Okinawa Travel Guide
ou might think of Tokyo or Osaka when you think of planning a quick getaway in Japan. Okinawa is one of the hidden gems not so far from Singapore; a beautiful Asian subtropical haven that will awestruck you in many different ways! Take out your travel bucket list and we’ll tell you why Okinawa needs to be added on it.
Okinawa has plenty to offer to its visitors. With a comfortable subtropical climate all year round and surrounded by turquoise clear water all around (Pacific Ocean to the east and East China Sea to the west). The temperature averages comfortably between 17 ℃ to 29 ℃, hottest in July and coldest in January. It’s a perfect spot especially if you dread packing in thick winter clothes!
Okinawa has plenty of picturesque beautiful world-class beaches for sun-seeking travellers or honey-mooning couples. It also has one of the world’s highest concentrations of centenarian citizens, living up to 100 and well beyond. It does make one wonder if living in such a beautiful place plays a part in longevity.
Situated at the southernmost part of Japan, Okinawa comprises of several chains of semi-tropical islands (in fact, over 160 islands in total!). Away from the hustle of the urban cities, the pace here is relatively slower and relaxing; perfect for a getaway recharge.
We know good food plays a big part in any memorable holidays and the best way to get to know a different culture is through its local cuisine. As with the rest of Japan, Okinawan cuisine will also most definitely tingle your taste buds with a wide variety of the freshest savouring seafood you can find.
Rich Historical & Cultural Sights
In the 14th century, King Sho Hashi unified the Okinawa islands under the Ryukyu Kingdom, with its capital at the Shuri Castle. During this period as trade flourished, many Chinese people from Ming Dynasty moved to Ryukyu. Hence, many architectural assets were greatly influenced by Chinese architecture.
Shuri Castle - Naha
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, Shuri Castle was originally built in the 14th century and served as both the royal residence and administrative centre for the Ryukyu Kingdom all the way until the 19th century. After being completely destroyed in the Battle of Okinawa, it was later reconstructed in 1992, based closely on historical records.
Enter through the Kankai-mon and go up to the Hoshin-mon, which forms the entry passage to the inner sanctum of Shuri Castle. Visit the Seiden or State Palace and walk through in time to see how the royals went about their lives. It takes about one and a half hours to complete a basic tour around it. So be sure to set aside enough time.
Shikinaen Royal Garden
Shikinaen Royal Garden was a second residence for the royal families. It is a garden villa artistically built to host envoys of China. Like many other assets, this garden is a fusion of both Japanese and Chinese architecture elements. The garden has a large pond with a central island bridged by an arched stone bridge.
Located just a 10-min car ride from the Shuri Castle, making it a perfect stop-by after visiting Shuri Castle.
Good Food Makes Any Holiday Even Better!
Okinawan traditional cuisine was developed since the 14th century during the Ryukyu Kingdom and has since evolved with external influences. Okinawa food culture places an importance in a balanced diet based upon a belief that treats food as medicine. The dishes are designed nutritionally balanced and combines ingredients rich in nutrients and vitamins with pork that has been carefully prepared to break up the fat and removing the bad cholesterol while improving the absorption of collagen.
Unique only to this archipelago, awamori is an alcoholic beverage distilled only here. Made with kurokoji mold and long-grain Thai indica rice, awamori comes with a rich aroma and flavourful taste, perfect for enjoyment with an assortment of Okinawan dishes. Feeling thirsty yet? Be sure to try it out for yourself!
Considered the soul food of Okinawans, some data estimates that 150 thousand bowls of soba are consumed daily. Okinawa soba is made with 100% flour and contains no buckwheat. The broth is
specially prepared with a combination of pig bone and bonito stock. This dish is usually served with a variety of toppings to choose from, including pork ribs, soki and stir-fried vegetables.
The Sun, Sand and Sea
Looking for some quiet breaks isolated from the city’s hustle in your holiday? Surrounded by clear turquoise waters and colourful coral reefs, Okinawa has plenty of public and private beaches to unwind and enjoy leisurely.
Also known as ‘Sand Mountain Beach’, located 4km north of the Hirara district of Miyako-jima city on Miyako Island, you’ll find this tropical beautiful pure white sand beach surrounded by the cobalt blue sea.
It is popular among locals and tourists alike and thus is well-developed with the essential amenities such as shower and parking.
Looking for some light snorkeling and swim among the fishes or see the colourful corals? Head to the northeast coast of Aka Island and you’ll find this 1km stretch of white sand known as Nishibama Beach.
It comes equipped with amenities and shops where you can rent snorkeling or diving equipment. There are also lifeguards on duty. This is a perfect place to spend your afternoon in paradise.
Furuzamami Beach is located in Zamami, about 10-mins car ride from the port. Another pure white sand beach with extremely clear waters. The beach stretches for about 700m and is well-developed with toilets, showers and food stalls.
Intrigued to visit this perfect holiday getaway? Airelated Travel has the perfect package for you!
Find out more and book.
Check out our Okinawa Tour Packages:
- - 6D4N Okinawa With Sakura
- - 7D5N Hokkaido Wonder Delights
- - 5D4N Okinawa Experience
- - 5D4N Okinawa Self Drive