Northern area of the main island of Okinawa is a region richly endowed with nature. There are numerous popular site-seeing spots and unspoilt landscape of Okinawa, as well as cafe in the forest that makes you forget time.
Let us introduce to you the 8 recommended tourist spots that are located in the northern area on the main island, such as Nago City and Motobu Peninsula.
The standard travel spot in Okinawa features a the largest fish tank in the world, welcoming more than about 3 million visitors each year. Whale sharks and manta rays leisurely swim, as well as large schools of wandering fish to provide overpowering views, giving the visitors the sensation of being submerged in ocean. Visitors can enjoy snacks and drinks while viewing freely swimming fish at cafe in front of the main tank “Kuroshio Sea” occupied by whale sharks and manta rays, as if seated at a special seat under the sea. Free dolphin shows at Okichan Theater outdoor is also a must-see spot.
Three minutes by car from the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. Lined with about 20,000 Fukugi (Happiness Trees), the site is lit with gentle sunshine filtering through foliage. Old houses dot the landscape along the small path of white sand, featuring pure Okinawan landscape with Shisa and red tiled roofs decorating the houses. Visitors will feel relaxing as they see nostalgic atmosphere. Other than strolling this area, visitors can ride on a rental bicycle or take a slow ride on a water buffalo drawn carriage to enjoy the scenery. You can see Ie Island from the coast on Bisesaki Coast that spreads beyond the column of trees.
Kouri Island is referred as the island of love. The transparent ocean of emerald green can be viewed from the Kouri Bridge, a popular spot to visit when driving in the area. There are five beaches on the island, with the Heart Rocks at Tinu-hama Beach. The location is known as the site of “Okinawan Adam and Eve”. A spectacular view from 82 meters above the sea level is yours to enjoy from the observation deck of the “Kouri Ocean Tower”. At the cafe in the tower please try pizza baked in a traditional oven.
This location is one of the nine World Heritage sites in the prefecture. You can see deep blue ocean spreads beyond the castle wall located on a hill and Iheya and Izana Island on a clear day. The site is also famous as a Taiwan Cherry blooms earlier than other cherry trees in Japan. The “Nankijin Gusuku Cherry Blossom Festival” is from January to February. There is a contrast of deep pink flowers and blue sky during day, and fantastical image from lighting during night. You will find two different expression between day and night.
A theme park utilizing nature and geographical features is good to stop by before or after visiting Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. In “Nago Pineapple Park”, visitors ride cute little carts to wonder around and enjoy the atmosphere of relaxed tropical island surrounded by pineapple fields with palm trees growing straight up towards the sky. Another recommendation is “Okinawa Fruits Land”, for watching unique tropical fruits and visit cafe offering various kinds of sweets using a lot of tropical fruits, and help take away any fatigue from driving.
The remote island, Sesoko Island is located about ten minutes by car from the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. The white sand beach extends 800 meters at Sesoko Beach located on the western side of the island. Have a swim with pretty tropical fish in the water dazzling reflection of sun light. It would also be a good idea to plant a parasol for sunshade and lie on the pure white sandy beach of smooth sand. Ie Island is also in the view beyond the sea.
In the northern area on the main island of Okinawa, there are numerous cafe with views of ocean and remote islands or cafe in the forest to feel negative ions. The “Pizza Cafe Kajinhou” is the representative cafe with ocean view and extremely popular since opening. If you would like to enjoy meals with beautiful ocean contrasting great sky and deep blue clear sky, visit after 3:00 p.m. The representative cafe of the forest is the “Yachimun kissa Shisa en”. The garden that reflects the sensations of the four seasons in Okinawa is a wonderfully curious hideaway location. The view from the second floor, with all sliding doors opened, is simply spectacular.
The “Michinoeki Kyoda” roadside station is awarded the first place in the “Top 20 Roadside Stations of Japan Selection by Travelers” and a popular tourist site visited by 1.5 million people annually. This is a treasure trove of souvenir gifts from the northern area on the main island of Okinawa, featuring an abundance of agricultural and special produce of the Yanbaru District (northern area on Okinawa mainland). The soft served ice cream prepared with the “Oppa Milk”, raw milk procured from the dairy farm of Yanbaru District blessed with nature. The rich and creamy taste with pleases both tourists and local fans.