Okinawa(沖縄) is Japan's southernmost prefecture, consisting of a few dozen, small islands in the southern half of the Nansei Shoto.
Okinawa. The former center of the kingdom of the Ryukyu unfortunately lost much of its cultural heritage in the air raids of WWII. But Today Okinawa still remains its unique traditions from the Ryukyu kingdom, including the language, arts, and music. In the addition, this island is the home to some excellent beaches, delicious food and friendly people, many of whom speak a little more English than their mainland counterparts.
Travel Spots of Okinawa
- Historic Site
- Nakamura-ke [Map]
- Sefa- utaki [Map]
- Tamaudun [Map]
- Ishigaki Island [Map]
- Kumejima Island [Map]
- Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium [Map]
- Okinawa Peace Memorial Park [Map]
- World Heritage
- Okinawa Nakijin Castle Ruins [Map]
- Shurijo Castle [Map]
Travel spot in Okinawa
Shuri Castle Festival - 首里城祭
Shuri Castle Festival is scheduled to take place from Oct. 27 through 29. The highlight of the festival is a spectacular Ryukyu Dynasty Parade; participants will wear in colorful and beautiful costumes. It is a revival of the prosperous Ryukyu Dynasty in all its glory!
- Dragon Boat Races - held in early May, particularly in Itoman and Nah. These races are thought to bring luck and prosperity to the island’s fisherman.
Shuri Castle – 首里城 ( Naha )
Shuri Castle was originally built in the late 1300s, and played an integral role in the political unification of the island. This former castle stood on a hill with a view of the East China Sea on side, and the pacific on the other. It comprised a complex of buildings including fortification, palaces and temples. Wars and fires destroyed the castle multiple times over the centuries. The current buildings are beautiful reconstructions dating from 1992. Its architectural design and vermilion color differ significantly with those of castles on mainland Japan. Now designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tamaudun 玉陵 (Naha )
The Tamaudun Mausoleum was built around the beginning of the 16th century as the mausoleum for the royal family of the Ryukyu Kingdom. It was restored after suffering extensive damage during the war.
Shikinaen 識名園 ( Naha )
Shikinaen was constructed in the end of the 18th century. It’s was a villa belong to the Ryukyu royal family. A Chinese style garden containing stone bridges, while the garden is designed in a style seen elsewhere in Japan, the architecture and flora give Shikinaen a uniquely Okinawan flavor.
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park –沖縄県平和祈念公園 ( The South )
With its peaceful view over the south of the island, was the scene of the final stages in the battle of Okinawa, today is a memorial park containing a numbers of monuments in memory of the victims- who fell during this tragic episode.
Peace Memorial Museum -沖縄県平和祈念資料館 ( The South )
This museum focuses on the suffering of the Okinawa people during the invasion of the island. The main exhibition strives to present a balanced picture of the Pacific war and the history that led to the invasions.
Himeyuri Peace Museumひめゆり平和祈念資料館 ( The South )
Located above a cave that served as an emergency field hospital during the closing days of the battle of Okinawa, This museum were build in honor of 240 female high-school students were pressed into service as nurses for Japanese military wounded. Tragically, only five of them survived the carnage know as “the typhoon of steel”.
The Himeyuri Peace Museum Exhibits feature photographs of the many victims, their personal effects, model reconstructions of the appalling conditions, and testimonies from survivors in an appeal against the misery of war.
Sefa- utaki斎場御嶽、( The South )
Sefa Utaki is included as one of Okinawa's World Heritage sites. Sefa Utaki is an important sacred site of the indigenous Okinawan religion, which, similar to Shinto, Utaki is an okinawan term for the sacred sites (groves, rocks, caves, etc) where the islanders would communicate with gods and make offering to them.
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium 沖縄美ら海水族館 ( The North )
This aquarium is built around the world’s largest aquarium tank, which houses a fantastic variety of fish including two whale sharks .Dolphin shows are held at regular intervals.
Okinawa Ocean Expo Park 沖縄海洋博公園 ( The North )
Build on the site of the 1975 World’s Fair, whose theme was oceans and marine life and which was held in Okinawa. Ocean Expo Park included the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, a botanical garden, a museum of Oceanic Culture.
Okinawa Nakijin Castle Ruins 今帰仁城蹟 ( The North )
The Nakijin Castle Ruins are located on the Motobu Peninsula of northern Okinawa Honto and are among the UNESCO World Heritage designated Castles of the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Nakijin Castle was built in the late 1200s, Nakijin served as the castle of the Hokuzan king until it was taken over by the Chuzan on their way to unifying the island and forming the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Nakagusuku-Jo Ruins 中村城蹟( The Center )
Nakagusuku Castle is visible evidence of the Ryukyu kingdom and the natural rocks and the land surrounding the castle is a perfect reflection of that period of time in Okinawa’s history.
Nakamura-ke 中村家 ( The Center )
Nakamurake is a traditional Okinawan style house, an important Okinawa farming family, dates from the beginning of the 18c.Nakamurake has been designated a major cultural asset by the Japanese government and is open to the public. Protected from Typhoons by a row of trees, it’s the best preserved traditional house the island.