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? 😉.
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 😌.
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
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.
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.
4. Make a round trip around Okinawa island
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.
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.
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.
1. Diving and snorkeling
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!
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?
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
Ice cream with salt – sounds weird, but amazingly tasty! Don’t miss it!
Sweet potatoes and bitter melons
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…
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
The giant sea snail can be seen in every seafood restaurant. It’s really yummi as sashimi.
Awamori – distilled rice drink
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!
Curious about other destinations in Asia? Click here.