Tonaki Island footlights win Public Design Award

The Japan Urban Design Institute recognized the Village Road Route 1 footlights of Tonaki Island with the Block Division Prize of the 1st Public Design Award. According to an article in Okinawa Times, the village first started to set footlights from 2000 to 2005. The 152 lights along the 765 meter long road create a magical atmosphere, illuminating the coral stone walls and Okianwan red-tiled roofs under the starry sky. Tourists who stay in the traditional houses can enjoy the nature safely at night, thanks to the hearty footlights. Continue reading

Tea at Shurijo Castle

Okinawa tea and sweets Okinawan Tea and sweets for just 300 yen in the "Sasuno-ma" (a room used by princes to host meetings with government officials) at Shurijo Castle. The participants are first escorted into the room with the view of a beautiful garden built with Ryukyu limestones. This garden is not only outstanding, but is also the one and only garden amongst the gusukus in Okinawa. After an explanation about the history of Shurijo Castle and what they're serving, the servers then bring sanpin (jasmine) tea with Okinawan sweets. The Tsuboyayaki cup, Okinawan lacquered saucer and tray along with the serene atmosphere become essential in creating a gracious moment in your visit to the Shurijo Castle.

Location: Sasuno-ma in Shurijo Castle (15 minute walk from the Yui Monorail Shurijo Castle Station) Hours: 9:30 ~18:00 (Last Order at 17:30) Price: 300 yen (* separate from the 800 yen admission fee to Shurijo Castle)

Beaches

Go to the beach. The best beaches are in the sparsely populated northern part of Okinawa and on the tiny islands surrounding Okinawa.
The area around Naha is dominated by port facilities and seawalls. An exception is Naminoue Beach by the Naminoue shrine.
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Food

Eat something. Okinawan soba noodles with pork slices are sold everywhere. Izakaya restaurants (imagine a meal of many appetizers) are a treat not yet well-known outside of Japan. For a more western style meal try Sam's restaurants.

More information to be added. 

Crafts

See the amazing crafts and craft studios of Okinawa. For centuries, Okinawa has been reknown for it's ceramics and textiles. Walk among the shops of the Tsuboya district in Naha or go to Yomitan and view the great kiln and the working studios and galleries of those that cook clay. Bingata and Bashoufu are the most well know Okinawan textiles.

More information to be added. 

5 things to do

1. Visit Shurijo Castle in Naha city. There are 7 world heritage sites on Okinawa. Most of them are gusuku or fortress ruins. Shurijo was the ancient capital of the kingdom of the Ryukyus. It was destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in 2000. This is a good place to begin to understand a beautiful culture and people.

2.  Go shopping. Kokusai Street and Heiwa Dori are the heart of shopping in Naha. Kokusai (which means international) Street is the main retail street in Naha. Heiwa Dori branches off from Kokusai St. and is one of the entrances to the Ichiba or the old market. It's easy and fun to get lost among the tiny shops and stalls of a time before Walmart and Ikea. Whether it's a $10,000 kimono or a pig's ear, you can get it here.

3. See the amazing crafts and craft studios of Okinawa. For centuries, Okinawa has been reknown for it's ceramics and textiles. Walk among the shops of the Tsuboya district in Naha or go to Yomitan and view the great kiln and the working studios and galleries of those that cook clay. Bingata and Bashoufu are the most well know Okinawan textiles.

4. Eat something. Okinawan soba noodles with pork slices are sold everywhere. Izakaya restaurants (imagine a meal of many appetizers) are a treat not yet well-known outside of Japan. For a more western style meal try Sam's restaurants.

5. Go to the beach. The best beaches are in the northern part of Okinawa and on the tiny islands surrounding Okinawa.