Karate was born in response to the ban on carrying weapons imposed by the Satsuma Clan when Okinawa became first dominated by Japan. This museum contains photographs of karate masters, weapons displays, and a treasure trove of knowledge in its curator, Hokama. Martial arts enthusiasts can also partake in weaponry classes. Be sure to phone in advance if not visiting on a Tuesday or Saturday.
The Blue Cave is a famous tourist spot in Okinawa. Tourists go to the cave by scuba diving and snorkeling. Various tourist guides, conduct tours to the blue cave also known as the “Miraculous Cave”. The Blue Cave is a different world altogether, beautiful blue waters, lively fishes and colorful corals. The world under water at Blue Cave is like a fairy tale in front of the eyes. Tourist between the ages 10-60 will good health conditions are only allowed, kids below the age 10 years require parental consent. A great experience in Okinawa, the Blue Cave is worth seeing.
Only four minutes from Ocean Expo Park, a quick tour through this small butterfly garden will have the whole family smiling before the day is done. If you want to see them up close, grab one of the red caps or umbrellas provided upon entering and the butterflies will be sure to perch atop your head. There is also a restaurant in the building with a beautiful view of the ocean, as well as a small souvenir shop with all of the typical Okinawan goods.
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.
Musica's lighthearted quality makes for a relaxing setting after stressful day at work, and on Wednesdays, stand-up comedy sets will help you forget your troubles. Because of the great acoustics, live performances and public reading nights draw large crowds into this stylish bar. On nights when there aren't any live performances, the drinks, food and conversation still make for a great time. Check the websites for performer biographies and set schedules. Opening times may vary depending on the events.
Japanese noodle dish soba is usually served with tsuyu (dipping sauce), but Tomishiro Soba also serves it up with song. This local soba restaurant becomes a concert venue every Friday night at 20:00, when guest musicians and the restaurant manager (who is also a singer) perform. Every fourth Friday in the event line-up is dubbed Amateur Night where many performers come in to perform traditional Japanese music, some with regional Okinawan instruments. Anyone is welcome to come and enjoy the performances, but a cover charge is implemented in addition to food prices.
The Brook seems like a well-guarded secret and only those in the know are aware of this place. Well equipped with a quality sound and light system, it hosts international DJs and talented musicians on a regular basis. Enjoy the fine tunes with a pint of beer or any choice drink.
Just off Kokusai Street in the heart of Naha City, D-Set Cafe holds a variety of live events that cover musical genres from the traditional kumiodori (Okinawan folk song and dance) to jazz, rock and punk. Folk group Kaguya Himo is their headlining band, and they perform on the last Saturday of every month. Visitors will be able to find friends among the multitude of music lovers that frequent the brightly lit cafe, and groups of friends can share a pizza and fries. Opening times and cover charge vary widely according to the event, so be sure to check the website for details.
There's no better way to feel alive than to hear a riveting percussion or sanshin (Japanese lute) solo. At Masakaya Bar, a skilled family of musicians takes the stage, with the husband on the sanshin and the wife on the drums while their daughter sings. Newcomers are always welcome, and people can order the horse sashimi for a unique treat and wash it down with the local awamori (Okinawan liquor). Reservations by phone are required, since the venue only seats 11.
American-owned karaoke bar and lounge, American Idol is a place where all can come for a night of letting loose. With the newest karaoke technology, songs in five different languages, and a staff that speaks English, this venue is perfect for international guests. Despite its attractive features, American Idol is also very affordable.