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 destinations to travel to in Okinawa!

Muruku-hama beach

A: Hamahigashima Island

It’s said to be the place where the creator of Rykuyu used to live, and there are still, many legends that remain on this Island. On Mainland Okinawa, a male God is called “Amamikiyo” and a female God is called “Shinerikiyo”. On Hamahigajima Island, people have been respectfully referring to them as “Amamichu” and “Shirumichu”. There are graveyards and sacred places associated with them. Among these places is a large cave called “Shirumichu”, and is said to be the place where they gave their first birth and today, is especially protected as a sacred place.
→[Okinawa, Hamahigajima Island] Pray for being blessed with a child at “Shirumichu,” a sacred place where the God of Okinawa was blessed with kids.

●Hamahigashima Island
Address:Shirumichu, 1606-33 Katsurenhiga Uruma, Okinawa

Charlie Tacos

B: Charlie’s Tacos

Opened in 1956, “Charlie’s Tacos” is said to be the first leading Taco shop in Okinawa. “Charlie Tacos” has been open for almost 60 years now and is loved by American soldiers, as well as the local people. The canteen style shop is very cheerful and welcomes everyone. Please come and try tacos unique to Okinawa at “Charlie Tacos!”
→American soldiers love “Charlie’s Tacos”, the first taco shop in Okinawa.

●Charlie’s Tacos
Access:2km away from Okinawa South IC~ Road 85
10-15min walk from the bus stop Goya (Inside the Chuo-Park Avenue)
Hours:10:00 〜 21:00
Address:4 Chome-11-5 Chūō Okinawa-shi, Okinawa


C: The wayside rest area, “Kyoda”

This wayside rest area was originally for the truck drivers and elderly drivers who needed to take a break. It used to be a basic rest stop with only toilets, but has changed over time. Local vendors started selling their specialties and opened a restaurant. The Japanese rest stop has turned into an attraction for sightseeing and has opened up in many locations all over Japan. Kyoda in Nago city, Okinawa was rated as one of the ‘top 20 rest stops’ in Japan! Please visit if you are on the island of Okinawa. They are proud of selling locally harvested, fresh vegetables and fruits. These products are harvested and sold by the local people, so they are much cheaper than other vendors.
→Why not take a long rest “Kyoda”, Japan’s best wayside rest area.

● The wayside rest area, “Kyoda”
Access:1h drive from Naha
Hours:8:30~19:00 (Parking area and toilets are available anytime.)
Address:17−1 Kyoda, Nago city, Okinawa

nakijin castle

D: The Nakijin Castle Remains

Nakijin Castle is proud of its vast grounds, which measure about 4 hectares to include it’s surrounding slopes. You can see the solid castle backed by the beautiful sea. In 14th Century Okinawa, it was a time when the Hokuzan Kingdom, Chuzan Kingdom, and Nanzan Kingdom were in competition for dominance. Nakijin Castle is said to be the main castle of Hokuzan Kingdom. Going into the 15th century, Hokuzan was defeated by the King of Ryukyu Kingdom, Hashi Sho, but the castle was used as an important base to rule the Northern part.
→Nakijin Castle, where a sense of ancient Okinawa can be felt

● Nakijin Castle Remain
Access:1h21min from naha-city by car.
30min from Nago-city.
10min from Churaumi Aquarium
Hours:8:00-16:00(Final entry)/No holidays
Address:5101 Imadomari Nakijin-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa

the sea

E: Kourijima Island

From mainland Okinawa, you will pass over the “Kouri-bridge.” It feels as if you’re running on the sea, because the scenery from the car window is so beautiful! As soon as you get there, a beautiful beach will welcome you. This beach is called kouri-beach and is a great photo opportunity to catch the beach with the famous Kouri-bridge in the background. It’s more popular among couples when compared to other places in Okinawa. Check the past article out if you want to know the reason why!
→You can easily access the Okinawan Island, Kourijima, by car.

● Kourijima Island
Access :1h 30min from Naha Airport by car.
1h 20min from Naha-city by car.
30 min from Nago-city by car.
30 min from Churaumi Aquarium by car.
Address:330 Kouri Nakijin-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa Pref.

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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!