Escape to Okinawa, Japan

Have you noticed, that Okinawa – the Japanese beach paradise is just a stone’s throw away from South-Korea? And you can reach it within less than 2,5h flight. It almost as close as Busan, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰.

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Miyakojima

Why Okinawa?

Okinawa is one of the most famous places for sand beaches and clear blue water. They’re everywhere on the main island, as well as on smaller islands of Okinawa prefecture.

All over the year, the climate on Okinawa rarely comes lower than 15 degree or higher than 30 degree. Which is very enjoyable to spend on the beach, in the ocean or in the mountain.

Besides, in order to enter Japan, citizens of many countries don’t have to apply for a visa, if they stay for a short term (more here). But even when you would need a visa, it’s easy to apply at any Japanese embassy in your country. When I got my visa issued, I didn’t have to pay any visa fee, because the trip was to Okinawa 😌.

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Hewa Dori

I’ve been to Japan several times and people living here make me feel very comfortable. They’re always very polite, friendly and sometimes very shy. In many cases, they cannot use English very well, but they’re very kind, patient and try their best to help you.

Another reason for coming to Okinawa is food, especially seafood 😍.

What to do on Okinawa?

Still wondering what you can do here? My Top 5 recommendations for you will follow.

5. Rummage through Naha Kokusai Dori

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Hewa Dori – very crowded traditional market

Naha Kokusai Dori is the main shopping street in Naha, Okinawa and also the busiest area. Not only local people, but also tourists coming here for Okinawa products, food, restaurants and bars.

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Fresh seafood in Makishi Public Market

If you’re a fan of seafood, don’t miss the Makishi Public Market. You can easily buy local seafood, have it prepared and eat in one of the restaurants on its 2nd floor.

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Eating in one of the restaurants in Makishi Public Market

4. Make a round trip around Okinawa island

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Cape Hedo – the very North of Okinawa

If you own an international driver’s license, you can easily rent a car to drive on Okinawa. Be careful, they’re driving on the left side. However, the traffic is not as heavy as in big cities, and people drive very carefully, so it’s not that bad.

You can reach many beautiful places of Okinawa within one day driving.

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Head to Daisekirinzan for a hike
Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Or visit the Shurijo Castle
Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Shurijo-castle in the sky

3. Relax on the beach

While driving along the coast, you will see many wonderful beaches. That’s why don’t forget to take towels and swimming suits with you on this trip. You can just park your car near the beach, put the towel on the soft white sand and enjoy it. At some places, there are guards and beach volley ball field as well.

If you want to swimm, you should also check the high – low tide schedule.

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Toyosaki Seaside Park SUN

2. Visit other islands of Okinawa

Over 350 big and small islands belong to the Okinawa Prefecture, among which only about are inhabit. Several are connected with the main island by bridges. But many of them can only reached by boat, ferry or flight. Take a chance to visit one of some of them while you’re here.

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Miyakojima

1. Diving and snorkeling

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Turtles in Okinawa’s sea

In the warm Ocean around Okinawa islands, a lot of beautiful creatures: fishes, turtles, corals… You can easily go snorkeling from many beaches. It’s really amazing!

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Diving in the blue grotto of Miyakojima
Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
A lionfish – dangerous beauty of the sea

What you definetly have to try?

Have you also heard that the local Okinawa people live longest? The reason is their nutrition. They eat mainly vegetable, soy products and seafood coming from Okinawa itself. But what are their speciaties?

Okinawa Salt

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Salt tasting

Extracted from the blue clear ocean water, Okinawa salt is approved as the salt that contains most minerals in it. It’s supposed to be very healthy and tasty. Okinawa salt is usually produced as snow-white powder. You can have a salt tasting in many places such as markets or restaurants

Okinawa soft ice

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Salziges Softeis

Ice cream with salt – sounds weird, but amazingly tasty! Don’t miss it!

Sweet potatoes and bitter melons

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Steak & bitter melon

Sweet potatoes and bitter melons can grow well on Okinawa. That’s why you can have it in many variants and in many dishes: pure, raw, BBQ, dried, as fill for sweet stuff…

Sea grapes

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Sea grape

Grapes from the sea – it’s a kind of seaweed that has many “grapes” along it stem. This is the first time for me to see and try it. It tastes like fish roe, a bit salty but not fishy at all. It goes very well with other vegetables in a salat.

Yakogai – giant sea snail

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Yakogai – sea snail

The giant sea snail can be seen in every seafood restaurant. It’s really yummi as sashimi.

Awamori – distilled rice drink

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Awamori – Okinawa’s rice vodka

Another specialty of Okinawa is Awamori. Even though it’s made from rice like Sake, it has a different taste. Because Awamori is not brewed, but distilled. Flavorful!

Japan, Okinawa Reise, Asien, schnorcheln, tauchen, Myakojima, scuba diving, snorkeling, strand, beach
Have fun on Okinawa!

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