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Best things to do in Okinawa in 2023


Are you itching to travel to tropical destinations abroad but somehow feel stuck in Japan? Well, in case you’re not aware, Japan not only flaunts its cherry blossoms and bustling city lights but it also offers a refreshing destination for island enthusiasts – Okinawa Island.

Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture of Japan, which comprises more than 150 inhabited and uninhabited islands. It boasts white sandy beaches, lush greens, and a culture that is unique from mainland Japan. Moreover, Okinawa has an interesting history as it formed the independent Ryukyu Kingdom, which was a tributary state to China, before being officially part of Japan.

Nowadays, Okinawa is considered one of the popular destinations in Japan, particularly during the summer season, due to the wide range of activities and sceneries it offers to visitors. If you’re interested in discovering the most recommended activities and must-visit places in Okinawa, be sure to read this article.

Tour around Kokusai Dori

Perhaps, one of the most popular destinations in Okinawa is Kokusai Dori, or the international street, which is located in Naha City. Kokusai Dori is a 1.6km street that is lined with cafes,  restaurants and souvenir shops. If you are looking to stroll, shop, eat and visit some bars, this is the most recommended place for you.

Kokusai Dori is proud of its bright streets and dynamic locals. Its surrounding restaurants also offer live music for visitors who want to just relax and zone out from a fun-filled day.

Dive into the white sand beaches of Okinawa

Okinawa is home to white sand beaches that stretch across its shoreline and the mini islands that surround it. Surely, you will have plenty of options.

Here are some of the nearby beaches that we recommend you to visit:

  1. Manza Beach
  2. Bibi Beach Itoman
  3. Emerald Beach
  4. Mibaru Beach

If you’re willing to take a ferry or a plane off mainland Okinawa to visit more pristine beaches, here are some of the places that we recommend:

Visit Okinawa’s historic castle ruins

For history buffs and curious minds alike, Okinawa’s deep history might interest you. We have earlier mentioned that prior to being integrated into Japanese society, Okinawa was autonomous and was once a tributary state to China, which is why some of its artifacts are distinct from mainland Japan.

The Ryukyu Kingdom ruled the island many years ago. It created and built a society that was independent and unique. In fact, up until now locals and visitors are still able to see the remnants of their culture, particularly the castles that were once ruled by warlords.

In the contemporary world, the castles now sit as attractions to many visitors to the Island. They have also been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. If you are eager to learn more about these castles and Okinawa’s rich history, here are some of the locations that you can visit:

  1. Nakagasuku Castle Ruins
  2. Zakimi Castle Ruins
  3. Katsuren Castle Ruins
  4. Nakijin Castle Ruins

Drive around the Island

What’s a better way to experience Okinawa than driving around it? Unlike Tokyo or Osaka, Okinawa’s transportation system is still thriving. Unless you are in Naha City, navigating around the island, without your personal or rented transportation, might cause inconvenience to you, especially if you only have limited time on the island.

Driving around the Okinawa will definitely give you the island vibe and satisfy your eyes with its breathtaking sceneries.

If you don’t have a personal car, here are some of the rental shops where you can rent a car:

  1. Times Car Rental
  2. Nippon Rent-A-Car
  3. Toyota Rent a car
  4. Fuji Rent-A-Car

Since Okinawa is a popular destination among tourists, it is recommended to reserve a car a month before your trip.

Devour Okinawa’s local cuisines

Satisfy your cravings with Okinawa’s delicious local food. The island offers affordable and endless options for you to enjoy.

Here are some of Okinawa’s local cuisines that you might want to try:

Okinawa offers a wide range of options for tourists and locals who visit the island, from breathtaking views to its delicious food. You will also be treated to its unique culture and rich history.

Is Okinawa already your go-to destination this year? If you’ve been there before, share with us your experience!

Send money anytime, anywhere with Smiles Mobile Remittance

We hope that your stay in Okinawa will refresh your body and rejuvenate your energy. More importantly, we want you to have a stress-free vacation even if you need to urgently send money to your loved ones in the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal or to other parts of the world.

Smiles Mobile Remittance will let you send money anytime and anywhere, whether you are basking in the sun or walking your way up the top of the castle ruins. If you are yet to download the Smiles app, you may click this link.

Experience a faster and more convenient method of sending money to your home country by using Smiles Mobile Remittance.

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