The best destinations to visit for a look at Southern Okinawa, in a day!

Japan is known as a very small country. Its Island of Okinawa is tiny, but contrary to its size Okinawa has a lot to offer, diverse ecology, culture, a deep historical background and many other others. If you want to see all of what Okinawa has to offer, within a short amount of time during your vacation, you’ll need to carefully plan your visit. Tadaima Japan will provide you with the best area-based desztinations to travel to in Okinawa!



After the war it started as a black market and helped revitalize Okinawa.
There are currently about 130 shops in the market area and it’s always crowded. They regularly schedule events designated on “Market day,” like butchering Maguro (tuna) with a stage show hosted by celebrities. It’s so fun to communicate with the local people at the market!
→Featured article:Visiting the entertaining market of“Makishi-Kosetsu-Ichiba,” where so many rare Okinawan foods are sold!

Access: 10 min by car from Naha Airport. 10 min walk from Miebashi station
Address: 2-10-1 Matsuo, Naha city, Okinawa
Hours:08:00~20:00/ Closed on every 4th Sunday, (Except in December) New Years, the lunar New Year, and the lunar Bon



B:The Valley of Gangala

The valley of Gangala used to be a cave, but was created by its own collapse. It left an abundance of subtropical nature and is thought to be a habitat for the Minatogawa people who existed here eighteen thousands years ago. The Minatogawa people are very important in understanding the origins of Japanese people and archeological research has begun in this area. You can see it’s an area, full of mystery! The “Cave Café” which utilizes the cave and the large holy tree, “Ufu-shu Gajyumaru” are both very stunning! We definitely recommended this for those who want to have a spiritual experience!
→Featured articles on Okinawa:Exploring the Valley of Gangala! Let’s enjoy some time in a large cave and experience the vast and ancient nature of Okinawa.

● The Valley of Gangala
Access: 30 min by car from Naha Airport. Get off at Haebaru-minami IC and drive for 10 min. You’ll see the entrance in front of ‘Okinawa World’. Ryukyu-bus 54 『Maekawa line』 83 『Gyokusendo』

Address: 202 Tamagusuku-maekawa, Nanjyo-shi, Okinawa
Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Cave Café)

seifa Utaki

C:Sefa Utaki

Utaki is a sacred place that surrounds the Nansei Islands. Sefa-utaki is said to be the holiest and most important sacred place in Ryukyu Kingdom. During the period of Ryukyu Kingdom, “sacred sand” from the land of God, Kudakajima, was brought in and prepared as the foundation for Utaki’s national events. Sefa-utaki is still worshipped by many people as a place for a pilgrimage.
→Featured article:Pray at the UNESCO World Heritage site Sefa-utaki, inherited from Ryukyu Kingdom.

● Sefa Utaki

Access: 10 min walk from Sefa Utaki mae-bus stop
Address: Kudeken Chinen Nanjō-shi, Okinawa-ken
Hours: 9:00-18:00 (Last chance to enter is at 17:30)


D:Kudakajima Island

Kudakajima Island is a 7.75 km long flat Island 5km from Chinen, the southern part of mainland Okinawa. Among Okinawa’s holy sites, Kudakajima Island is known as “God’s Island.” The god Amamikiyo landed here first, creating Rykyu Kingdom (current Okinawa). There are still many sacred places in Kudakajima Island that are worshipped by local people. To get there, you can take a 20-minute ferry from Azama port. Getting to Azama port is about a 40-minute drive from Naha Airport, so it’s possible to do a day trip from Naha city.
→A pilgrimage to “Kudakajima Island” in Okinawa, said to be the closest to Niraikanai, a paradise across the ocean.

● Kudakajima Island
Access: 15 min by speedboat, 20 min by ferry


E:The Okinawan restaurant, “Chinuman”

The Okinawan restaurant, Chinuman is a chain restaurant that is open at 8 locations in Okinawa. The entrance already emits Okinawa’s vibrant vibes that’ll excite you. Their recommendation is the high quality, fresh sashimi, that’s very affordable. Other than that, Okinawa’s regular culinary pork rafutee, Goya-chanpuru, and Beniimo-croquett are also very popular. There’s also a live shamisen performance at Chinuman, where they play traditional Okinawa folk music called Shimauta.
→Good Okinawan food comes with great sake and a show! Chinuman, the Okinawan restaurant is a must visit.

● Kokusai-dori Makishi branch
1-2-26, Makishi, Naha city, Okinawa Prefecture.
Hours:Lunch time:11:30~15:00 Dinner:17:00~24:00

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Writer / Translator

I’m a freelance translator from Tokyo who likes to travel right in the middle of the unpredictables in life. Through the translation of articles I hope to create points of contact between Japan and the rest of the world. As a writer, I want to add information that isn’t in the guide book, from a “wasabi” perspective!