With its year-round subtropical climate, Okinawa is a very popular resort area in Japan. The archipelago was once an independent state known as Ryukyu. As such, historic sites from the Ryukyu Kingdom, some of which are World Heritage Sites, can be found throughout the prefecture. The longevity of many Okinawans is thanks in part to the food they eat, which is known as Ryukyu cuisine. This diet is now attracting worldwide attention.
Spend time in Okinawa and discover a very different Japan to that of the mainland.
After arriving at Naha, head to the Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas in the village of Yomitan. This is you accommodation for the next three nights.
Yomitan is steeped in the traditional culture of old Okinawa. Nestled along the coast and surrounded by Okinawan nature, the Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas resort is a villa-style hotel with a private pool attached to each guestroom.
After arriving, relax in the spa or head off on a sunset cruise.
Visit Kouri Island off the northern coast of Okinawa’s main island.
Kouri Island has a diameter of around two kilometers and a circumference of about eight kilometers. It is connected to the mainland by the 1,960-meter-long Kouri Bridge and is one of Okinawa’s most spectacular destinations. The contrasting deep blue sky, emerald green water and white sandy beaches look like something out of a painting. The tranquil island is dotted with old Okinawan houses and sugarcane fields, making it a much-visited tourist destination.
On the way back to the hotel, stop by the Ocean Expo Park to visit the very popular Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is considered one of the biggest and best aquariums in the world. Its tanks are even large enough to accommodate a whale shark. Located on the coast of Motobu Peninsula, the aquarium was rebuilt in 2002 and is now home to 740 different species of underwater life. Enter the aquarium and head to a pool where you can touch live starfish with your own hands. There is also a tank containing a breathtaking display of living coral, the first large-scale exhibit of its kind in the world. One of the most popular exhibits is the main tank. Known as the Kuroshio Sea, the tank is so large that it provides a home for a whale shark, which can measure up to 12 meters in length. The tank also accommodates manta rays and many species of rare fish.
Relax for a while after breakfast before heading off to visit the hotel’s farm.
Our Farm is a kitchen garden adjacent to the hotel where a variety of fruits unique to Okinawa as well as bananas, papayas, vegetables, herbs and wheat are grown throughout the year.
Okinawa is one of the world-famous Blue Zone regions for healthy lifestyles and longevity. Learn the Okinawan secret of living a long life through a cookery class focused on the local diet. Enjoy a lunch of your own cooked food.
In the afternoon, leave for the Zakimi Castle ruins and Yachimun no Sato pottery village.
Zakimi comprises the remains of a gusuku (or castle) built by Gosamaru, a 15th century Ryukyu lord. The ruins include beautifully curved stone walls and an arched gate that is said to be the oldest such gate in Okinawa. In 2000, Zakimi was registered as a World Heritage Site along with the ruins of Shuri Castle.
From the castle ruins head to the Yachimun no Sato pottery village, a thriving center of the region’s distinctive ceramics tradition. In the Okinawan tongue, “yachimun” means ceramics. Okinawan pottery has a solid, rustic appearance and often features whimsical designs. Enjoy exploring studios and pottery shops in search of shisa, Okinawa’s iconic lion-like guardian figures, or the ideal ceramic souvenir. There are numerous facilities of interest, including a traditional ascending kiln with a majestic red-tiled roof.
Following breakfast, refresh yourself with a session of yoga and relaxation stretching.
After checkout, head to Naha Airport by private vehicle.