Cultural Experience | Okinawa

Okinawa: Japan’s Hidden Paradise

Okinawa is a side of Japan you never knew existed 

My decent onto the Japanese island of Okinawa was a surprising one. As the clouds parted I was greeted by  a concrete jungle – not the tropical island I imagined. I had traveled across the globe to work as an intern at Kafuu Resort Fuchaku and had never been to Japan before let alone Asia, I had no idea what to expect.

I quickly learned that the Okinawan people exude positivity. They’re always willing to show off how much their beautiful island has to offer, and welcomes visitors with open arms.


What to do: 

Start in the capital, Naha, which is home to many UNESCO world heritage sites including Shurijo Castle. Destroyed in the battle of Okinawa, this castle has been rebuilt and is a welcoming difference from the concrete structures that inhabit the rest of the city.

Spend a day or so wandering around the bustling streets, making sure to stop by the Makishi Public Market to sample a wide array of fish caught right off the island.

If you’re a fan of diving, you don’t want to miss the Blue Cave in Onna Village. The water in the shines a gorgeous blue glow,  that only enhances the experience of being surrounded by hundreds of tropical fish floating in the tide.


To learn more about underwater life and see whale sharks, head to Churami Aquarium. 

For a fun day-trip, visit Cape Hedo, the northern most point of the island.  You’ll see beautiful untouched jungle, waterfalls and tropical flora and fauna that’s waiting to be discovered.  While you’re here, try takoyaki, a dish of fried octopus available at a nearby concession stand.

Then, venture out to the edge of the cliff, where the East China Sea and Pacific Ocean meet. The clash of the two oceans meeting creates jaw dropping waves.  The water is so clear that you can see the spots on manta rays backs as they float on by.

Where to eat: 

Head to Café Curcuma to try mouthwatering curry with an equally impressive, panoramic view of the ocean below.  Pizza in the Sky offers 360 degree views of the villages and ocean below.

How to get there: 

To make the most of your stay, rent a car to easily travel around the island. Don’t have your license? No problem. Downtown Naha has a great easy-to-use monorail system.


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Sophia Hatchitt

University of Central Florida | 1 story

Sophia Hatchitt is currently a senior at University of Central Florida studying Hospitality Management. She interned at Kafuu Resort in Okinawa, Japan and will soon travel to Hong Kong for Study Abroad. She has a deep passion for traveling and her previous travels include multiple trips to Europe and Costa Rica. She chronicles her adventures on her travel blog, Resfeber.

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