This 7-day itinerary is a rare cultural treat as travelers journey to the westernmost island in Japan. See a simple and unique way of life on a largely secluded island. Sail, dive, swim and explore as you immerse yourself in the exotic culture of Okinawa. From the bustling city of Naha to the quiet nature of Yonaguni, this trip has the perfect balance of adventure, culture and relaxation.
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Fly in to Naha, Okinawa’s capital city serenely located on the East China Sea coast. Make the most of the town’s nightlife by hitting up one of the sophisticated clubs in the city center. Dance the night away at Club Cielo where the best music in the city is blasting. Try one of the incredible locally-crafted microbrews at Hielos. Stay at a hotel close to the center so you don’t have to worry about walking too far and can save your energy for dancing.
Spend the day getting to know the unique Naha culture. Pay a visit to the beautiful, expansive Shuri Castle. See the seat where the ancient Ryukyu Kingdom once reigned over the land. The bright red palace with massive gray and white walls is a brilliant sight to see. Shop ‘til you drop at the Kosetsu Ichiba Market. These three covered shopping arcades are the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh deep-fried donuts, leaf-wrapped mochi or quenching fruit drinks. Look for candy-colored fish being sold out of the little stalls. Hear Naha’s local music, Sanshin Music, at Chindami Sanshiten, one of the most highly-regarded sanshin-makers shops in existence. Spend your final evening in the pulsing city at your hotel.
Enjoy a final lunch in Naha before flying to the tropical paradise of Yonaguni. Yonaguni is the westernmost island with inhabitants in Japan. The island lies nearly in between Japan’s mainland and Taiwan. Check into a beachfront resort and spend the rest of the day getting acquainted with your new surroundings and relaxing by the beach.
Wake up and dive! Discover the exotic Yonaguni Stone Monuments at Iseki Point. The area was discovered in the 1980’s by local divers. The Yonaguni Monument is comprised of staircase-esque terraces. The rock formations are considered a natural joint. Keep your eyes peeled for the Stage and the Stadium - terraces named for their real life look-alikes. After a day of losing yourself underwater, return to your hotel and take it easy for the rest of the day.
Take your diving to another level today and explore the depths of the East China Sea. Dive with schooling Hammerhead sharks at Hammer Point. Explore the surrounding corals and you are likely to see more of the frightening but fascinating creatures. There are several vibrant corals and caverns in the area. If you prefer to be above water, give sailing, deep sea-fishing and kayaking a whirl. End the day perfectly with a stunning sunset cruise.
Spend the morning exploring the underwater world with two last dives. That afternoon, explore the island’s topside. Try the area’s artisan liquor, awamori, and visit one of the local factories to learn about how it’s produced. Walk out to Japan’s most western point. Look for the Yonaguni San - one of the world’s largest moths. Peruse the coastline and see what village life is like for the local islanders. As the island is still rather rural, the villagers often leave all their doors and windows open to allow the sea breeze to cool off their living quarters. Look for beautiful indigenous ponies freely roaming the countryside.
Fly back to Naha and enjoy a luxurious last day of pampering. Shop the fashion houses and see the most fashion-forward pieces in Asia. Indulge in a savory local meal along the popular Kokusai Dori Street. Champuru, a stir-fry dish, and Okinawa Soba, a noodle soup, are delicious local choices. Feel like royalty as you spend your final night relaxing at the lush Ritz Carlton.
Rugged coastlines and breathtaking views await at Ailand Hotel on Yonaguni, the westernmost inhabited island of Japan. This resort hotel has an outdoor pool, and is located just quick walk from some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. With 77 rooms, this resort is always bustling with energy and excitement, and at a three minutes from Yonaguni Airport, it couldn’t be an easier paradise to reach.
Welcome to an urban oasis: Rihga Royal Gran in Okinawa combines the best of a sprawling, natural resort with a sleek urban hotel. Guests can enjoy a stay in one of the four styles of guest rooms: Ocean, Sky, Forest, and Shade Under a Tree, each with a unique style and a spectacular view extending from Onoyama Park to the Kerama islands. Enjoy buffet breakfasts and lunches and a fixed price dinner at the on-site restaurant Aiju, serving up traditional French, Italian, and Japanese cuisine, before retiring to the bar and lounge for an evening cocktail. Conveniently located 10 minutes from Naha International Airport, Rihga Royal Gran is the perfect kickoff point for touring the Okinawa Prefectural Government Building, the shops of Kokusai Street, Tomari Wharf Terminal, and Shuri Castle.