The guides and drivers were very knowledgable about the areas and took care of us well
Long an independent kingdom that absorbed a mixture of influences from across Asia, Okinawa was brought under Japanese control in 1609. An archipelago of 65 islands that spread across the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea, Okinawa is steeped in history and culture, and blessed with a wealth of natural sights - from coral reefs to peaceful beaches.
Given its climate and topography, trips to Okinawa mainly consist of outdoor activities: snorkel through crystal-clear waters, and wade through golden sand beaches; fish for tuna, marlin, and mahi in the deep ocean; and surf the East China Sea.
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The snorkeling and diving on Okinawa is truly world class, and the number of species and coral types rivals that of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Much of the diving can be done from shore, so divers often don’t need a boat. Highlights include the underwater ruins at Yonaguni, while those interested in manta rays should head for Miyako and Ishigaki.
In addition to having some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world, Okinawa, always well regarded as a fishing outpost, has some of the best offshore fishing in the world. Anglers can catch mahi mahi, marlin, tuna and other species.
Surfing is yet another outdoor sport that makes Okinawa a popular spot in Japan. There are some excellent point breaks where surfers can test their balance, swimming strength and all-around skill. The waves are challenging and in the summer, the sun is strong and warm. Because of the expanse of the archipelago, there are many surfing spots to choose from.
World War II Historical Sites
In terms of World War II history, Okinawa has a great deal to offer. There is the Peace Memorial Park in Naha, a city on the main island of Okinawa. Visitors will also enjoy a trip to the Himeyuri Monument. The Japanese Navy once had their underground tactical headquarters here, which was used to plan strategy, operations and tactics.
Head over to the Motobu peninsula – more specifically to Emerald Beach and the Ocean Expo Park - and see the Churaumi Aquarium. Manta rays and giant whale sharks will thrill visitors, especially those with children.
Ginowan Marina, not far from the Convention Center, is home to an intensely devoted transnational sailing community. Races are held to the Kerama islands and other locales. Visitors can take sailing cruises around various islands and even enroll for sailing classes.
Discover Japan’s tropical paradise of Okinawa on this 7-day luxury escape. Stay in luxury at the Ritz Carlton Okinawa while in Naha, where you’ll dance to the beat of the city’s nightlife, visit local castles, and then of course, check in to a plush beach resort where you can swim, dive, or do nothing at all.
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.
Rihga Royal Gran
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.
Situated within the premises of the Kise Country Club and surrounded on three sides by its 18-hole golf course overlooking the ocean, the Ritz-Carlton Okinawa is known locally as "gusuku" or guest-house, emphasizing its charm and hospitality. The hotel has just 97 rooms and suites equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including free internet, LCD TV, balcony/terrace, Geneva soundsystem and pre-loaded iPod, bar, bathrobes, espresso machine and relaxing tub. Dining options include Chura-Nuhji Italian restaurant, Gusuku all-day dining, and Kise teppanyaki, and guests can also relax in the lounge bar or library lounge. The ESPA spa and fitness centre features the latest gym equipment and several treatment rooms, saunas and hot baths.