Market and Tsuboya Yachimum Street.
• Access: 10 minutes by taxi from Hyatt Regency Naha
• Address: 2 Chome-22-1 Kume, Naha, Okinawa 900-0033
Optional activity: Okinawa dojo tours
Today, karate is world-famous. But the popular martial art has humble beginnings, originating during the Ryukyu Kingdom, what is now modern-day Okinawa, where more than 300 dojos can be found. Karate practitioners visit Okinawa from the world over to see the birthplace of karate.
Since the outset, the sport has developed into its current style under the influence of both Japanese and Chinese practitioners. Notably, Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid film series was named after the founder of Gōjū-ryū Karate, Chōjun Miyagi. Gōjū-ryū Karate is among the traditional Okinawan styles of karate and is a combination of hard and soft.
This optional tour is available for both Day 1 and Day 2.
• Length: About 2 hours
• Itinerary: Depart your hotel, visit with English speaking guide by taxi to karate dojo. Visit traditional karate practice sites at the Okinawan karate dojos. After visiting the dojos, taxi back to your accommodations.
• Packages includes: a transportation fee and an English-speaking guide.
"Carry-up" your meal at Makishi Public Market
Foodies seeking a taste of the region’s cuisine must visit Makishi Public Market. Known as Naha’s Kitchen, the market gives travelers the opportunity to engage with locals and savor fresh, made-to-order Japanese food. Operating on a “carry-up” system, the market’s first floor is where you choose which foods you’d like to try. After you’ve made your selections, carry up your items to the second floor, where you can hand them over to the cooks—it’s a delicious way to get acquainted with the local culture of Naha.
• Address: 2 Chome-7-10 Matsuo, Naha, Okinawa 900-0014
Visit the pottery shops along Tsuboya Yachimun Street
Tsuboya Yachimun Street is considered one of the most charming areas of Naha. At the height of the Ryukyu Kingdom, Tsuboya Yachimun Street was acknowledged as the heart of the pottery industry. Today, pottery workshops, boutiques, eateries, and incredible shisha figurines line the street. A visit to this iconic street can also give you a glimpse of what life was like in pre-war Naha, as the area escaped the destruction of WWII.
• Address: 1 Chome-16 Tsuboya, Naha, Okinawa 902-0065
Day 2: Tour Okinawa’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Peace Memorial Park
After breakfast at your accommodations, your second day on Okinawa begins with an eight-hour guided tour and private taxi excursion across the southern region.
Shurijo Castle was originally constructed in the 14th century. A focal point of the time’s flourishing Ryukyu Kingdom, Shurijo Castle served as the cultural and political center. In modern times, Shurijo Castle symbolizes the culture and history of Okinawa, as well as the former kingdom, and has since been designated a national park. In 2000, Shurijo Castle was recognized as one of Japan’s World Heritage Sites.
• Access: About 20 minutes by taxi from Naha Airport.
• Address: 1 Chome-2 Shurikinjocho, Naha, Okinawa 903-0815
Learn about traditional coral dyeing methods at Shuri Ryusen
Experience the tradition of bingata, a centuries-old dyeing technique from the Ryukyu Kingdom, at Shuri Ryusen. This experience offers a unique dye that uses preserved coral reefs from Okinawa in addition to plant-based colors. Shuri Ryusen is a certified partner of SDGs promoted by Okinawa Prefecture.
During your tour, you will see first-hand how bingata dyeing is practiced while learning how it represents Okinawan culture, from the past to the present day.
• Address: 1 Chome-54 Shuriyamagawacho, Naha, Okinawa 903-0825
Stop for a noodle lunch at Shimujyo
Fill your belly with Okinawan soul food at Shimujyo. Located in an Okinawan folk house outfitted with a red tile roof and a stone wall that’s been in place for over a century, Shimujyo welcomes hungry guests inside for hearty noodle bowls. Somewhat of a hidden gem, the restaurant's off-the-beaten-path but a great stop for lunch.
• Address: 2-124-1 Shuri-sueyoshi-cho, Naha City, Okinawa
Tour Shikinaen Royal Garden
Built in 1799, Shikinaen Royal Garden was originally constructed as a villa for the Ryukyu Kingdom royal family. Shikinaen served as a residence, and it also played a vital role in diplomacy, as many large banquets were held at the Royal Garden. Today, the traditional Japanese garden is blanketed in lush greenery, stone monuments, and seasonal plants that can be admired by visitors year-round. Shikinaen Royal Garden is among the sites and monuments recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu.
• Address: 421-7 Maaji, Naha, Okinawa 902-0072
Learn about Okinawan history at Peace Memorial Park
A memorial to the Battle of Okinawa, Peace Memorial Park honors the lives of those who were lost in the WWII conflict. The grounds are made up of a series of monuments and tributes, including The Peace Memorial Museum, which displays photographs and a collection of objects relating to the Battle of Okinawa.
The expansive park grounds offer beautiful grounds and great scenery, too boot. The serene setting makes Peace Memorial Park an ideal place to discover Okinawan history.
• Address: 444 Mabuni, Itoman, Okinawa 901-0333
Day 3: Depart for Northern Okinawa and spend time at Okuma Beach
From breakfast to the beach, day three promises ample time for rest and relaxation.
Delight in a medicinal healthy breakfast at Okinawa Daiichi Hotel
Your day begins healthy meal at the nearby Okinawa Daiichi Hotel, just a 10-minute walk from your accommodation. Built in 1955, the Naha hotel has gained popularity for its longevity medicinal breakfast offering, a nutritious spread of 20 items made with 50 locally-sourced ingredients that clocks in at just 585 calories. The meal is served up in traditional, locally-made Okinawan dishes and bowls.
• Address: 1-1-12 Makishi Naha-City, Okinawa
• Access: 10 minutes by walk from Hyatt Regency Naha
Departure: After breakfast, you’ll pack up and depart from the Hyatt Regency Hotel. A shuttle bus will be there to transfer you to your next accommodation, northern Okinawa’s Okuma Private Beach & Resort, one of Japan’s most beautiful beach resorts.
Visit the beautiful Okuma Private Beach & Resort
Okuma Private Beach & Resort was originally used as a recreational area for the U.S. military during the 25 years that Okinawa was under U.S. military control. Since then, it has transformed into a beachfront resort that anyone can visit.
Okuma Private Beach & Resort is one of the region's best beach areas. The resort boasts a spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and is complete with six cafes and restaurants. The cottage-style resort also has terraces and sea views. The resort offers a homey atmosphere with all of the luxury amenities that you could dream up right at your fingertips.
When you're ready to explore nearby attractions, Okuma Private Beach & Resort free shuttle can take you there.
Positioned between the East China Sea and the Yanbaru Forest, Okuma Beach delights visitors with its pristine natural white sand beaches and secluded atmosphere. Okuma Beach is accessible free of charge, and there are a variety of marine activities available for guests to enjoy, including snorkeling tours, glass boat cruises, and paddleboard rentals.
• Address: 913 Aza-Okuma, Kunigami-son Kunigamigun, Okinawa 905-1412
Day 4 - Day 5: Take advantage of optional tours: explore mangrove forests, discover captivating waterfalls, and stick around for world-class stargazing
The next two days take you on an epic adventure across Okinawa’s lesser-traveled northern region, including a guided trek through Yanbaru Forest and a kayaking tour across mangrove jungles to a hike with a wonderful surprise at the end of the trail. Plus, learn about Okinawa’s culture and do some sightseeing and stargazing in the northern region. All of the following activities are optional for both Day 4 and Day 5 and can be enjoyed on either day of your itinerary.
Discover Yanbaru Forest with a guided trek
Get back to nature at Yanbaru Forest. Under the direction of a certified guide, you can discover the rare indigenous wildlife as well as the incomparable scenic beauty found throughout the subtropical ecosystem of the Yanbaru Region, Japan’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Length: 1.5 hours
• Address: 1 Aza Nakazann, Nagoshi, Okinawa
• Package includes: a nature guide fee
Paddle through Gesashi Bay Mangrove Forest
The Gesashi Bay Mangrove Forest is designated as one of Japan’s Natural Monuments. Here, visitors can see three of the four mangrove species that grow on the Main Island. The area is home to numerous subtropical flora and fauna best seen with a kayak tour. It is known as the largest mangrove forest on Okinawa Main Island, spanning about 10 hectares.
• Length: About 3 hours
• Address: Gesashiwan, Higashi-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa, 905-1318
• Package includes: a transportation fee, kayak rental, and guide fees.
Trek to the beautiful Ta-taki Falls
Ta-taki Falls is located within Yambaru National Park, near Kunigami at Orimi Village, Okinawa. The moderate 1.5-mile out and back trail is popular with local hikers as well as visitors. The hike provides excellent views of the dazzling waterfalls. And for thrill-seekers, there’s a rope swing.
• Length: About 3 hours
• Address: 1570-1 Tsuha, Ogimi, Kunigami District, Okinawa 905-13-18, Japan
• Package includes: a transportation fee and a nature guide fee.
Savor a farm-to-table longevity diet lunch and tour a vegetable garden at Ogimi Village
Charming and rural, Ogimi Village may just be one of the healthiest places on earth. The northern Okinawan village has the highest life expectancy in all of Japan, with more than 100 villagers who are 90 years old or older among a population of a few thousand.
Historically, Okinawa has been known for its longevity. It was even referred to as the land of immortals at one time. So why do Okinawans live longer?
Okinawa is regarded as one of the world’s five Blue Zones; a region said to have a higher than a typical number of people who live much longer than the average population. Blue Zone longevity is often attributed to factors such as lifestyle and diet.
You can learn more about Okinawan longevity by visiting Ogimi Village’s Emi no Mise restaurant. Here you can savor traditionally-prepared longevity meals and explore the restaurant’s on-site garden, where a selection of island-grown vegetables that aren’t widely available in supermarkets take root.
• Length: 2.5 hours
• Address: 61 Oganeku, Ogimi-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa
• Package includes: transportation, lunch, and English speaking guide.
Explore the Tropical Dream Center
Located in Motobuto, The Tropical Dream Center is a world-class greenhouse that is home to ornate exhibits of fruit trees, subtropical flowers, and a collection of more than 2,000 orchids that bloom year-round. The indoor-outdoor space stretches over six hectares and is anchored by an impressive Observatory Tower that looks out to the nearby ocean.
• Length: About 4 hours
• Address: 424 Ishikawa, Motobu-co, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa
• Package includes: a transportation fee and an admission fee.
Lush tropical forests cover 80 percent of Yanbaru. And the remote nature of Okinawa's northern region allows for some of the best, and darkest, unobstructed views of the night sky. A stargazer's paradise, visitors can see The Milky Way and meteor showers. But the night skies in Okinawa are something to behold, any time of year. Guided tours are available.
• Length: About 2 hours
• Package includes: a transportation fee and a tour guide fee.
Day 6: Check-out and catch your shuttle
It’s not easy to leave Okinawa behind. But by this time, you’ll be feeling the benefits of both a medicinal Okinawan diet and the restorative charge that comes with spending time in nature.
Departure: Day six begins with breakfast at Okuma Private Beach & Resort’s buffet restaurant, Surf Side Cafe. Following breakfast, you will depart your accommodations and take the hotel’s complimentary shuttle bus to Naha Airport, where your Okinawan adventure reaches its conclusion.
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