Sightseeing Okinawa

What sightseeing spots in Okinawa Japan are worth a visit? We made a top 5 sightseeing spots of Okinawa Island based on our own experiences and user reviews. The island offers great scenic sites, cultural properties and lots of historical buildings. The World War II facilities and museums are definitely in the top 5.

Shuri-jō in the Shurijo Castle Park

Naha shuri Castle
One of the Wolrd Heritage sites of Okinawa is the Shurijo Catle Park. This park has various ancient buildings, which are definitely worth a visit. The Shuri-jō is the castle of an old king that ruled the Okinawa region in the first Sho Dynasty. The castle is beautifully designed to resist the summer warmth and the cold of the winter. The Shuri-jō castle was destroyed in World War II but because of the major importance for the Okinawa history the majority of it is already rebuild. The Castle park is listed and protected by UNESCO and Japanese law.

Okinawa WWII battle sites

Okinawa WWII battle sites
Photo credits: Kadena Airbase

The battle of Okinawa left lots of bunkers and underground headquarters scattered around the island. One of the famous headquarters it that of the Japanese Navy Corps Engineers. They dug a tunnel complex that was over 450 meters in length and protected many Japanese people against the bombardments of the Allied forces. The Navy Headquarters could sustain over 4000 soldiers. Nowadays it’s a memorial and museum that you can visit.

Ryukyu Glass Village

Glass village Okinawa Itomen

The Ryukyu Islands are famous for their glass sculpturing and using the unique colours of red, blue and green. The Glass Village shows you how the Japanese make the glasses and you can also experience it yourself. The glass empire dates back many centuries ago and is still one of the export products of the Island.

Take a tour through Bios of the Hill

Bios on the hill park Okinawa
Photo credits: Kristian Mollenborg

With a tour boat you can explore the Bios of the Hill park, which is located in Ishikawa City and harbors giant ferns and a wide biodiversity. You can spot different kinds of tropical birds and enjoy the tranquility of the park. The boat tour takes around 25 minutes and is worth a go when you are in Ishikawa.

Makishi Public Market

Makishi Market Okinawa
Photo credits: SteFou!

Are you ready for some shopping? Well the Makisha public market offers a great variety on food, strange ingredients and more. There are plenty of restaurants to fill up your belly and taste the local cuisine of seafood and spices. It is known as the kitchen of Okinawa and for good reason. Look at all this meat! You can also buy fish/meat from here and go upstairs to get it cooked by a restaurant. The market is colourfull and often very busy because its one of the biggest in Okinawa.