The secret is out, apparently.

In case you haven’t seen the videos, Okinawa, Japan has launched a new campaign that is showcasing a destination that I, for one, had never heard of before but suddenly, feel like I need to visit.

A subtropical environment comprised of 160 islands, it’s an ocean lover’s paradise, which means the perfect place for divers or snorkelers, but also has various activities to appeal to paddlers and hikers. Regardless, it’s endless beaches, culture and cuisine seem to make it the perfect place to get your feet wet or your hands dirty while enjoying a bit of R&R as well.

I’ve done some research and have found a few areas that us fellow adventurers might enjoy visiting in Okinawa:

 

Hiking

Lush green of Okinawa

 

A semitropical old growth forest and mountainous region, Yanbaru may be the top choice for explorers looking to check out this group of islands. Extending almost to the coastline, visitors can embark on treks through the forest, most often to Hiji or Makiya Falls, the former of which is the largest waterfall in Okinawa. The trail there is a short but enjoyable 1.5 kilometer hike, while the surrounding area boasts some 380 species of rare plants, while animal life includes rare birds, turtles, shrimps, crabs and gobi.

 

Diving & snorkeling

Some of the coral to explore in Okinawa's waters
Credit: Ippei & Janine Naoi

 

Exploring the ocean waters of Okinawa is said to be on par with the world’s best dive experiences, such as those in the Great Barrier Reef or Galapagos. For beginners, Okinawa Main Island has dive spots accessible from the beach, while those with more experience may choose to explore the translucent waters and dynamic typography of Kerama Shoto National Park, Miyako Island, Kume Island or the Yaeyama Islands.

 

Canoeing & sea kayaking

Sea kayaking in Okinawa
Credit: Roger Braunstein

 

Tour caves, mangroves and uninhabited islands with a paddle in hand for a unique perspective of the Okinawa Islands, taking in spectacular views and unique flora and fauna. The aforementioned Yanbaru is an ideal location, as is the Blue Cave near Cape Maeda in Onna Village, a place perfect for explorations above or below the water.

 

Getting there

The tempting waters of Okinawa

 

Regular flights from major domestic airports such as the Narita International Airport, Haneda Airport, Central Japan International Airport (Centrair), and Kansai International Airport to Okinawa’s gateway Naha Airport operate daily.

 

 

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