What do you know about Japan? Sakura, samurai and Hideo Kojima – usually ideas about the Land of the Rising Sun are limited to about such a simple set of information. Today we will talk about how Japan can please and surprise even the most sophisticated tourist. Let’s start with Okinawa, the largest island in the Ryukyu archipelago and a popular beach resort.
The north of the island, covered with subtropical forests, is a realm of untouched nature and pristine beauty. Rare species of birds that are under protection in Japan live here: for example, the Okinawan woodpecker and the water shepherd. Yanbaru is quite a popular destination for those who visit Okinawa. Of the entertainment, there are ecological tours that offer travelers canoeing in Gesashi Bay, walking through the protected forest or kayaking to the highest waterfall on the island – Hiji.
“Island of love”, “Okinawan Eden” – as soon as they do not call an island near Okinawa. And this is not at all the standard doxology from a tourist guide. Stunningly beautiful landscapes, sunny beaches and an ocean that changes its color from cobalt to emerald… The best view of all this splendor opens from the observation deck of the Kouri Ocean Tower.
Above, we called Okinawa a beach resort, so not to mention one more beach would be unforgivable. Kariyushi is the private beach of Kariyushi Beach Resort Ocean Spa. If you are primarily interested in a relaxed holiday, you are here. Swimming pools, tennis courts, eco-tours – when you get tired of just lying on the beach, there will be something to do.
The hotel and the beach have won special love from tourists who go on vacation with their families. For a relaxing holiday with children, it is unlikely that you will be able to find something better. You can just swim, or you can go for a boat ride and watch the life of the inhabitants of the depths through the glass bottom.
The residence of the monarchs of the Ryukyu State is recognized as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. From 1429 to 1879, the castle was the center of life not only for Okinawa, but for the entire Ryukyu archipelago: the royal palace and the most important administrative buildings were located here. In 1944, American aircraft destroyed the castle, but with the help of surviving images and the memories of witnesses, it was completely restored. Shuri ceremonial gates are sure to be on the cover of any guide to the island.
Churaumi is four floors, 26,000 species of animals and 77 aquariums, the observation panel of the main of which was the largest in the world at the time of the opening of the aquarium – 8.2 by 22.5 meters and 60 centimeters in thickness. Here you will see not only corals, dolphins, manatees, turtles and an innumerable number of other marine life, but also the largest predator – the whale shark. The manta ray, also known as the sea devil, also lives here. Churaumi, by the way, is the only place in the world where sea devils breed in captivity.
Tropical Dream Center
This botanical garden is a real kingdom of greenery. It is divided into 14 thematic zones, where a great variety of tropical and subtropical plants are presented, as well as almost 2,000 species of orchids. Whatever time of the year you come here, the garden will certainly be in full bloom – the season here lasts all 12 months.
The largest city in Okinawa is Naha, the busiest place in Naha is Kokusai Street, and the heart of this street is Makishi Market. Okinawan cuisine is presented here in its diversity: seafood, pork, vegetables – all this, of course, is the freshest. If what you see has worked up your appetite, welcome to one of the many restaurants on the second floor.
In the theme park, you will get to know the life and traditional crafts of the inhabitants of the Ryukyu archipelago. This is what Okinawa looked like hundreds of years ago: small houses, workshops of potters, glassblowers and fabric dyers. Here you can also visit the stalactite cave of Gyokusendo. Its age is more than 300,000 years, and in total there are about half a million stalactites and stalagmites. You can admire the beauty of the underworld while passing the hiking trail, the length of which is 850 meters.