Top things to do

Top Choice Beach in Miyako-jima

Sunayama Beach

Just 4km north of Hirara you will find this little, archetypically tropical-Japan beach, which lies at the bottom of a large sand dune (hence the name 'Sand Mountain Beach'). If you've only got one beach day to spen…
Top Choice Beach in Aka-jima

Nishibama Beach

Lovely beaches fringe every side of the island, but for sheer postcard-perfect beauty, it's hard to beat the 1km stretch of white sand on the northeast coast known as Nishibama Beach. It can be crowded in summer; if…
Top Choice Castle in Naha


This reconstructed castle was originally built in the 14th century and served as the administrative centre and royal residence of the Ryūkyū kingdom until the 19th century. Enter through the Kankai-mon (歓会門) and go …
Top Choice Izakaya in Miyako-jima


Nanraku is Miyako-jima embodied in an izakaya – an earthy, convivial atmosphere, with ingredients sourced from local bounty. Chef Nanraku-san is a local boy, and his celebration of the island's cuisine and its prove…
Top Choice Izakaya in Miyako-jima

Pōcha Tatsuya

This hospitable izakaya is a warm, efficient bastion of Miyako-jima quality, serving fresh, thoughtfully prepared local fare such as kobushime-yawaraka-ni (steamed cuttlefish; ¥730) and sūchiki (vinegared pork with …
Top Choice Museum in Southern Okinawa-hontō

Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum

The centrepiece of the Peace Memorial Park is the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum, which focuses on the suffering of the Okinawan people during the invasion of the island and under the subsequent American …
Top Choice Museum in Naha

Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum

Opened in 2007, this museum of Okinawa's history, culture and natural history is easily one of the best museums in Japan. Displays are well laid-out, attractively presented and easy to understand, with excellent bil…
Top Choice Okinawan in Naha


For a memorable, elegant meal in Naha, don't pass up dinner at the hilltop Nuchigafu, off the southern end of Tsuboya Pottery Street. Formerly a lovely Okinawan teahouse, and long before that a historic Ryūkyūan res…
Top Choice Okinawan in Naha


You'll be lucky to get a seat here, but if you do, you'll be treated to some of the best Okinawan food around, served in traditional but bustling surroundings. Try the okinawa-soba set (¥1400), or choose from among …
Top Choice Beach in Iriomote-jima


From Shirahama, at the western end of the north coast road, there are four daily boats (¥500) to the isolated settlement of Funauki. Once there, it's a mere 10-minute walk on to the absolutely gorgeous Ida-no-hama.