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Located on the first floor of a distillery in Itoman City, awamori (alcohol distilled from Thai rice) connoisseurs will enjoy seeing how this Okinawan spirit is made. The first floor is a shop where visitors can taste and buy the various kinds of awamori, while the second floor displays the historic and modern tools of the trade. Drivers and minors are kindly asked not to partake in the sampling.
At the Busena Marine Park on the southern outskirts of Nago City, tourists and locals alike can go underwater to explore the coral that thrives in the ocean, or board a glass-bottom boat to admire what lies beneath. The observatory looks like a tube perched off the coast of the island, and takes visitors down to the ocean floor for a panoramic view of Okinawa's marine life. Glass-bottom boats that go further out are on the beach.
Stretching from Kyushu to Taiwan, the Ryukyu Islands are a chain of islands governed by Japan. While the smaller islands are predominantly coral islands, the larger islands in the chain are inhabited by many different communities. The first historical reference to these islands dates back to the early 220 BCE, and it is believed that they inspired the then emperor Qin Shi Huang of the Qin Dynasty. Many of the larger islands are covered in lush broadleaf forests and flanked by sparkling blue water. Several different species of animals are endemic to the islands, including the Ryukyu shrew, Iriomote cat and the Ryukyu flying fox. Visitors can find plenty to keep them entertained, from exploring historic ruins to sun-bathing on sandy beaches.
Located in Peace Memorial Park, the exhibits at the Okinawan Prefectural Peace Museum are separated into five rooms, three of which focus on the Battle of Okinawa in which at least 200,000 people were killed, and two of which focus on pre- and post-war Okinawa. The museum has films, photos, and personal testimonies regarding the tragedies that occurred, in the hope that the pain endured during that time will not be repeated.
During the Battle of Okinawa, female high school students were mobilized to form a nursing unit known as the Himeyuri Student Corps. Testimonies, photographs and keepsakes of the 200 girls who died are displayed at this museum, ensuring that future generations will learn from their sacrifice. People with disabilities and their caretakers are offered free admission, and wheelchairs can be rented if the museum is contacted beforehand. Last admission is half an hour before closing.
Take a break from your regular city life and enjoy a family-outing by the bay at the Minna Beach. This beautiful beach boasts of picture-perfect views with its clear waters and white sand. Soak in the warm sun or enjoy a cooling dip in its water, you are sure to enjoy here. Thrill-seekers are in for a treat when at Minna Beach as this spot is famous for water sport activities like snorkeling, scuba-diving and others. Being a popular tourist spot, the island has several accommodation facilities and restaurants for your convenience.