"Okinawa" Top 5 Page for this destination Okinawa by olddude
Okinawa Travel Guide: 433 reviews and 1,261 photos
Okinawa is the name for the island of Okinawa (Okinawa Shima or Okinawa Honto) and the name of the 47th prefecture of Japan (Okinawa Ken) which includes not only the main island of Okinawa but also the southern islands of the Ryukyu archipelago. The kanji characters for Okinawa mean "offshore rope ". The capital city is Naha. Okinawa has a unique and fascinating culture with a strong craft tradition. The sub-tropical climate, emerald ocean and coral sand beaches make Okinawa the travel destination of choice for Japanese and foreign visitors.
Major islands of Okinawa Prefecture ordered by size.
On a world map, Okinawa is just a small dot in the Pacific Ocean, but it used to be an independent kingdom -- the Kingdom of the Ryukyus. As a small kingdom, Okinawa prospered in the region, trading with Japan, China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. As the winds of world trade blew through, Okinawan people ventured out and brought back many foreign influences. Subsequently, Okinawa has developed its own unique history and culture. The heritage, the unique culture and history that the early travelers and traders started, has been passed on to descendents. Morever, the idea of the pioneers, "islands open to the world" still lives on among Okinawans.
Okay, so one of the main reasons (if not the primary) that people come to Okinawa is for the sun and sand. I do not swim, but I love the beach. The following is a short list of the major beaches, with a short summary about each, starting at Naha and then working your way northward up the west coast. Will provide more beaches later.
1. Nashiro Beach (997-2218) southernmost beach on the island has clean beach set among Ryukyu pines. Coral in the water requires shoes. Covered picnic tables, jet ski, aqua cycles, lounge chairs, camping avail. Fee 310 yen.
2. Ginowan Seaside Park (898-1768) Free public beach near Okinawa Convention center that is very popular. Good clean beach with good quality sand and swimming. All water sports allowed. Food and drinks available from local vendors.
3. Sunset Beach (936-8273 Free public beach with pavillions and tables. Great beach for kids. The water is shallow. No snorkeling, bicycles or bottles allowed. Open from 8:30am to 10:30pm daily.
4. Zampa Misaki Resort Beach (958-3833) Beautiful fine sand beach with shade and and grassy area. Limited parking. No snorkeling pets, camping BBQ, glass, or personal beach parasols allowed.
5. Ramada Renaissance Resort (965-0707) an awesome full service resort, excellent fine sand beach. Hot spring baths available. Resort caters to international crowd, staff speaks English. 1000 yen admission fee includes use of beach, both pools, hot spring, showers and parking.
6. Moon Beach Resort (965-1020) enter under elevated hotel. Good beach with full service that caters to mainland Japanese. Fee is 500 yen, parking is 500 yen.
7. Tiger Beach (964-3122) Excellent shallow sunbathing beach behind shops and restaurant. Favorite spot for partying Okinawans. Covered pavillions for rent. fee is 500 yen.
8. Manza Beach Resort (965-1211) A broad expanse of excellent beach with clear water, snorkeling area, jogging path, putting green, submarine reef ride, bikes for two. Lush vegetation and grass roofed picnic areas. Entrance fee is 600 yen, parking is 500 yen.
As promised, here are more good beaches on Okinawa that are worth a visit:
Inbu Beach (967-8222) Excellent quality beach for sunbathing and swimming. There are shops and a playground for the kids. There is also a shaded camping area on grass. There are also glass bottomed boat rides available. Pets are also allowed. Entrance fee is 500 yen.
Sesoko Island- Don't left the name fool you. You can drive to this Robinson Crusoe like beach which is linked by a bridge to the Okinawan main island. It has excellent white sand. The beach here allows everything to include BBQ parties, camping, diving and snorkeling. No entry fee as far as I know.
Emerald Beach (0980-48-2743) this is the beach next to the Expo amusement park. Most people miss it because of the the park, but it is a very nice beach with lots of amenities
B&G Beach (0980-48-2967) This is a long white sand beach located on Ie Island so you will have to take the ferry out to it from Motobu. The roundtrip is 1080 yen.
Hayashi Resort Beach is a reef protected quiet beach just to the north of Motobu. It is great for snorkeling and has a playground, a BBQ area and a petting zoo. There is also a grassy area for picnics.
Okuma Resort Beach...one of the best and most popular beaches on Okinawa. Entrance fee is 515 yen.
Oodomari Beach is very secluded beach on Ikei island. Good for swimming and snorkeling. There is a diving school located here too. Entrance fee is 300 yen. FYI, the sand at this beach is like talc...it is awesome.
Big Time Resort beach doesn't ave that much sand, but it is good for rock climbing. There is also a pretty cool go cart track right next to the beach. One warning.....there are lots of habu in this area.
There are more beaches that I could list, but these are my recommendations.
- Pros:Generally friendly people, great weather, great food
- Cons:High cost of living, no train service, no direct flights to US
- In a nutshell:If I could afford it, I would retire here.
If you ever spend a lot of time in Naha, there are better ways to get around than sitting in traffic on a bus or using... more travel advice
First of all, I have never stayed here. However, I have been here quite a few times and I must say the facilities are... more travel advice
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