Southeast Botanical Gardens
Spread over a 100 acres of land, the Southeast Botanical Gardens are a commercial botanical garden in the heart of Okinawa. The park contains over 2,000 species of plants with over 450 palm species. The park also contains a large number of flowering plants, fruit trees and a Polynesian style manmade lake with plenty of carp.
Also known as the Chanpuru Ichiba, the market is a large fresh produce market located in the middle of Okinawa. Visitors often describe it as a farmer’s market with a solid roof on top. You can buy all sorts of freshly picked fruits, flowers, vegetables and fresh fish along with the tastefully prepared sea food in the front area. You can also buy some handmade pottery, toiletries, rice, sweets and crafts at a real cheap price here. Right outside the market you can also find the eatery where you can taste the best toko-yaki ever.
One of the largest rivers in Okinawa, the Hija River is one of the best places to visit if you’re looking for a quick getaway from the bustling city. The river transverses through parts of Okinawa city and Kadena, before moving towards the coastal village of Yomitan emptying into the East China Sea. The river is an excellent picnic and trekking spot and is surrounded by a lush cover of sub-tropical forest.
Miyako Island Beaches
If you’re looking for a relaxing day in the sun and sand, the best place to visit in Japan are the Miyako Islands. The best beach in Japan, the Maehama beach is located at the southwest corner of Miyako Island and attracts thousands of tourists each year with its crystal clear blue waters. If you’re lucky enough you might also find emeralds and turquoise in the white sands.
If you want to experience the culture and colors of Okinawa in their best forms, it is highly recommended that you visit Northern Okinawa. You can visit the historical village of Ryukyu and experience the culture of the Okinawa inhabitants. The Busena Marine Park is one of the best places if you want to experience the marine life of Okinawa up close.
Okinawa Martial Arts
Whenever visiting countries like China and Japan, there’s one thing that always comes to a person’s mind. Thanks to popular culture, China and Japan have been known to be the birthplace of several ancient martial arts. Okinawa in particular is home to a vast variety of martial arts, most of which have originated in this very island. Karate, Tegumi and Kobudo have all originated on the Okinawa islands and have spawn several styles.
The art of pottery was introduced by the Ryukyu clan in Okinawa around between the 12th and the 15th centuries. Ryukyu pottery has since become one of the major cultural symbols of the Okinawa islands and is decorated with elaborately designed fishes, dragons and lions. Do visit the Tsuboya-Yaki museum to know more about the history of Okinawa and the role of pottery in its cultural development.
Okinawa in its entirety is a fine network of islands, mountains, forests and inland waterways which make this an excellent tourist destination. You can also visit the Okinawa – A Journey of Discovery page for more detailed information about Okinawa. Make sure you try out the local Okinawa cuisine to complete your visit.
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