Welcome to Okinawa & the Southwest Islands

Since WW2, Okinawa-hontō, the region's biggest island, has been home to several key US military installations in the Pacific and a sometimes uneasy meeting of East and West. Okinawa's bustling capital Naha and the sprawling resorts further north draw steady streams of shopping, sun-seeking and honeymooning tourists from neighbouring Asian nations.

But seekers of nature and isolation will love the diversity and beauty of the smaller islands, from Yakushima's primeval forests and craggy peaks to the turquoise waters and soft sands of the Amami, Kerama and Miyako groups, and the spectacular coral, dense jungles and mangroves of the Yaeyamas, furthest south.

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Okinawa & the Southwest Islands activities

$14.02 Transfers & Ground Transport

Naha Airport to Hotels Private Arrival Transfer

Travel from Naha Airport to your hotel with this private transfer service. When making a booking, you will need to advise your arrival details and your hotel details. Your transfer will be confirmed within 48 hours and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver.Price is per person, based on eight adults per vehicle.At time of booking, YOU MUST include the following flight and drop-off details in the 'Special Requirements' box: Arrival Airline Arrival Flight Number Arrival Time Name, Address, and Phone Number of Your Hotel Total Number of Luggage Naha hotel Zones A to H Zone A Hotels:Southern Beach Hotel & ResortMoon Ocean Ginowan Hotel & Resort Laguna Garden HotelZone B Hotels: Hyakuna Garan OkinawaThe Beach Tower OkinawaCamPana Vessel Hotel Em Wellness Resort Costa Vista Hotel & SpaHilton Okinawa Chatan ResortHotel Okinawa Grand Mer ResortZone C Hotels:Hotel Nikko AlivilaOkinawa Zanpamisaki Royal Hotel Renaissance Resort OkinawaCOC Garden Resort Okinawa The Uza Terrace Beach Club VillasZone D Hotels: Hotel Moon BeachHotel Monterey Okinawa Spa & ResortKafuu Resort Fuchaku Condo HotelSun Marina HotelRizzan Sea-Park Hotel Tancha-BayZone E Hotels:InterContinental ANA Manza Beach ResortOriental Hills OkinawaThe ATTA Terrace Club Towers Zone F Hotels:Okinawa Beach Resort Ocean Spa Kariyushi Spa Resort ExesOkinawa Marriott Resort & SpaThe Busena TerraceThe Ritz-Carlton, OkinawaKise Beach Palace LiVEMAX AMMS Canna Resort VillaBest Western Okinawa Kouki BeachThe Terrace Club at BusenaZone G Hotels:Kanucha Bay Hotel & VillasChisun Resort Okinawa ChuraumiMahaina Wellness Resort OkinawaHotel Orion Motobu Resort & SpaMARINE PIAZZA OKINAWA Marine Piazza Okinawa Hotel Resonex NagoZone H Hotels:JAL Private Resort Okuma

$15.08 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

General Admission to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

  Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium was the first aquarium in the world to succeed in raising and breeding manta alfredi, one of the largest species of ray. Get an up close look at the magical whale shark, the largest fish in the sea Whale sharks as long as 8.7m, manta rays and a wide variety of fish swim in the gigantic tank Enjoy an interactive and educational tour and hold sea cucumbers and star fish Observe manatee, sea turtles and dolphins in the Ocean Expo Park just next to the aquarium See the world's first successfully bred in captivity manta ray, a giant of the ocean

$34.11 Day Trips & Excursions

Ishigaki to Taketomi Island Day Trip with Kondoi Beach Option

In the morning, make your way to the Ishigaki Port ferry terminal and board a boat to Taketomi Island. Upon arrival, you’re picked up at the port and transferred to the tour office. Take the ferry on your own to Iriomote island, where you'll join a Japanese-speaking tour group. Throughout the day, you are accompanied by an English-speaking assistant who introduces you to each activity. In addition, you can consult a provided booklet for descriptions of attractions on your tour itinerary.First, hop into a water buffalo cart for a half-hour ride around the village of Taketomi, ambling along sandy paths past the red clay roofs of Ryūkyū-style homes. Listen as the driver plays the sanshin (a traditional Okinawan instrument) and sings traditional Okinawan songs.Afterward, a bus picks you up for the trip to Kondoi Beach, or you can rent a bicycle to explore the island on your own. See the Important Information tab for pricing and other details.Option 1: Kondoi BeachIf you’ve chosen this option, a bus picks you up from the water buffalo cart boarding point and takes you to Kondoi Beach, where you can spend free time swimming in the turquoise water and relaxing on the impressive expanse of white sand. Just tell the driver which ferry you plan to take back to Ishigaki Port and you’ll be picked up at the beach in time for your departure. Alternatively, you can decide later and call the driver when you are ready to return to Ishigaki.Option 2: Rental BikeIf you’ve selected the bike rental option, walk about 3 minutes on foot to the rental office and get fitted with your bicycle. You’ll have access to your bike all day, allowing you to explore the island sights at your own pace. Pedal to the plentiful handicraft shops and watch local artisans weave traditional cloth, take in the views of white-sand beaches or sink your teeth into a sumptuous meal of island-raised shrimp (own expense). After returning the bicycle you will be taken back to the port in time for whichever ferry you would like to take back to Ishigaki.Please note: A minimum of 2 people per booking is required.Click on “View Additional Info” for the meeting locations.

$126.57 Outdoor Activities

Iriomote Island Urauchi River Cruise, Maryudo Falls Adventure

Make your own way to the tour office in the morning to pick up a round-trip ferry ticket before departing from Ishigaki Port. Ride the 50-minute ferry on your own to Iriomote Island (Iriomote-jima), where you’ll join a Japanese-speaking tour group and be met by an English-speaking assistant who provides limited translation for the day’s activities. From Uehara Port, take a bus to the Urauchi River, the longest river of Okinawa Prefecture. Board a boat for a sightseeing cruise through the lush mangrove estuary. Disembark at the start point of your jungle hike.Head down an easy forest trail for about 30 minutes until you reach an observation platform. Here, take in the splendor of Maryudo Falls, a 52-foot (16-meter) cascade that is considered one of Japan's must-see waterfalls. Linger longer or walk another 10 minutes to the end of the trail to marvel at another waterfall, Kanpire Falls.Cruise back along the Urauchi River and enjoy a bento box lunch upon arrival at the dock. After fueling up, receive a brief kayak instruction and embark on a 2-hour guided kayak journey along the Urauchi River and Utara River, a branch of the larger waterway. Paddle through mangroves and listen as your guide describes the flora and fauna of Iriomote Island and the surrounding region.Back at the dock, you can take a warm shower before riding the bus back to Uehara Port. Return by ferry to Ishigaki in the evening.Click on “View Additional Info” for the meeting locations.

$125.67 Outdoor Activities

Iriomote Island Kayaking Full-Day Tour with Sangara Falls Hike

Arrive at the tour office in the morning to collect your ferry ticket from an English-speaking assistant. You'll also receive a booklet with descriptions of the attractions on this tour itinerary. Board the ferry on your own, and relax on the 50-minute ride across the water to Iriomote, the largest (and least inhabited) island in the beautiful Yaeyama island chain.Disembark at either Uehara or Ohara port, and meet your guide to travel the short distance by bus to the kayaking base. If you have brought some other clothes along for the tour, use the stop to change. After you receive your life jacket and paddle, listen to a quick safety briefing. Step inside your kayak (go solo or share with another group member), and paddle upstream along the Nishida River. The tour is aimed at all levels of kayakers, from first timers to seasoned pros, and the pace is set by the slowest member of the group to ensure no one is left behind.Your guide points out the area’s stunning natural sights as your group meanders through Iriomote’s dense mangrove forests. After roughly 25 minutes on the water, leave your kayak on the riverbank and start your 30-minute hike up a mountain path that leads to Sangara Falls (aka Nishida Falls). See wild examples of jungle species that are unique to the Yaeyama Islands including rare butterflies and sakishima-suo trees with rippling roots. At the falls, enjoy up to an hour of free time to explore the rock pools, gaze out over the dense jungle, savor a provided bento box, and perhaps take a swim under the waterfall itself. When it is time to head back, hike down to the river to get in your kayak. After paddling back to the base, you can take a quick shower before returning by bus to the port in time for your late-afternoon ferry to Ishigaki Port. Click on 'View Additional Info' below for the meeting point locations.

$589.77 Private & Custom Tours

Private Okinawa Custom One-Day Tour by Chartered Vehicle

When making your booking, select whether or not you want to include a local guide with your chartered vehicle. Also select to travel in a limousine, van, or bus, depending on your group's size and preferences.Your driver picks you up from your Naha hotel at 9am. Board the comfortable vehicle and let them know which attractions you wish to visit. The tour is fully customizable to the interests of you and your travel companions.Recommended spots include: Shuri CastleA UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shuri Castle served as a palace for the Ryukyu kings for several centuries until Okinawa became a Japanese prefecture in 1879. (Note: The castle is closed on the first Wednesday and Thursday of July).Cape Manza A scenic rock formation near Onna Village. The name Manza stems from the original Okinawan dialect, meaning ‘big enough for 10,000 men to sit on this field by the cliffs.'Churaumi AquariumOne of the biggest and the most impressive aquariums in Japan, home to huge whale sharks measuring up to 33-feet (10-meters) long, bull sharks (up to 9.9-feet/3-meters long), manta rays (up to 23-feet/7-meters long), green turtles, and many more. (Note: The aquarium is closed on the first Wednesday and Thursday of December).Once you have seen everything you wish to see and gotten a taste of life on Okinawa, your tour concludes with a convenient drop-off back at your Naha hotel at around 6pm.