Top things to do in Okinawa & the Southwest Islands

Top Choice Beach in Miyako-jima

Sunayama Beach

Just 4km north of the Hirara district of Miyakojima city, you'll find this little, archetypally tropical Japan beach, which lies at the bottom of a large sand dune (hence the name 'Sand Mountain Beach'). If you've o…
Top Choice Castle in Naha

Shuri-jō

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 Museum in Southern Okinawa-hontō

Himeyuri Peace Museum

Located above a cave that served as an emergency field hospital during the closing days of the Battle of Okinawa, the Himeyuri Peace Museum is a haunting monument whose mission is to promote peace, driven by survivo…
Top Choice Noodles in Miyako-jima

Rāmen House Tida

This old-school family noodle joint exudes a Shõwa-era movie vibe if only for its fabulously faded original decor. Friendly hosts dish out hearty bowls of steaming broth, tasty fried rice and juicy gyōza. Many years…
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

Ryūkyū Ryōri Nuchigafū

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

Shanghai Wantan Rō

If you think you'll be fed any time before 8pm, you're mistaken. But if you can hold out for this little late-night eatery, you won't be disappointed. The standouts of the drool-worthy menu (which is, incidentally, …
Top Choice Okinawan in Naha

Yūnangi

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 …