GET EXPOSED TO HISTORY, NATURE, AND CULTURE
Naha City, the center of tourism, has many places where you can learn about local history since the time of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Shuri, which prospered as a castle town during the Ryukyu Dynasty, has two major sightseeing spots, Shuri Castle, the seat of the Ryukyu Kingdom’s royal government and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Shikina-en, the villa of the rulers of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Kokusai-dori Street, the main street in Naha, is lined with souvenir shops and restaurants, bustling with many visitors and local residents. Take a side street from Kokusai-dori Street, and you will find Makishi Public Market, where a variety of Okinawa’s local food items are available.
Also, there is DFS Galleria Okinawa, one of the world’s largest stand-alone duty free stores, in Shintoshin, a redevelopment district in the north part of Naha, and an outlet mall, Ashibinaa at Roadside Station Toyosaki in Tomigusuku City, which is about 20 minutes by car from Naha, so you can have fun shopping during your trip.
The southern region located south of Naha has many tourist facilities, including the Monument of Himeyuri (Itoman City) and Sefautaki (Nanjo City), a registered World Heritage Site that has been a holy place since the Ryukyu Dynasty.
The central region of the mainland encompasses various cultures, including American culture. Mihama American Village (Chatan Town) attracts both visitors and local people with shopping facilities, a multiplex movie theater, and restaurants. If you are interested in local crafts, visit “Yomitan Yachimun no Sato” (Yomitan Pottery Village–yachimun means pottery) with many pottery studios and galleries to appreciate pottery by local potters.
The northern region has a nature-filled area with intact forests, called Yambaru, where you can enjoy various activities, including eco-tours for exposure to grand nature. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (Motobu Town) with one of the largest fish tanks in the world offers you an opportunity to enjoy a mysterious world with whale sharks and mantas elegantly swimming around in front of your eyes.