Heading to Okinawa? Lucky you! It’s a beautiful part of the world and there are some great cities and beaches to explore. The next step after deciding to go, and what to do, is to decide where to stay in Okinawa and find the best hotel to book for your holiday. And that’s what we will help you with here!
Okinawa is a big archipelago, made up of hundreds of islands, so it’s natural if you don’t know where to start in finding the best area to stay in. After all, you don’t want to end up picking somewhere less than ideal for you holiday break. Thankfully, we can help you out!
Okinawa is located in the East China Sea, to the south of Japan and in relative proximity to Taiwan. It is about a three-hour flight away from Tokyo.
There are a ton of things to do in Okinawa, from diving in the Blue Cave, to visiting Churaumi Aquarium or tasting a Spam Onigiri.
And if you’re planning a trip to Okinawa, you’ll need a great place to call your home away from home. But no worries! We’ve got you covered with this article about the best areas to stay in Okinawa and an extensive list of our favourite hotels, resorts, hostels and guest houses on the archipelago.
Our advice, on where to stay in Okinawa really depends on what you want to do and for how many days you are planning to stay. As with any trip we suggest you choose a location that is central to the activities you have planned and allows you to reach the places you want to visit quickly.
In this article we therefore list out the best areas to stay in Okinawa, nearby activities and the individual advantages and disadvantages of each area. Once you have chosen which area to stay in based on your specific needs, you can then go through our list of the best places to stay in Okinawa (organised by area) and pick the best Okinawa hotel based on your budget.
All the hotels we mention in this article are perfectly located to explore Okinawa’s main attractions as detailed in our “What to do in Naha”, “What to do in Nago” and “What to do on Ishigaki” guides.
So, whether you are looking for a 5-star resort in Okinawa, a budget family-friendly hotel in Okinawa or a cheap hostel in Okinawa, we have you covered
Please note that because Okinawa is made up of several islands, you might need to change hotels a couple of times, if you decide to island hop like we did.
This guide on where to stay in Okinawa Japan also compliments our full one week Okinawa Itinerary and our other awesome guides on the best time to go to Okinawa, on the best things to do in Okinawa and about Okinawa famous food you must eat.
IF YOU ARE IN A HURRY
THE BEST AREAS TO STAY iN OKINAWA
The best area to stay in Okinawa if it’s your first time here has to be – NAGO
The best area to stay in Okinawa if you are on a budget has to be – NAHA
The best area to stay in if you are visiting Okinawa with your family has to be – ONNA
The best area to stay in if you enjoy history has to be – NAKIJIN
The best area to stay in if you want to get off the Beaten Track has to be – KUNIGAMI
The best island to stay on if you want to go Island Hopping has to be – ISHIGAKI
THE TOP 5 HOTELS IN OKINAWAN ARCHIPELAGO
THE BEST LUXURY HOTEL IN OKINAWA:
THE BEST MID-RANGE HOTEL IN OKINAWA:
JR-KYUSHU HOTEL BLOSSOM
THE BEST FAMILY HOTEL IN OKINAWA:
ANA INTERCONTINENTAL MANZA BEACH RESORT
THE BEST BUDGET HOTEL IN OKINAWA:
NAHA WEST INN
THE BEST CITIES AND AREAS ON OKINAWA’S MAIN ISLAND TO STAY IN
The main island of Okinawa is long, and its biggest cities and holiday resorts are distributed unevenly along it’s coastline.
Okinawa’s capital Naha and its second largest city Okinawa city are located on the South of the Island, whilst Nago is situated more centrally but arguably has less attractions.
It’s therefore a good idea to have a rough itinerary in mind before picking a place to stay on Okinawa.
You will also want to bear in mind that there isn’t a lot of public transport on the main island of Okinawa. So, if you are planning to visit attractions that aren’t in the vicinity of your hotel, you will probably need to hire a car.
Note that the maximum speed limit on the island is 60 km per hour (roughly 37 miles per hour). It will therefore take several hours to get from one end of the island to the other and it will take a while to visit all of Okinawa’s beaches and attractions.
All this needs to be considered when you are planning how long to stay on and where to stay on Okinawa’s main island.
You can read more about all the best places to stay on Okinawa’s main island below.
WHY YOU SHOULD STAY IN NAHA
Naha is Okinawa Prefecture’s capital city. It is the biggest city on Okinawa’s main Island and is located on its south-western coast.
Naha is where we personally decided to stay during our honeymoon before we went island hopping. And it is also the main place we would recommend that everybody stays that is planning their first trip to Okinawa.
It is a great base for your holiday in Okinawa as it is entirely feasible to spend almost a week in Naha without running out of things to do. In fact, if you are wondering where to stay in Okinawa without a car, then Naha is our answer.
Apart from the ease of access to a plethora of tourist attractions, another advantage of staying in Naha, is that you won’t have to travel far after you landed at Naha airport, which just happens to be located on the Western outskirts of Naha. In fact, it only takes about 10 minutes by car or 15 minutes by rail to reach the central district.
Surprisingly and even though there are so many things to do in the capital city of Okinawa, Naha is the most affordable place to stay on the main island. So, if you are on a budget, then Naha is your best bet for a cheap stay.
The downside of booking a hotel in Naha, however, is that you will almost certainly need to hire a car at some point during your trip if you want to visit the Ocean Expo, Pineapple Park, Ryuku Mura or the main island’s famous coastline.
WHAT TO DO IN NAHA
Naha has plenty of places to visit and is a great place to go shopping.
Shuri Castle – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is one of Naha’s most well-known and cherished attractions, even after a large part of it burned down in 2019.
The Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum is a great place to get an introduction to Okinawa’s history and culture.
Tsuboya Pottery Street is famous for its ceramic arts and is a great place to buy a souvenir.
Foodies should head to Daichi Makishi Kōsetsu Ichiba, a covered food market that sells many delicacies, or visit Naha’s Kokusaidori street, also known as International street, which is the place to go if you are looking for a restaurant or bar.
The Okinawa Peace Museum and Garden is located slightly outside but within easy reach of Naha. It is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are interested in Okinawa’s role in the Second World War.
are even a few white sandy beaches in Naha Okinawa, where both locals and tourist alike love to relax and go snorkelling. These include Naminoue Beach, Naha Beach and Senagi beach. Although I wouldn’t plan to stay in naha, if your main intention is to sun bathe at the beach.
If you do want to leave the city for the day, Naha’s port area has a busy ferry terminal with a large number of ferries departing to the surrounding islands on a daily basis. You could for instance hop on to a ferry to Zumami Island and spend the day on one of the small islands’ many beaches, like we did.
WHERE TO STAY IN NAHA
There are plenty of nice hotels in Naha. But we would suggest that you choose a hotel or guesthouse that is located near Naha’s downtown area.
The centre of Naha can be easily navigated by foot. Choosing a hotel in the centre will therefore cut down the number of times you need to rely on public transport.
That being said, Naha’s monorail runs smoothly and is always on time. So, if you are looking for a cheaper accommodation in Okinawa, then the outskirts of Naha might be your best bet.
THE BEST HOTELS AND HOSTELS IN NAHA
Below you will find a list of hotels, guest houses and hostels in Naha, that we are happy to recommend based on our own research.
OUR HONEYMOON HOTEL IN NAHA – THE NAHA TERRACE
The Naha Terrace is a luxurious hotel located in one of the quieter residential neighbourhoods of Naha, but still in walking distance of the city centre.
The hotel has a variety of common spaces such as the lobby and the outdoor terrace, that can be used by all guests. There are two bars and also four different restaurants at the Naha Terrace, one of which is an in-house Teppanyaki grill that specialises in Wagyu beef. The hotel also features a spa and a small pool. All these amenities make the Naha Terrace feel a little bit more like a resort than a hotel.
The rooms at the Naha terrace are generous in size. The en-suite bathroom features a lot of marble and the décor of the hotel is generally very white and bright. Everything is kept very clean and the staff pay special attention to details.
Breakfast is served in of the hotel restaurants and takes the form of a Western style buffet. The selection was pretty luxurious but also fairly pricey. We personally opted to only have breakfast at the hotel once and grab food on the go all other days.
THE MOST LUXURIOUS HOTEL IN NAHA – RHIGA ROYAL GRAN
The 5-star Rhiga Royal Gran Okinawa is one of the best hotels in Okinawa, if you are looking for a touch of luxury.
Just like all the other hotels we have mentioned in this article, it is perfectly located to visit all of Naha’s attractions. In fact it has direct access to Asahibashi Monorail Station.
The rooms at the Rhiga Royal Gran Okinawa have a Western design and are very generous in size. They all feature a comfy bed, a flat screen tv, air conditioning, a fridge and a safety deposit box. They are also equipped with all the usual mod cons of Japanese hospitality, such as a kettle to make your green tea, a pair of fresh pyjamas and sanitary equipment such as a toothbrush.
We were happy to read that all the rooms at the Rhiga Royal Gran Okinawa are non-smoking, which isn’t necessarily common in Japan.
The hotel provides all it’s guests with free Wifi and an excellent concierge service in the lobby on the 14th floor. Currency exchange and photocopying services are offered at the front desk. This is particularly useful for business travellers. Laundry services are also provided and on-site parking is available at an extra charge.
The hotel also has an in-house restaurant. Dining 19 is located on the top floor of the hotel and thus offers stunning views across Naha, especially during the golden hour. The restaurant serves up a continental breakfast buffet in the morning and western a la carte dishes in the evening.
THE BEST FAMILY HOTEL IN NAHA – HOTEL OCEAN
There is no hotel in Naha that is more child friendly than Hotel Ocean. Children of old ages will have a wonderful time staying at this hotel. Kids are greeted with a bag of pick and mix sweeties at check in and can take part in the daily lucky wheel spin. There is a play area in the lobby, as well as the hotel restaurant. The lobby is also stocked with free items, some of which are particularly useful if you are travelling with a toddler. In fact guest are given 5 free diapers and a pack of wipes each day.
Adults will be glad to read that Hotel Ocean is located near Naha Kokusai Street and that you can walk to the city centre within 15 minutes. Alternatively you can catch the monorail from nearby Makishi Station to head to Shurijo Castle.
Hotel ocean offer a choice between western style rooms with beds and Japanese style rooms with Tatami floors. Guests can choose their preferred type of pillow from a pillow menu. All rooms are air conditioned and are fitted with a flat screen TV. Tea and coffee is offered free in the hotel lounge throughout the day.
THE BEST MID-RANGE HOTEL IN NAHA – JR KYUSHU HOTEL BLOSSOM
If you have a mid-range budget and want to save some money for activities, then we would recommend that you stay at JR Kyushu hotel blossom in Naha. This hotel is located a mere minute’s walk from Kokusai Dori shopping street. But the hotel Is tucked away on a quiet lane, so you don’t need to worry about noise. If you want to jump onto the monorail then you will need to walk to Makishi Station. The good news is that this is only 10 minutes away.
The rooms at JR Kyushu hotel blossom have a fairly neutral and minimalistic western style, but the wood paneling makes them feel pretty cosy. They are pretty well equipped and feature all the mod cons you will need for your stay.
The hotel does feature a private parking area but please note that this will cost you extra. The hotel also has a communal library lounge. The hotel also offers coin-operated washing machines and dryers
The staff at Jaya Kyushu hotel blossom are generally very friendly and helpful.
THE BEST BUDGET HOTEL IN NAHA – NAHA WEST INN
If you are on a really tight budget and want to spend most of your hard-earned cash on activities or food, but still want to stay at a hotel the Naha Westin is your best bet.
In contrast to the other hotels mentioned above the Naha West Inn is located closer to the beach than it is to the centre of town. However, It only takes about a 20-minute walk to reach Kokusai Dory by foot. And there are plenty of eateries and even a convenience store located nearby.
Whilst the rooms are sparsely furnished with a modern concrete aesthetic, they are fitted with everything you might need for an overnight stay. The rooms are also pretty spacious for Japanese standards.
The residential-style rooms feature a small kitchenette with a Fridge freezer, a microwave, an electric stovetop, and even a washing machine.
Free Wi-Fi is available across the property and parking can be arranged at an extra cost. Complimentary coffee and juice is available in the lobby.
THE BEST HOSTEL IN NAHA – ABEST CUBE NAHA INTERNATIONAL
If you are planning to backpack around Okinawa and are looking for a place to stay in Naha, then you should consider booking a bed at Abest Cube Naha International. The japanese guesthouse is located within walking distance of Kokusai Street where all the action happens. Better yet, if you are planning to do some island hopping then you will be please to read that Abest Cube Naha international is also situated near Naha’s ferry port.
A stay at Abest Cube Naha International includes breakfast and there is a 24h supermarket nearby. You will therefore find it easy to save your cash to visit Okinawa’s many attractions.
The guesthouse features a large common area where drinks (oolong tea and pineapple juice) are served for free until 2 AM.
THE BEST GUEST HOUSE IN NAHA – GRAND CABIN HOTEL NAHA OROKU
If you are planning to backpack around Okinawa and are looking for a place to stay in Naha, then you should consider
If you are visiting Okinawa on a budget and are looking for a place to stay, look no further than Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku. This stylish Japanese guesthouse is located in close proximity to the airport. There is also Yurail Station (Naha’s monorail) near the guesthouse, making it easy to visit most places in Naha and Okinawa.
Each 4sqm capsule-style room can be locked with an accordion curtain giving you lots of privacy. The bathrooms are shared but very clean.
Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku has a cafe in the lobby that serves pizza and there is a 24h supermarket nearby. The guesthouse also features a laundry room and free wifi.
You can expect to pay around 20£ per night. This excludes breakfast. Also, note that women and men sleep in different parts of the guesthouse.
WHY YOU SHOULD STAY IN CHATAN OKINAWA
Chatan is located around an hour north from Naha but right beside the famous American village. There is an affordable shuttle bus that travels between Chatan and Naha airport.
In our opinion Chatan is a great place to stay if you are mainly planning to spend your holiday relaxing on a beach in Okinawa.
It would however not be our first choice for sightseeing. Since most of the attractions on the main Island of Okinawa are located in Naha, you will need to plan to travel in order to see them.
That being said, it only takes about 30 minutes in a hire car to reach Naha.
Please note that finding parking in Naha (when you aren’t staying at a hotel in the city) can be a bit complicated and won’t be cheap either.
WHAT TO DO IN CHATAN
The American Village is located right outside of Chatan and is an attraction all of its own. This colourful and lively area is unlike any other place in Japan. The influence of the nearby American military base is very clear.
This funfair come shopping centre mixes Japanese and American cultures in a completely unique way. The many restaurants, shops and entertainment venues are popular among both Okinawan natives and the Americans temporarily stationed on the island’s large US military base.
THE BEST HOTELS AND HOSTELS IN CHATAN
Below you will find a list of hotels, resorts and hostels in Chatan, that we are happy to recommend based on our own research.
THE BEST LUXURY RESORT IN CHATAN – DOUBLE TREE BY HILTON OKINAWA CHATAN RESORT
If you are looking for a luxurious beach resort in Okinawa for a chillaxed holiday, look no further than the Double Tree by Hilton Okinawa Resort.
This hotel was recently built and is located right on the beach. The resort also features two pools, a restaurant, a fitness centre and free parking.
The rooms at the Double Tree Hilton in Chatan are generous in size and all have a balcony. We would highly suggest you pick an ocean facing room. You won’t regret it when you see that sunset! The wet room is equipped with a hot tub and a rain shower, which is perfect to relax under after a day at one of the best beaches in Okinawa. Each room has a seating area and a flat screen tv. The rooms are air conditioned and equipped with a safety deposit box, a hairdryer and all the other usual modcons.
Every morning Double Tree by Hilton serves up a breakfast buffet with both western and Japanese style dishes.
THE BEST MIDRANGE HOTEL IN CHATAN – L’AGENT HOTEL CHATAN
Our choice for best mid-range hotel in Chatan has to be L’Agent Hotel Chatan. This hotel also doubles up as a hostel for those of you who are on an even tighter budget.
The hotel is located in the centre of town and just a short stroll away from the American Village. It does have a private car park if you are planning to hire a car.
The hotel’s rooms are decorated in calming pastel colours and some of them feature beautiful ocean-themed wall art. The rooms come in a variety of layouts, some of which are particularly well suited for families.
Guests rave about the friendly staff and we would happily recommend this hotel to families.
THE BEST HOSTEL IN CHATAN – SEAWALL
We always like to include an option for our readers that our on a really tight budget and Hostel Seawall in Chatan definitely deserves a mention. It might in fact be the best Hostel in all of Okinawa.
It only takes 2 minutes to get from this hostel to the beach and a mere 15 minutes to the touristy American Village. There are plenty of dining options near the hostel from restaurants to convenience stores. The hostel is also equipped with a shared kitchen if you would rather make your own meals.
Hostel Seawall stands out with its colourful interiors and all the little additional extras that are included as part of your stay. All guests are provided with free shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, and shampoo. You can also get laundry detergent for free to wash your clothes in the laundry room. In fact, this hostel takes cleanliness seriously and all the rooms are spotless.
All the linen is also included as part of the night’s stay and the beds are super comfortable.
You can also rent a bike at the hostel
WHY YOU SHOULD STAY IN ONNA
Onna is a stretch of coastline facing the East China Sea and located just south of Nago on Okinawa’s main Island.
It is a popular beach resort area and a great place to stay if you are planning to enjoy a spot of diving or snorkelling.
Onna is also an ideal base if you are travelling to Okinawa as a family and are looking for a resort hotel from which to conveniently explore the nearest beaches and take part in a variety of water-based activities.
WHAT TO DO IN ONNA
Onna is probably best known for its two very Instagram-worthy photography spots: Cape Maeda and Cape Manzano – a unique rock formation that looks like an elephant.
The Blue Cave – famous for its natural iridescent blue illumination and one of the best-loved scuba diving spots in Okinawa – is located just off the shore of Onna, as well as a variety of other caves and reefs that are just begging to be explored.
Another tourist attraction that we would highly recommend you visit is Ryuku Mura, an open-air museum and theme park that educated it’s visitors on the culture and lifestyle of Okinawa’s indigenous people.
Onna is also home to an abundance of great restaurants and isn’t lacking in shopping opportunities either.
If you are staying in Onna, make sure to try some of the authentic Okinawan Aguu Pork and Ishigaki Beef.
WHERE TO STAY IN ONNA
If you are planning to stay in Onna, then we would suggest that you look for a resort, hostel or hotel on the beach or within walking distance of the sea, as this really is the main draw of the area.
THE BEST HOTELS AND HOSTELS IN ONNA
Below you will find a list of hotels, resorts and hostels in Onna, that we are happy to recommend based on our own research.
THE BEST LUXURY HOTEL IN ONNA – HALEKULANI OKINAWA
The top-selling point of Halekulani Okinawa must be its location just a stone’s throw from Kariyushi Beach. Apart from that, this hotel features everything that you might need – a restaurant, fitness center, bar, coin-operated washing machines, three outdoor swimming pools, and an indoor swimming pool. The hotel also allows its guests to participate in numerous activities, such as kayaking, sailing, fishing, and such. In fact we would go as far as to say that Halekulani Okinawa is one of the best beach resorts in Okinawa.
The service at the hotel can’t be faulted. If you arrive by car, you can leave it with the staff who will sort the parking for you and carry all your luggage to your room. The receptionist will greet you and explain the layout of the hotel to you, and tell you when the best time to reserve a table or activity is. The friendly service provided at this resort is what truly makes it stand out. The front desk is staffed 24 hours a day and you can make use of both the resort’s concierge service and room service.
The rooms at Halekulani Okinawa are beautifully decorated in a Hawaiian theme and very comfortable. Each room is fitted with a desk in addition to the typical furniture, a minibar, a fridge, and a kettle. You can also expect your room to be air-conditioned and to be provided with bathrobes for both you and your partner. Travellers who have stayed at Halekulani Okinawa love to point out the quality of the bedding, so you are pretty much guaranteed to have a good night.
The rooms at the resort are divided into two categories – sunset view and beach view. Whilst the rooms on the beachside arguably have the better views, since they overlook not only the beach but also the pool area, the rooms facing the other side of the resort tend to be quieter and will reward you with a wonderful view of the local sunset.
The breakfast buffet at Halekulani Okinawa is excellent and offers a large variety of delicious dishes
the BEST FAMILY RESORT – ANA INTERCONTINENTAL MANZA BEACH RESORT
The ANA Intercontienntal Beach Resort is located on a peninsula which it pretty much takes up in its entirety. This is a big resort entirely surrounded by the ocean. One thing is sure, you will never be far from the beach if you stay at this hotel.
It’s a 45-minute castle from the Ana Intercontinental to Shuri Castle (or what is left-over of it after the fire) and Churaumi Aquarium is only an hour away.
You won’t run out of things to do at the Ana Intercontinental Beach Resort either. Why not try out one of the many water-based activities offered here, such as snorkelling or diving. The resort also has rental bikes, canoes or jet skis and features an outdoor pool, a spa area with a hot tub and sauna, a mini-golf course, a tennis court, two bar lounges and six different restaurants.
Restaurant Aqua Belle serves international dishes, whilst restaurant Unkai offers traditional Japanese cuisine and local Okinawan dishes. You can also take in the stunning views from the Club InterContinental Lounge whilst enjoying a hot beverage. Or sip on a cocktail whilst lounging on the beach.
The rooms themselves are fully furnished with all the mod-cons you could hope for, including a safe, minibar, hairdryer and toiletries. We always like a room with a balcony and the rooms at this Okinawan hotel obliges.
WHY YOU SHOULD STAY IN NAGO
Nago is one of the bigger cities in Okinawa Japan and is located centrally on the archipelago’s main island. The city has developed around the picturesque Nago bay and is framed by the vast hillside that surrounds it.
A major highway that runs along the shore of the island connects Nago to Naha the capital city in the South.
Other the last few years, a decent number of resorts have popped up all across Nago. It is therefore a great place to stay, if you are looking for a package deal. In fact, outside of Naha and Okinawa City, Nago probably hast the biggest range of hotels in all price brackets.
It is worth noting that Nago does not have an extensive downtown area. It does however have a decent public transport system and offers a large selection of restaurants.
Book a stay here if you simply want to unpack your bags and enjoy all the activities on offer. Nago’s many picturesque beaches, seaside promenades and green hiking trails will ensure that you don’t run out of things to do during you stay.
WHAT TO DO IN NAGO
Whilst the beach and ocean are the main draws of Nago, there are several family friendly tourist attractions in or near the town, that will keep both you and the kids happy and entertained.
Koko beach, Seikinomori park and the Lake Bottom Water park are among some of the must-visits in Nago. And if you are interested in history, you can learn all about Okinawa’s past at Nago Museum.
The quirky Pineapple Park is located right on the edge of town. The famous park educates its visitors on the cultivation of pineapples but does so with a fun twist and plenty of food tastings.
Orion Beer is manufactured in Okinawa and you can learn how it is made at Orion Happy Park, which is located in the centre of Nago. Of course, the tour of the brewery includes a sampling of the local eer. So, if you are a fan of alcoholic beverages, then this is definitely one for you.
Another great activity is a trip to Busena Marine Park, located approximately 15 minutes by car or 30 minutes by public transport from Nago city. Here, you can watch the local marine life without getting wet from the safety of the underwater observatory.
Nago is also well known for its Cherry Blossom Festival which is held yearly in January. Yes, you read that right, cherry blossoms bloom early in Okinawa, so there is no need to plan your trip to Okinawa in peak holiday season.
And if you are willing to travel a little further, hop in the car and make your way to the Ocean Expo and Churaumi Aquarium. Both are located a mere 30-minute drive away to the North of Nago.
WHERE TO STAY IN NAGO
Where you should stay in Nago, really depends on your broader plans and whether or not you have access to a car.
If you are not planning to hire a car, but want to visit a few places located outside of Nago (such as Churaumi Aquarium), then your best bet is to pick a hotel or hostel in close proximity to Nago’s Bus Terminal.
If, however, you have no intention of leaving Nago or are happy to hire a car to explore Okinawa, then we would suggest that you pick a resort on the West coast of the city with direct access to a beach.
THE BEST HOTELS AND HOSTELS IN NAGO
Below you will find a list of hostels, guest houses and hotels in Nago, that we are happy to recommend based on our own research.
THE BEST LUXURIOUS HOTEL IN NAGO – THE RITZ CARLTON OKINAWA
The Ritz Carlton Okinawa is located at the half-way point between Nago and Onna, and just a 20-minute walk from Kariyushi Beach or a 5-minute drive for those using the free bus service of the hotel. It even has a private beach area on the sea front. The famous Churaumi Aquarium can be reached by rental car within an hour.
Both the interior and exterior of the hotel are inspired by Japanese architecture and very tastefully decorated.
Its luxurious rooms feature stunning views of the surrounding forest and the nearby coastline. Each spacious room comes equipped with an indoor bathtub, flat-screen, Nespresso machine and iPod docking station. All the rooms at the Ritz Carlton hotel also have their very own private balcony.
The hotel has both an indoor and outdoor pool, as well as a spa. Perfect for those who want to relax in luxury. The fitness centre is open 24/7 and there is a small boutique where guests can purchase pottery from local artists.
The hotel has two restaurants. Chura Nuhji serves up Italian cuisine, whilst Kise specialises in grilled teppanyaki. Room service is available and light dishes are also served pools side or can be ordered to the library or hotel bar.
THE BEST MID-RANGE HOTEL IN NAGO – KANEHIDE KISE BEACH PALACE
Kanehide Kise Beach Palace is one of the top reviewed hotels in Nago. It is actually located just outside of town, approximately 10 minutes by car. Orion Beer Brewery, one of the most popular attractions in the area is just a 15 minute drive away.
Kanehide Kise is a beach front hotel, and all its rooms therefore have a picturesque view of the ocean. Each room has a flat screen TV, a large bed and a desk. Fan od a hot beverage will be happy to read that each room is equipped with a kettle and green tea bags.
Since the hotel is located on the beach it is a great base from which to go snorkelling, scuba diving or wakeboarding. The hotel also offers massage treatments at its fabulous spa.
Dinners can choose from two different restaurants. Nagoura offers a large buffet, whilst Chinbora specialises in local Okinawan cuisine. Don’t forget to try some Sake, whilst you are here.
The hotel is also equipped with a little shop, coin operated laundrette and the reception offers free photocopying and luggage storage services.
THE BEST HOTEL IN NAGO FOR FAMILIES – BEST WESTERN OKINAWA KOUKI BEACH
Best Western Okinawa Kouki Beach is one of our favourite beach hotels in Okinawa and we would particularly recommend it for families. One of the great things about this budget hotel is that the local Koki Bus Station is located only 3 minutes by foot from it. The bus will drive you to a fun attraction within minutes. It takes 15 minutes exactly to the Orion Beer Factory or 21 minutes to the center of Nago. The hotel also has the great advantage of being located on the beach front, keeping both the kids and daddy happy.
We also love the fact that this hotel offers private parking for those travelling by rental car. The property features a good number of sporting facilities, so it should be easy to keep teenagers occupied for hours. It also offers a 24-hour front desk if you have any requests or questions. There is a convenient 7/11 store integrated in the hotel, in case you run out of the basic supplies such as suncream during your stay.
Kouki Beech hotel does have rooms with balconies that face the sea for a beautiful view at sunset. But there is no need to book these to be comfortable. All the rooms at the hotel are spacious and well furnished. Each room comes equipped with a small kitchen and fridge, which is very practical when you are travelling with kids.
WHY YOU SHOULD STAY IN NAKIJIN
Nakijin is a tranquil village located North West of Nago on Okinawa’s main island.
If you are interested in history and are looking for a relaxing place to stay in, then Nakijin is a great option for you.
We would however only recommend staying in Nakijin if you are willing to hire a car or are only planning to stay for a few days. Whilst there are some beautiful beaches near the town of Nakijin and a few historic sites, you will soon run out of things to do without a car.
WHAT TO DO IN NAKIJIN
Nakijin is probably best known for its castle ruins that date back to the beginning of the Ryuku reign and are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nakijin’s castle walls are 20 feet high and span over a mile, making it the second biggest castle in Okinawa after Naha’s Shurijo Castle. Nakijin Castle sit’s at the top of a hill and therefore lends it’s visitors a great view across the town of Nakijin.
Nakijin is also surrounded by several picturesque beaches that are worth a visit, especially if uou enjoy water sports such as paddleboarding and diving.
Kouri Beach located on Kouri Island is well known for its dazzling blue water. Kouri Island s connected to Nakijin by a long bridge, and you can reach Kouri Beach within 15 minutes by car or 20 minutes by bus. Whilst there make sure to pop up Kouri Ocean Tower and enjoy the panoramic views from the observatory.
Finally, you can’t leave Nakijin without trying some of the locally harvested incredibly flavoursome mangos. These are usually piled on top of sweet shaved ice and make a great refreshing summer treat.
WHERE TO STAY IN NAKIJIN
If you are planning to stay in Nakijin than we would suggest that you consider booking a room in a traditional Japanese Guesthouse. This is a one-of-a-kind experience that only exists in Japan and you will be glad to have met your friendly hosts.
If, however you prefer not to sleep on a Tatami mat, then there are plenty of modern hotels in Nakijin to choose from with Western style bedrooms.
THE BEST HOTELS AND HOSTELS IN NAKIJIN
Below you will find a list of hostels, guest houses and hotels in Nakijin, that we are happy to recommend based on our own research.
THE BEST LUXURIOUS HOTEL IN NAKIJIN – KOURI ISLAND RESORT
Kouri Island Resort is located right beside Kouri beach (0.6 miles from it to be exact). Chigunu Beach is less than 0.6 miles from the hotel, while Azakumakai Beach is a 13-minute walk away.
Being a resort it has pretty much everything a tourist needs to relax: a restaurant, free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a terrace from which to enjoy beautiful views and the fresh air.
The rooms are airconditioned and furnished with all the mod-cons such as a kettle, microwave, coffee machine, fridge, safety deposit, flat-screen tv, wardrobe, etc. Each room also has a balcony and a hot tub.
If you opt to have breakfast at the resort you will be served an Asian breakfast, which, in our opinion, is generally preferable in Japan anyway.
THE BEST HOTEL IN NAKIJIN FOR FAMILIES – NAGAHAMA BEACH RESORT KANON
The Nagahama Beach Resort Kannon is a great option for families that want to stay in Nakijin. The resort features a playground and according to the reviews sometimes serves complimentary ice-cream.
Nagahama Beach is located in a protected cove and therefore safe for children. Since it is protected from strong currents it is also a great place to go snorkelling. Nagahama Beach Resort even provides free snorkelling, beach and paddle boarding equipment.
The cottage style rooms are fully equipped and even feature a microwave to warm up your food or beverage and a refrigerator. You are welcomed with fresh fruit on arrival.
WHY YOU SHOULD STAY IN KUNIGAMI
The mountainous Kunigami District is located in the Northern end of Okinawa’s main Island. It has very few urban centres, with Higashi being the smallest village on the island. The area is however home to several small villages, including Ginama, which is located on the coast and has a harbor, restaurants, and shrines.
Kunigami is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, including the Kunigami Forest and the nearby coast. Overall, Kunigami is a peaceful and picturesque destination that offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors. It is a great place to relax and explore the natural beauty and culture of Okinawa.
Kunigami is the perfect place to stay if you are looking to get off the beaten path and be surrounded by nature. Very few tourists choose to trek up to this portion of the island.
Nonetheless there is a strong community feel about the area. The locals have a keen interest in being eco-friendly and generally live in akagawara homes. Most people in this area make a living from agriculture. So, it is very much back to basics here.
Since the area is fairly remote, we would only suggest you stay in Higashi or the Kugami District if you are planning on driving in Okinawa. A car rental will be your best option to get to here from Naha airport and will allow you to visit the surrounding natural area. The village of Kunigami can be reached via Highway 58, which is about a two-hour drive from the Naha Airport.
WHAT TO DO IN KUNIGAMI
The area is home to a number of museums, shrines, and other cultural attractions, including the Kunigami Gongen Shrine, the Okinawa Ishi no Bunka Museum, Yanbaru Forest Toy Museum and the Yambaru Wildlife Center Ufugi Nature Museum.
Kunigami is also a popular destination for outdoor activities. Plan to go on plenty of hiking trips, as the area is a treasure trove of natural attractions. The Kunigami Forest is home to a number of trails, as well as many waterfalls and natural pools. The most common trek will take you up Mount Yonaha, although day hikes to Hiji Waterfall, Kuani Lake and Ta-Taki waterfall are also popular.
Like all of Okinawa, Kunigami is surrounded by the coast, so there are plenty of opportunities for water-based activities, such as snorkeling, diving, and hiking. Kunigami is also home to Okinawa’s largest mangrove forest and there are a whole host of kayaking tours that you can book to explore it, as well as the 10 rivers that flow through this area.
In addition to its natural and cultural attractions, Kunigami is also known for its onsen, or hot spring baths. There are several onsen resorts in the area, which offer guests the chance to relax in natural hot springs.
The Higashi Azalea Eco Park is a popular destination in Okinawa, known for its beautiful landscape and gardens. It is home to a number of Sakishima Sappanwood trees, which are considered to be otherworldly. The park is open year-round and visitors can camp or rent a cabin on the property. There is also an on-site Okinawan restaurant where you can dine. In addition to its stunning natural beauty, the park also hosts events throughout the year such as the Azalea festival, which celebrates the beauty of the over 50 000 different azalea bushes that grow in the area . If you’re visiting Okinawa, the Higashi Azalea Eco Park is definitely worth a visit. You can even pick fresh strawberries while you’re there!
THE BEST HOTELS AND HOSTELS IN KUNIGAMI
Below you will find a list of hostels, guest houses and hotels in Kunigami, that we are happy to recommend based on our own research.
THE BEST LUXURIOUS HOTEL IN KUNIGAMI – OKUMA PRIVATE BEACH AND RESORT
Okuma Private Beach & Resort is a spacious, private resort located just 150 yards from Okuma Beach. The resort is known for its beautiful beach, comfortable atmosphere, and friendly staff. The grounds of the resort are large and well-maintained, with clean and spacious villas. This is a great option for families or those seeking an authentic Japanese vacation experience.
The resort is located about 2 hours from Naha International Airport but a free shuttle service to and from Naha is available upon request. It is also conveniently located near the Yanbaru Wildlife Conservation Center and Cape Hedo. And Okinawa’s famous aquarium is only an hour drive away.
It features a private beach area, 7 restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, and a variety of water activities such as snorkelling and windsurfing. The resort offers a breakfast buffet at Surf Side Cafe and local Okinawan cuisine at Okame. In addition to this, the resort has handy features such as a coin laundry for guests’ convenience and the staff at the resort are polite and helpful, with a good level of English proficiency.
There is plenty to do at the resort. Searching for hermit crabs on Okuma Beach is a great way to entertain the kids. In addition to this, the resort offers regular eco tours and canoe tours that can be booked through the activity center and are great fun for the whole family. Guests also enjoy spending time at Lounge Shiokaze, which has an ocean view and a comfortable atmosphere.
The air-conditioned rooms are style like villas with wooden floors and a fairly simple set-up. However, they do all feature a private bathroom with a bath, a fridge, a tea maker, and a big balcony.
THE BEST PLACES TO STAY IN OKINAWA FOR ISLAND HOPPING
Okinawa is a wonderful destination for a tropical vacation. But there is no need to limit yourself to the main island – Naha. The Ryukyu Archipelago, which includes Naha, is made up of over 100 islands, each offering its own unique experiences and attractions.
For our honeymoon, we decided to spend a handful of days on Naha and then base ourselves in Ishigaki to go island hopping. And we would highly suggest you plan to do something similar for your trip to Okinawa.
There are two clusters of islands that are particularly popular to do just that:
The Naha cluster, also known as the Kerama cluster, is located east of Naha, the largest island of Okinawa, and can be easily accessed via high-speed ferries from Naha’s Tomari Port.
The Ishigaki cluster, is located further south and is accessible via a short flight from any of Okinawa’s major cities. Ishigaki Jima, the second largest city in the archipelago, is a convenient starting point for exploring the smaller islands in the cluster. It is a popular destination for its city life and proximity to nature.
WHY YOU SHOULD STAY ON ISHIGAKI ISLAND
Ishigaki is a beautiful island located in the southern end of the Okinawan Archipelago. It is reputed to have some of the most stunning beaches in Okinawa, including Yonehara Beach, Sukuji Beach, and Sunset Beach. It is also a popular destination for snorkelling and diving due to its diverse marine life and the rare blue coral in its national park. So, if your perfect holiday includes digging your toes into white sandy beaches and splashing through crystal clear turquoise waters, then Ishigaki Island will be the perfect base for your trip to Okinawa.
Ishigaki is accessible by plane via the Painushima Ishigaki Airport. From there it is easy to get around thanks to a regular bus service that connects the airport to the various cities on the island.
Ishigaki offers a range of outdoor adventure activities, such as kayaking through the mangroves that spread across the entire Island and visiting the Squirrel Monkey Park.
It is home to several luxury resorts but there is also a range of hotel options available to suit different budgets.
Note that Ishigaki is a smaller island than Naha and can get a bit crowded due to its popularity with tourists.
THINGS TO DO ON ISHIGAKI ISLAND
The most popular attraction on Ishigaki Island have to be its famous beaches : Yonehara Beach, Sukuji Beach, and Sunset Beach are popular destinations for visitors on Ishigaki. The island is also a well known destination for snorkelling and diving, with easily rented equipment available for exploring the coral reefs and diverse marine life in the surrounding waters.
If you enjoy trying new foods, Ishigaki is an excellent destination to visit. It is known for its high-quality beef, which is often compared to wagyu and is so pure that it can be eaten raw. It can be enjoyed in various forms, such as sushi or sashimi. We would go as far as to say that it is a must-try for those interested in culinary experiences. The island is also a great destination for those interested in trying traditional sushi, which is widely available and delicious.
Families visiting Ishigaki can enjoy a trip to the Ishigaki Yaima Village theme park, which showcases local wildlife or the Euglena Mall, which sells souvenirs and other locally produced goods. The mall is surrounded by coffee shops and ice cream parlours, making it a great place to grab a takeout and enjoy a leisurely walk around the neighbourhood streets or along the island’s coastline to end your day of sightseeing.
For history enthusiasts, the Ishigaki Shiritsu Yaeyama Museum is a must-visit. It offers a glimpse into the island’s history and way of life. The Southern Gate Bridge is another popular landmark on the island, known for its scenic views. If you are interested in learning about the island’s past and exploring its landmarks, these are two places you won’t want to miss.
THE BEST HOTELS AND HOSTELS ON ISHIGAKI
Below you will find a list of hostels, guest houses and hotels on Ishigaki, that we are happy to recommend based on our own research.
WHERE WE STAYED ON ISHIGAKI ISLAND – GRANDVRIO RESORT ISHIGAKIJIMA
Located on the southwestern point of Ishigaki Island, the Grandvrio Resort Ishigaki Jima Ocean’s Wing offers beachfront accommodation. The resort is a 40-minute drive from New Ishigaki Airport and a 10-minute drive from Ishigaki Port. It is also located near the Fusakikannon-do Temple, which might be one of the attractions you are planning to visit on Ishigaki.
The location is perfect for a relaxing vacation, but still easily accessible to the city for dining options, which can be reached by a short taxi ride for about 1000 Yen. Alternatively, if you wish to explore the city, and don’t have a tight schedule, the resort offers a free shuttle service to downtown Ishigaki and the airport. Rental cars and bicycles are also available at the resort.
The resort has well-maintained facilities and friendly staff. While the resort has a stunning ocean view and breath-taking sunsets, the beach is not suitable for swimming. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem though, since Grandvrio Resort Ishigaki Jima Ocean’s Wing offers a range of amenities for guests, including two pools and public baths, as well as four on-site restaurants. One of the resort’s pools is a heated indoor pool, which makes it particularly suitable for children. Guests can also enjoy the resort’s karaoke and sports facilities (such as the billiards and table tennis).
The Grandvrio Resort Ishigaki Jima Ocean’s Wing offers several dining options for guests, including Restaurant La Mer which serves a daily breakfast buffet featuring seasonal fruits and local specialties. Grilled Beef Ryuka is an elegant restaurant with high ceilings and ocean views, while Funakura serves local Okinawan cuisine. Cafe Bar Diego serves cocktails and other drinks. In addition to the restaurants, the resort also has a lobby with a welcome drink station offering three different juices, and free coffee and juice available throughout the day.
The rooms at the Grandvrio Resort Ishigaki Jima Ocean’s Wing are spacious and feature cool wood floors, a seating area, and free internet. The rooms are elegantly decorated with colourful art and lighting, and come equipped with a flat-screen TV with video-on-demand movies.
THE BEST LUXURIOUS HOTEL ON ISHIGAKI – ANA INTERCONTINENTAL ISHIGAKI RESORT
The ANA Intercontinental Ishikagi is the perfect resort hotel if you are after an unforgettable family vacation. From the facilities to the service, you can expect everything to be top-notch.
It is located a 20-minute drive from New Ishigaki Airport, a 10-minute drive from Ishigaki Port, and a 25-minute drive from Banna Park.
The ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort offers a range of amenities to ensure that guests have everything they need during their stay. In addition to a fitness center, spa, and both outdoor and indoor swimming pools, the resort also has 9 dining options. Additionally, guests have access to a private beach area where they can relax in the sun and enjoy the perfect temperature of the ocean water.
There are a variety of recreational activities on offer for guests to enjoy. In addition to a golf course and tennis courts on site, the resort also has a tour desk where guests can book fun activities such as snorkeling, diving, and kayaking at nearby beaches. The resort also features a large family friendly pool with a water play area for kids, including a water slide and inflatable water obstacle course. There is also an indoor saltwater pool, a jacuzzi, as well as two outdoor pools. The resort also provides air pumps for guests to use if they want to bring inflatable toys to play in the water.
The ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort has a variety of dining options available for guests to enjoy. Fish and Meat Bistro SALTIDA serves fresh local ingredients, while Yaeyama Japanese Restaurant offers traditional Japanese dishes. Tropics Lounge and Bar is a great place to relax and enjoy local beers and tropical cocktails.
The customer service at the ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort is top-notch. The staff will go above and beyond to accommodate the needs of the guests and ensure that they have a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Upon arriving at the hotel, the guests are greeted by a member of the staff and offered shikuwasa citrus drinks and a lavender scented towel. The front desk attendant then escorts the guests to their room and provided an overview of the resort.
The resort consists of two buildings known as the Bay Wing and the Ocean Wing. While the Bay Wing has a limited number of amenities, it offers a golf cart transfer service to the Ocean Wing, where guests can access a range of facilities such as restaurants, a gym, and additional amenities. Both buildings do have their own pools however.
The rooms at the ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort offer stunning views of the ocean and gardens. These spacious rooms feature free wired internet, a cable TV, a DVD player, and a minibar. The rooms have a cool wooden floor and large windows, allowing guests to enjoy the fresh sea air. According to the guest reviews the rooms are impeccably clean and everything is practically brand new.
WHY YOU SHOULD STAY ON IRIOMOTE
Although Iriomote it is relatively small, it is actually the second largest island in the archipelago of Okinawa. There are many reasons to visit and stay on Iriomote Island.
The island is renowned for the southernmost National Park in Japan and is almost entirely covered by dense subtropical rainforests and mangrove forests. It is a haven for nature lovers and is home to a wide range of plant and animal species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world, such as the rare and endangered Iriomote cat.
Due to its unique natural environment, the activities available on Iriomote differ from those found on the other more beach-centric islands of the Archipelago. If you are an outdoor enthusiast and adventurer, you should definitely include Iriomote on your travel itinerary for Okinawa.
Iriomote is a popular destination for eco-tourism and visitors can participate in a variety of eco-tourism activities, such as hiking, snorkeling, and kayaking. This is a great way to experience the island’s unique natural environment. Furthermore, it is a great place to go rafting, rock climbing, and zip lining.
Apart from being an ideal destination for adventure seekers, Iriomote is also a very peaceful island with beautiful beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. It thus is a great place to relax and escape the stresses of everyday life.
The island also has a rich cultural heritage, and visitors can learn about traditional Japanese culture by visiting the island’s museums and cultural centers.
WHAT TO DO ON IRIOMOTE
There are many activities and things to do on Iriomote Island.
Iriomote is a great place to go hiking. It has many trails that offer breath-taking views of the island’s natural beauty, including a challenging 20 kilometres path through the interior of the island that is suitable for experienced hikers only. In fact, the island has several rock climbing routes for both beginner and experienced climbers.
River cruises are a popular way to explore the jungle scenery of Iriomote. These cruises offer a comfortable way to see the island’s natural beauty and may include a short hike to beautiful waterfalls.
Thrill seekers might want to go explore the island’s mangrove forests and rivers by kayak, take a rafting tour through the island’s waterways, or experience the thrill of flying through the trees on a zip line tour.
The island is also a great spot to go diving or snorkelling, as the crystal clear waters around Iriomote are home to a variety of marine life.
If you prefer to take things at a slower pace, Iriomote has several beautiful beaches where you can relax, swim, and sunbathe.
Alternatively, you can learn about traditional Japanese culture by visiting the island’s museums and cultural centers or enjoy the local cuisine at a variety of restaurants.
Overall, there are many activities and things to do on Iriomote Island for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those looking to relax and experience local culture.
THE BEST LUXURIOUS HOTEL ON ISHIGAKI (SORT OFF) – HAIMURUBUSHI
Haimarubushi, named after the Southern Cross constellation, is a resort located on the island of Kohama. It is just a 5-minute drive from Kohama Port, which is a 30-minute ferry ride from Ishigaki Port and a 30-minute drive from New Ishigaki Airport. A free shuttle service is available from Kohama Port. The hotel is a 10-minute drive from the Kohama Folk Museum and a 15-minute drive from the Churasan Observatory. The Kohamajima Country Club is just a 15-minute walk away.
The resort is situated among the largest coral reefs in the northern hemisphere and offers guests the opportunity to enjoy marine sports such as diving, snorkeling, and windsurfing. The property also boasts beautiful extensive grounds with two beaches. One beach is perfect for swimming and has white sand, while the other offers great views of Iriomote Island. Visitors can enjoy the clear blue waters, lush flora and fauna, and the diverse marine life of the tropics.
An outdoor swimming pool is available during the summer season and massages can be arranged for an additional cost. Guests can also rent cars and bikes at the 24-hour front desk and access a free-use washing machine. The tour desk can also provide travel advice, and guests can enjoy canoeing or sunbathing on the beach.
The spa features an outstanding outdoor bath with a breathtaking view. There are also animals on the property. Free WiFi is available in all areas and guests can participate in marine sports such as diving, snorkeling, and windsurfing. Guests can also rent bikes to tour the island and visit the local izakaya (Japanese pubs) that offer transportation in the evening.
The Grill Dining offers a variety of Western barbecue dishes, and guests can enjoy live music entertainment and special course menus at the Club Dining. Additionally, a buffet dining option and a bar/cafe are available. Meals are prepared using a variety of local Okinawan ingredients to enhance your resort experience.
Some of the best meals can be found at the hotel’s pool-side grill restaurant, which offers a choice of Yakiniku, Shabu or Sukiyaki, as well as at the various local izakayas that serve steaming bowls of ramen and other delicious dishes. Specialties include fried spring rolls with spam, cheese, and onsen egg.
Haimarubushi offers unique and spacious accommodations with ocean or garden views, perfect for patrons looking for a comfortable and relaxing stay. Whilst the rooms are a understated, they are pristine and were renovated not too long ago. All guest rooms are non-smoking and air-conditioned, equipped with a safety deposit box, flat-screen TV, fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags. The en-suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer, slippers, and nightwear. And the entire room is tiled to keep you cool. Some rooms enjoy a beautiful seaview whilst others face the huge green lawn and trees.
THE BEST MID-RANGE HOTEL ON ISHIGAKI – THE BREAKFAST HOTEL WBF PORTO
The Breakfast Hotel WBF Ishigakijima is a hotel located close to the bus and ferry terminals, as well as many good restaurants in Ishigaki, making it a convenient base for exploring the remote islands and the surrounding area. Nearby attractions within walking distance include Euglena Mall, Misaki Town, and Ishigakijima Village. It is also near several landmarks and attractions such as Tamatorizaki Observation Point, Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave, Painuhama Artificial Beach, Tadahama Beach, and the Yaeyama Museum. The hotel’s reception can provide guests with tips about the area.
Hotel WBF Ishigakijima is a family-friendly hotel that aims to provide a “home away from home” atmosphere for its guests. The hotel strives to make every visit relaxing and enjoyable, which is why many guests return year after year.
It offers free WiFi and private parking for an additional charge and has an on-site laundry service.
The hotel serves an Asian breakfast each morning and offers free coffee, tea, and biscuits in the evening. The hotel also has a shared space where guests can work.
The rooms at the Breakfast Hotel WBF Ishigakijima re clean and comfortable, with air conditioning, a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, and bed linen and towels. They also have a balcony with a city view. Some rooms also have basic kitchen facilities, which can be helpful for cooking during your stay. These include a refrigerator, a microwave and a kettle.
THE KERAMA ISLANDS
WHY YOU SHOULD STAY ON THE KERAMA ISLANDS
The Kerama Islands are a group of small islands located approximately 30 kilometers west of the main island of Okinawa, Japan. They are part of the Okinawa prefecture and are protected within the Kerama Islands Quasi-National Park.
The largest island is Zamami and another popular destination is Aka Island.
The Kerama Islands are easily accessible by ferry from the main island of Okinawa and are also served by small airports on Zamami and Aka islands.
The subtropical climate of the Kerama Islands provide sunny days and warm weather all year long making it a perfect destination to escape harsh winter and enjoy the sun.
The Kerama Islands are a popular destination for nature lovers and water enthusiasts. Their crystal clear waters and lush tropical vegetation provide a picturesque setting for relaxation, and the islands are also known for their excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. Visitors can explore the coral reefs and marine life, including sea turtles, that inhabit the waters around the islands, particularly around the popular islands of Tokashiki and Zamami.
The Kerama Islands are a hidden gem in Okinawa, Japan, that are favoured by Japanese tourists, but less well-known among international travellers. These islands offer a serene getaway from the bustling cities, as they are relatively undeveloped and tend to be less crowded than other parts of Okinawa, providing a peaceful environment for visitors to relax and enjoy the natural scenery.
WHAT TO DO ON THE KERAMA ISLANDS
There are many things to do on the Kerama Islands, Okinawa, Japan.
The Kerama Islands are made up of several islands, and visitors can take a boat tour to explore and visit different islands. If you are lucky, you can enjoy the dolphins swimming along the boat whilst you are island hopping.
On that note, the Kerama Islands are a great place to observe nature, especially if you are an animal lover. On season, many sea turtle lay eggs on the beaches of the islands.
The Kerama Islands are also a popular destination for observing humpback whales during their migration season in winter. These majestic creatures travel to the warm waters of Okinawa to breed and care for their young. Visitors can take a whale-watching cruise between January and March, which typically guarantee sightings or offer a refund.
The Kerama Islands are generally a good spot to go snorkelling or diving, as the clear waters around the islands are home to a diverse array of marine life.
The islands also have several beautiful beaches, such as Aharen Beach and Furuzamami Beach, which are popular spots for swimming, sunbathing, and other beach activities.
In fact, renting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard is a great way to explore the islands and the waters around them.
Moreover, there are several hiking trails on the islands, offering visitors the chance to explore the lush tropical vegetation and take in the stunning views of the islands and the surrounding sea.
The Kerama Islands are home to a unique local culture that is heavily influenced by the Ryukyu Kingdom, which once ruled over the islands. Visitors can learn about the island’s history, customs, and traditional arts and crafts.
These islands were an important site during World War II, and you can visit the American Memorial Park on Zamami island.
Please note that what you can do on the Kerama Islands depend a bit on the season, weather and other factors. So, to be sure and avoid disappointment, it is always best to check with local tour providers, tour agencies or tourist information centers.
QUICK FAQ ON WHERE TO STAY IN OKINAWA
WHAT IS THE BEST PLACE TO STAY IN OKINAWA
Nago is an absolutely amazing spot to spend your vacation in Okinawa – there’s no doubt about it! There are so many reasons why you should add it to your list of must-visit places. Firstly, Nago has some of the most stunning beaches on the island, including Manza Beach and Emerald Beach. You won’t believe how crystal-clear the water is and the sand is just pure white – it’s like a dream come true! Plus, you can take a dip, try out some water sports, or even go snorkeling!
Secondly, Nago is chock-full of cultural and historical landmarks that are bound to fascinate you. The Nago Castle ruins, for example, have such an interesting history about the Ryukyu Kingdom that you’ll be drawn in. Or, if you’re a nature-lover, you’ll definitely want to check out the Neo Park Okinawa and see the botanical garden and zoo.
Thirdly, Nago has a ton of accommodation options, so you can choose what suits you best. From hotels to resorts to vacation rentals, there’s something for everyone. And the best part? Nago is in a great location – it’s super close to other popular destinations like the Churaumi Aquarium and the Yanbaru Forest, so you’ll be able to explore the whole island!
So, if you’re looking for a mix of natural beauty, culture, and convenience, Nago is definitely the place to be. Trust me, you won’t regret adding it to your Okinawa itinerary!
WHERE SHOULD A FAMILY STAY IN OKINAWA?
Are you planning a family trip to Okinawa? Look no further than Onna! This incredible destination offers a wide range of family-friendly activities, including aquariums, water parks, and stunning beaches. With so much to do, you’ll never run out of fun things to enjoy with your loved ones.
One of the best things about Onna is its peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. Unlike some of the more crowded tourist hotspots in Okinawa, Onna is a safe haven where families can unwind and enjoy their vacation in tranquility. Plus, the accommodation options in Onna are specially designed for families, with spacious villas, apartments, and hotels offering kid-friendly facilities such as swimming pools and playgrounds.
Moreover, Onna’s location at the heart of Naha Island makes it an ideal base for exploring other parts of Okinawa. With its excellent transportation links, you can quickly and easily reach all the incredible sights and experiences that the island has to offer.
All of these reasons and more make Onna the perfect choice for families seeking a fun and relaxing holiday. So why not book your stay in Onna today? You won’t regret it!
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create unforgettable family memories.
WHERE TO STAY IN OKINAWA ON A BUDGET?
If you’re traveling to Okinawa on a budget, Naha is the perfect place to stay! There are so many reasons why you should consider it. Firstly, Naha has a wide range of affordable accommodation options, such as budget hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals. You can easily find something that fits your budget and preferences.
Secondly, Naha is a paradise for foodies on a budget! You can find a ton of cheap and delicious local food options, including traditional Okinawan dishes like Goya Champuru and Soki Soba. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you!
Thirdly, Naha has plenty of free or low-cost attractions that you can explore, such as the remains of the historic Shuri Castle, the Tamaudun Mausoleum, and the beautiful Naminoue Beach. You won’t have to spend a fortune to have a good time in Naha!
Lastly, Naha is a transportation hub for the island, so it’s super easy and affordable to access other parts of Okinawa from there. You can explore the rest of the island without breaking the bank!
All of these reasons make Naha the best place to stay on Okinawa if you’re looking for an affordable vacation. So, don’t hesitate to add it to your travel plans!
WHERE TO STAY IN OKINAWA WHITOUT A CAR?
If you’re headed to Okinawa and prefer not to rent a car, Naha is the place to be! As the capital city of Okinawa, Naha is a bustling transportation hub that makes getting around the island a breeze. You’ll find a comprehensive public transportation system that includes buses, monorails, and ferries to take you to your desired destination.
Naha boasts a range of accommodation options that cater to all budgets and preferences, from hotels and hostels to guesthouses and vacation rentals. What’s more, many of these accommodations are conveniently located near Naha’s top attractions, such as the famous Shuri Castle, the vibrant Makishi Public Market, and the lively Kokusai Street.
All in all, Naha is the ideal base for exploring Okinawa without a car. It offers easy accessibility, comfort, and a variety of accommodation options to suit your needs. So, don’t hesitate to make Naha your home away from home on your next Okinawan adventure!
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU STAY IN OKINAWA?
Deciding how long to stay in Okinawa depends on your interests and preferences.
If you want to see everything the island has to offer and go island hopping, then you’ll need about a week or two. This timeframe will give you enough time to explore popular attractions like Churaumi Aquarium, Shuri Castle, and the stunning beaches. It will also give you the chance to go island hopping and discover some of the hidden gems that Okinawa has to offer.
But, if you’re pressed for time, you can still enjoy a great Okinawa experience in just 3-4 days by focusing on one or two areas of the island. For instance, you could spend a few days in and around Naha, or head up north to visit the Churaumi Aquarium and Yanbaru Forest.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how long you want to stay, but the longer you stay, the more time you’ll have to appreciate the island’s unique culture and natural beauty.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT OKINAWA
The spring and fall seasons are the perfect time to visit Okinawa.
From late March to early May and late September to early December, you’ll experience warm, mild weather that’s comfortable for outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, and exploring.
You can expect average temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, making it an ideal time to enjoy the island’s many attractions without the scorching heat.
Plus, visiting during these seasons means avoiding the peak tourist season, so you’ll get to enjoy Okinawa’s beauty without the crowds.
However, if you’re keen on seeing Okinawa’s incredible marine life, such as whale sharks and sea turtles, plan your visit during the summer months. Overall, Okinawa has something to offer in every season, but visiting during the spring or fall is sure to provide a memorable experience
In conclusion, Okinawa is a beautiful and diverse destination with a variety of accommodations to suit all types of travellers. From luxury resorts to budget guesthouses, there is something for everyone in this tropical paradise. Whether you are looking for a peaceful retreat in the countryside or a more vibrant experience in the city, Okinawa has something to offer. No matter where you choose to stay, you are sure to have an unforgettable trip filled with amazing experiences and memories.
You might have read through this entire blog post, but still be undecided. That wouldn’t be surprising at all. We went through so many great options that it can be difficult to pick just one or two. So to help you out, here are our personal favourite picks:
HALEKULANI OKINAWA – A 5-star resort, with fully fitted-out western style rooms decorated in a Hawaiian theme, a stone’s throw from Kariyushi Beach
JR-KYUSHU HOTEL BLOSSOM – Great value for money. This hotel is located just off Kokusai Dori shopping street and has fairly neutral and minimalistic, but cosy western style rooms
We hope you found our guide helpful and enjoyable to read! If you are excited to experience the beauty of Okinawa’s idyllic waters, we would highly recommended that you book your accommodations at least six months in advance to avoid disappointment. This destination is highly sought after by travellers and surely you wouldn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to create unforgettable memories in this tropical paradise.
If you have visited Okinawa and have any recommendations or feedback to share, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.
We hope you have a brilliant time in Okinawa!
If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, don’t forget to check-out our other posts about Okinawa:
- Our detailed Okinawa Itinerary
- Our awesome guide on the best food to eat in Okinawa
- Our in depth look at the best things to do in Okinawa
- Our month by month guide to the best time to visit Okinawa
You can find more guides for Japan here. Or if you haven’t fully decided where to go yet, you can find other great destinations in Asia here.
What is your favourite place to stay in Okinawa?
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