Though their headquarters are in Chatan Village in Central Okinawa, Reef Encounters operates marine excursions all over Okinawa prefecture, from the northern tip of the island at Cape Hedo all the way down to Yongauni Island in the Yaeyama Region. Both experienced and novice divers can choose between snorkeling, diving and fishing, and can even become certified scuba divers. The staff is fluent in both English and Japanese, and the company also offers all-inclusive tour packages. Visit the website to make reservations.
This little strip of land jutting out into the azure waters is one of the most picturesque sights in Onna. The area round Cape Maeda is a popular diving spot in the region and attracts adventure enthusiasts. For those who simply want to enjoy the scenery, the plateau-like features of the cape offer sweeping views and leisurely hikes. Don't miss the spectacular sunset from here.
Designated a World Hertiage Site, this is the first site a Ryukyu King visited after ascending to the throne, and also where Ryukyu's supreme priestesses were ordained and performed rituals. In legend, the ritual site was created by Amamikiyo, the goddess who created the Ryukyu Islands. Prayers are made facing Kudaka Island, the place where Amamikiyo first descended from the heavens. Two giant stones form the entrance to the prayer area.
In Ishikawa near Uruma, visitors can walk through the fern-filled park, kayak, ride in a water buffalo cart, or go on a 25-minute jungle cruise, though tickets for the rides are not included in the entrance fee. The beautiful wild orchids growing in the park and the adjacent Bios on the Hill Garden Center, the largest orchid greenhouse in Japan, provide a perfect backdrop for a romantic outing as well. Wheelchairs and strollers can be rented at the front desk.
The Yomitan Pottery Village offers a unique look into traditional Okinawan pottery and craftsmanship. The village is home to over 45 workshops and boutiques specializing in everything from traditional unglazed Ryukyuan ceramics to the more modern glazed pottery. These unique pieces are sold in small shops in the village itself. From everyday delicate crockery like teacups and saucers to more decorative pieces like the "shisha" or Japanese guard dog to ward off evil, there is something here for every budget and taste. This is a wonderful place to appreciate the fine art of pottery making firsthand and experience an integral part of Okinawan culture.
Suited for those who love arts and crafts, this museum not only displays elegant and delicate works of traditional Ryukyuan crafts, but also allows visitors to try to make their own works of art. Artistic tourists can experiment with designing lacquer ware, glass, colorful bingata (a dyeing technique) textiles, and weaving. The gallery itself probably only takes half an hour to go through, and reservations for the workshops are recommended. The museum is closed on Wednesdays, and last admission is half an hour before closing.
Okinawa Children's World is also known as the Okinawa Zoo and Museum. The place has mammals, birds, fishes, reptiles and over 200 kinds of animals. Okinawa Children's World is a great way to introduce children to various species. Okinawa Children's World is a place for kids to learn while they enjoy. The zoo also has a few barn animals, the kids are allowed to pet animals like guinea Pigs and chicks. The zoo is mostly packed during holidays and school vacations. The museum hosts various activities for kids to know and believe their potential and capability. The museum lets children explore their world of imagination.
This one-of-a-kind, multi-purpose park in Ginowan makes for an excellent outing for the whole family. With the cerulean waters of the ocean bordering the park, one can indulge in as much relaxation as they want, or live it up with a ton of outdoor activities. The park has trails for running and strolling, besides also having an expansive playground where your little ones can frolic around. Monkey bars, swings and slides add to the fun.
Gala Aoiumi is a short drive from Okinawa, situated in the picturesque village of Yomitan. Located on the coast, this venue hosts workshops, classes and interactive activities like pottery making, glass blowing, stained glass painting and even salt making for all ages. There is a salt factory and museum on the premises and tours can be arranged. Explore the artificial reef on the premises where coral is grown to reintroduce into the Okinawan waters. There are several eateries and restaurants here as well. A visit here promises a fun experience for the entire family where you can see, eat and experience something uniquely local.