Okinawa Island Guide

Everything on Okinawa Island from A to Z | Parks & nature attractions

Okinawa Island Guide

Kanpire Waterfall

Iriomote, Taketomi Town (Iriomote Island)

Kanpire Waterfall is found on the upper course of the Urauchi River -- the longest river in the prefecture flowing in the western part of Iriomote Island. Among a variety of tours to the Kanpire Waterfall available from local tour operators, the ones featuring both trekking to the waterfall and kayaking downstream on the Urauchi River are recommended for those looking to experience the magnificence of Iriomote’s nature to the fullest. Kanpire Waterfall is situated about 250 meters upstream from the Mariudo Waterfall, located about a 40-minute trek from the Gunkan-iwa (Battleship Rock) boat station, which can be reached by sightseeing boat. The sight of the 50-meter-wide Kanpire Waterfall descending over a gradually sloping rocky surface is simply amazing.

Kanpire Waterfall is said to be a place where assemblies of gods from across Iriomote Island took place long ago and is considered one of the most sacred sites on the island. Its plunge basin is a great place for splashing about in the summer. The bed of the river is soft sand, and there are a number of pot holes, cylinder-shaped formations created by moving water and stores. You can see small freshwater fish and shrimp swimming in these pot holes.


Urauchi River basin

Taketomi Town (Iriomote Island)

The longest river in Okinawa, the Urauchi River flows through Iriomote’s subtropical forest. Found in the course of Urauchi River are a variety of waterfalls, including the famous Mariudo and Kanpire falls. As you travel along the Urauchi on a sightseeing boat, you can see clusters of looking-glass mangrove and cornbeefwood trees and a variety of creatures including birds, fish, reptiles and insects.


Hoshisuna no Hama Beach

Uehara, Taketomi Town (Iriomote Island)

A rocky beach with calm, shallow water, Hoshisuna no Hama Beach is a popular sea bathing spot among families with children. In addition, the beach offers a great snorkeling experience, too. The highlight of this beach is hoshisuna -- star-shaped sand particles that are actually shells of tiny marine creatures called foraminifera.


Chatan Park

Mihama, Chatan Town
Tel: Chatan Center for Regional Development (general incorporated foundation) 098-936-0077

Chatan Park comprises a wide variety of facilities, including a baseball stadium, an athletic field, a softball field, an indoor gymnasium, a fitness center and more. Every year, during the month of February, the park plays official host to the spring training camp of the first squad of the Chunichi Dragons -- a Japanese professional baseball team -- and their pre-season exhibition games.


Onoyama General Athletic Park

Onoyama General Athletic Park
52 Onoyama-cho, Naha City
Tel: 098-858-2700

The Onoyama General Athletic Park was the first athletic park built in Okinawa, in 1959.

The extent of available facilities and the ideal setting of the park with its spacious lawns make it a prime choice for recreational sports. You can have access to the budokan (indoor arena), gymnasiums for personal training sessions and multiple sports, a swimming pool, athletic fields and tennis courts for a modest fee.


Seashore Alameda

424 Ishikawa, Motobu-cho
Tel: 0980-48-2741

This walkway offers the opportunity to walk surrounded by the natural beauty of Okinawa. Enjoy a relaxing stroll accompanied by a view of cobalt blue water dotted with small islands.


Ishigaki Island Sunset Beach

234-323 Hirakubo, Ishigaki City (Ishigaki Island)
Swimming season: April-October
Hours: 9:00-18:00

This beach is located in the northern part of Ishigaki Island. As its name connotes, the beach is a popular location to catch a scenic sunset. Here you can enjoy a variety of marine activities and swimming at all times, even during low tide.


Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave

1666 Ishigaki, Ishigaki City (Ishigaki Island)
Tel: 0980-83-1550
Hours: 9:00-18:30
Open daily

This is a limestone cave that has evolved over a period of 200,000 years. The cave is about 660 meters in length and made of pieces of coral. The inside of the cave is illuminated with lights, enhancing the mysterious atmosphere of this amazing natural wonder.

Island Life Concierge

11-2 Minato, Chatan Town
Tel: 098-916-8593

Island Life Concierge's wide array of services ranges from limousine hire and vehicle arrangements to sunset cruises and marine activities. Island Life Concierge is happy to help you plan your ideal vacation in Okinawa but also can provide coordination services for your Okinawan wedding.

Motobu Genki Mura

410 Hamamoto, Motobu Town
Tel: 0980-51-7878
Hours: 8:00-18:00
Open daily

This is a complex of wellness and recreational facilities where you can enjoy a wide variety of activities, ranging from swim-with-the-dolphins programs and hands-on cultural and craft workshops. Located right next to Motobu Genki Mura is Marine Piazza Okinawa, which is operated under the same ownership.


Aragusuku Beach

Aragusuku, Gusukube, Miyakojima City (Miyako Island)

Aragusuku Beach is a shallow water beach adjacent to Yoshino Beach. Aragusuku Beach is popular with tourists and locals alike for sea bathing and snorkeling. You can see vividly colored tropical fish in the shallow water just off the beach. There is a shop that’s open during the summer months only. No toilet or shower facilities are available at the beach.


Nishi no Hama Beach

Hateruma, Taketomi Town (Hateruma Island)

This is the most popular beach on the island of Hateruma -- the southernmost inhabited island in Japan. The contrast between the white sand and emerald green water of Nishi no Hama Beach is simply amazing. The sand is super fine and soft and it's very comfortable to lie on, while the water is relatively shallow and offers a great snorkeling experience for everyone. Gazebos are available on the beach for a rest in the shade.