Okinawa Island Guide

Everything on Okinawa Island from A to Z | Scenic sites & unique streets

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.


Miyagi Coast

Miyagi, Chatan Town

The area along Chatan's Miyagi coast is known as a mecca for water sports, including diving and surfing. Featuring a large soft coral reef system called ohanabatake, meaning field of flowers, the area is dotted with various dive spots that are easily accessible from the coast and always crowded with divers. A number of ocean view cafés, restaurants and bars are scattered along the Miyagi coast.


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.

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.


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.


Makabe China

223 Makabe, Itoman City
Tel: 098-997-3207
Hours: 11:00-18:00
Closed: Wed
A unique café situated in a 110-year-old traditional Ryukyuan house with a red tile roof.


Kondoi Beach

Taketomi, Taketomi Town (Taketomi Island)

Featuring the longest stretch of sand on Taketomi Island -- one of the Yaeyama Islands -- and tranquil water with a smooth sandy bottom, Kondoi Beach provides a great swimming experience for everyone. In addition the beach is easily accessible from Ishigaki, with regular ferries departing every 30 minutes for Taketomi.


Large akagi trees in Kinjo-cho Shuri

3-18-20 Kinjo-cho, Shuri, Naha City

There are six giant akagi (bishop wood) trees in Kinjo-cho, with the largest estimated to be over 200 years old. The trees were designated by the Japanese government as a Natural Treasure in 1972. Similar trees used to be found in and around Shurijo Castle in the past; however, most of them were destroyed during the war. Today, this is the only place where large akagi trees can be seen in the prefecture.


Ishidatami Road in Kinjo-cho

Kinjo-cho, Shuri, Naha City

This cobblestone lane is paved with Ryukyu limestone and was built as part of the main road linking Shuri with the Naha port and the southern part of Okinawa during the reign of King Sho Shin in 1522. The road used to be about 10 kilometers long, but today only about 280 meters remain in Kinjo-cho, located south of the castle. Visitors can enjoy a stroll around the area while observing many traditional Okinawan homes with red-tile roofs.

  • Area:

Tatami Ishi

Known as Kume Island’s signature feature, Tatami Ishi is an artistic natural creation of polygonal rocks one to two meters in diameter that look like tatami on white sand. These rocks were created by a unique natural phenomenon in which lava slowly cooled and hardened into rock with regularly shaped cracks.


Tanagagumui in Aha

Aha, Kunigami Village, Kunigami

The plant community around the Tanagagumui area is designated as a protected species area. There are many rare plants such as koke-tanpopo (a kind of dandelion), yakushima-sumire (a type of violet) and Ryukyuasebi, which is a tree with pretty white, bell-shaped flowers. To reach Tanagagumui, be prepared to do some trekking, making it advisable to wear sturdy shoes and casual clothes. Visitors must hike down a narrow trail with a rope to get to the final destination. Despite all the hiking, this is a trip worth doing as breathtaking views await the visitors who make it there.