Destinations / Asia

Must-See Okinawa Attractions & Nearby Hotels from $135

Comprising more than 150 islands, Okinawa is a fascinating Japanese prefecture where you can spend one day snorkelling reefs and the next frequenting lively Naha bars or exploring historical monuments and castles. The main island of Okinawa is home to many of the main attractions and cities, but exploring further afield untaps some of Japan’s best-kept secrets.

With more than 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve hand-picked not only the most popular attractions in Okinawa but also some of these lesser-known gems for your next Japan holiday. We’ve also made travel planning easier for you by finding the best hotels close to these unforgettable attractions.

Shuri Castle

Why You Should Stay near Shuri Castle

Located in Naha, Shuri Castle is a 14th-century Ryukyuan that has survived through numerous wars and has been extensively renovated over the years to preserve its history. As you approach the castle’s central building, you’ll pass under photo-worthy gates before encountering the iconic Una Plaza. The castle’s interior houses informative exhibits and artefacts highlighting the history of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Tips for Visiting Shuri Castle 

  • Don’t miss seeing the replica of the king’s throne and crown.
  • Visit the nearby Zuisen Distillery after to taste the traditional shōchū drink.
  • You can catch the number 1 bus to the castle direct from the centre of Naha.

Top Hotels near Shuri Castle

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Naha Shuri Castle

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Naha Shuri Castle bedroom
Photo| DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Naha Shuri Castle | Provided by DOUBLETREE BY HILTON HOTEL NAHA SHURI CASTLE

Located within one kilometre from Shuri Castle, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Naha Shuri Castle occupies a prime location in Shuri’s old town. Along with a renewed sprawling outdoor pool with umbrellaed sun loungers, the classy hotel boasts gift shops and three restaurants, including the Japanese eatery, Fuji, and a rooftop bar with superb city vistas.

All of the rooms have functional work desks, HDTVs and large windows overlooking the city, including the Twin Deluxe Room with a bay window. Alternatively, you can book one of the suites for luxurious extras, including futons and tatami mats in the Tatami Styled Japanese Suite or a separate lounge room and kitchenette in the Twin One Bedroom Suite. 

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • Shuri Kinjo Big Akagi Tree (1.2 kilometres)
  • Sueyoshi Park (1.1 kilometres)
  • Kinjo Stone Road (1.2 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 135 – USD 439
Guest Rating: 8
Address: 1-132-1 Shuri Yamagawa-cho, Naha, Okinawa, Japan

Novotel Okinawa Naha

Novotel Okinawa Naha Hotel infinity
Photo| Novotel Okinawa Naha | Provided by NOVOTEL OKINAWA NAHA

There are numerous standout features of Novotel Okinawa Naha, including all the World Heritage sites nearby, but having the only infinity pool in Naha might be the best perk. The pool offers uninterrupted city vistas and also has a kids’ pool, umbrellaed sun loungers and a barbecue deck where you can dine on delicious fare. Don’t forget to visit the GourmetBar for signature dishes, such as the “Agu” beacon burger washed down with local beer.

Rooms start with the entry-level Standard Room with a work desk and a cosy double bed. Upgrade to the Deluxe Room for twin beds and space for lounge seating or book a Terrace Suite for a larger bedroom and a private terrace with loungers and direct access to the infinity pool. 

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • Shuri Cathle World Heritage site (1.3 kilometres)
  • Kinjo-cho Stone Path (1.2 kilometres)
  • Tamaudun Mausoleum World Heritage site (850 metres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 189 – USD 380
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: 40 Matsugawa, Naha, Japan

Hotel Location

Churaumi Aquarium

Why You Should Stay near Churaumi Aquarium

Part of the diverse Ocean Expo Park, Churaumi Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world, housing a variety of marine life from around the globe. Exploring the aquarium lets you get up close with whale sharks, manta rays, bottlenose dolphins and a variety of reef fish. You can also visit the aquarium’s laboratory, watch HD movies and interact with sea creatures in the touch pool. 

Tips for Visiting Churaumi Aquarium 

  • Combine your visit with other attractions in Ocean Expo Park, including the Oceanic Culture Museum Planetarium and historic Okinawa Village.
  • Enjoy a buffet lunch while admiring East China Sea views at the on-site restaurant, Inoh.
  • Visitors with infants can borrow strollers from information desks and guard booths.

Top Hotels near Churaumi Aquarium

Centurion Hotel Resort Vintage Okinawa Churaumi

Centurion Hotel Resort Vintage Okinawa Churaumi
Photo| Centurion Hotel Resort Vintage Okinawa Churaumi | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Centurion Hotel Resort Vintage Okinawa Churaumi is around the corner from Churaumi Aquarium and offers contemporary and stylish rooms overlooking the ocean or Ocean Expo Park. The Standard and Superior Ocean View both have leather lounges, flat-screen TVs and comfortable beds. Upgrade to the Ryukyu Suite for the added luxury of a separate lounge room.

The on-site restaurants offer diverse dining experiences, from cocktails and live music at Cafe & Bar Vintage to the tavern menu at Restaurant Trevi Hermitage and delicious grilled meats at Barbecue Garden Churaumi. When it’s sunny, there’s no better place to be than chilling in sun loungers by the outdoor pool. 

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • Oceanic Culture Museum Planetarium (650 metres)
  • Emerald Beach (850 metres)
  • Bise Fukugi Tree Lane (650 metres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 164 – USD 355
Guest Rating: 8
Address: 938, Ishikawa, Motobu, Japan

Hotel Orion Motobu Resort and Spa

Hotel Orion Motobu Resort and Spa
Photo| Hotel Orion Motobu Resort and Spa | Provided by BOOKING.COM

The beachfront Hotel Orion Motobu Resort and Spa overlooks Emerald Beach and features a range of enticing leisure facilities, including an indoor pool, sprawling outdoor pool, children’s pool, karaoke room and a Ryukyu garden. Looking for some holiday relaxation? Visit the Jurassic Onsen Churaumi no Yu to soak in the hot spring overlooking the ocean.

You’re spoilt for choice with on-site dining, whether you want all-day dining at Sirius, grilled meats at Capella or local cuisine at Kari. All the rooms and suites have ocean views, lounge seating and private balconies. The suites, which occupy the Club Wing, also have access to an exclusive infinity pool, including Royal Suite with a separate lounge and dining area. 

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • Bise Fukugi Tree Lane (400 metres)
  • Ocean Expo Park (150 metres)
  • Tropical Dream Center (1.4 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 417 – USD 639
Guest Rating: 9.3
Address: 148-1 Bise, Motobu, Japan

Hotel Location

Nakagusuku Castle, Nakagusuku, Okinawa, Japan

Why You Should Stay near the Nakagusuku Castle Ruins

The 14th-century Nakagusuku Castle was built during the rule of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Today you can explore the well-preserved ruins of this Heritage-listed site while learning more about Japan’s rich history. You can see how the castle was divided into multiple citadels and wander through the six courtyards. The castle also affords panoramic views over Nakagusuku Bay.

Tips for Visiting the Nakagusuku Castle Ruins 

  • Combine the castle with a visit to Nakamurake, an 18th-century Okinawan-style residence.
  • Be prepared for a 30-minute uphill walk to the castle.
  • It’s only a 20-minute drive from the centre of Okinawa City.

Top Hotels near the Nakagusuku Castle Ruins

EM Wellness Resort Costa Vista Okinawa Hotel & Spa

EM Wellness Resort Costa Vista Okinawa Hotel & Spa
Photo| EM Wellness Resort Costa Vista Okinawa Hotel & Spa | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Nestled between the Nakagusuku Castle Ruins and AEON MALL, EM Wellness Resort Costa Vista Okinawa Hotel & Spa is focused on relaxation and rejuvenation. The on-site spa and wellness centre boasts warm baths, a stone sauna and various therapeutic treatments. There’s also a gym and two restaurants, including healthy Okinawa-sourced ingredients at Casa Verde.

Many of the rooms and suites have views of either the ocean, city or gardens. The Standard Twin has two comfortable twin beds and separate seating, while the spacious Family Room has an open dining and living area. The Japanese Room is adorned with traditional furnishings, including tatami mats and futons.  

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • AEON MALL (1.4 kilometres)
  • Kishaba Stone Lion (850 metres)
  • Kitanakagusuku Village Central Community Center (1.4 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 173 – USD 180
Guest Rating: 8.1
Address: 1478 Kishaba, Kitanakagusuku, Japan

Hidden Villa Kano

Hidden Villa Kano
Photo| Hidden Villa Kano | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Hidden Villa Kano is a peaceful retreat nestled on a hilltop overlooking Okinawa’s city sprawl. The all-suite accommodation comprises five unique apartments with separate living rooms, fully-equipped kitchens, multiple bedrooms and hi-tech entertainment. Most of these holiday abodes also have outdoor baths and barbecues on private terraces.

Want to socialise with fellow travellers? Hang out on the Patio while enjoying a barbecue and soaking up views of Nakagusuku Bay. You can work out in the training room or relax in the massage chair if you please. 

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park (1.9 kilometres)
  • Okinawa Children’s World Zoo and Museum (2 kilometres)
  • AEON MALL (1.8 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 342 – USD 556
Guest Rating: No Rating
Address: Hiyagon 7-7-21, Okinawa City, Japan

Hotel Location

Tropical lagoon islands, Ishigaki, Japan

Why You Should Stay on Ishigaki Island

The second-largest island in the Yaeyama archipelago, Ishigaki Island is a picturesque haven of golden beaches, cocktail-blue water and lush jungle foliage. The island has a main community that’s densely populated with typical Japanese restaurants and shops, but you can also venture to the northern reaches to discover expansive forests and secluded bays. 

Tips for Visiting Ishigaki Island 

  • Snorkel or scuba dive at the coral reefs surrounding Ishigaki Island.
  • Embark on a kayaking tour down the rivers winding through the island’s jungles.
  • Visit Ishigaki Yaima Village to discover traditional culture, including classic residences and dance and song performances.

Top Hotels on Ishigaki Island

InterContinental ANA Ishigaki Resort

InterContinental ANA Ishigaki Resort swimming pool
Photo| InterContinental ANA Ishigaki Resort | Provided by INTERCONTINENTAL ANA ISHIGAKI RESORT

Opulence abounds at the 5-star InterContinental ANA Ishigaki Resort, which is a tropical dream separated from Maesato Beach by grassy lawns and palm trees. You can live a life of leisure, whether you’re jogging along coastal trails, sunbathing by the garden pools, being pampered in the day spa or practising your short game on the golf course.

Your taste buds will be spoilt by the various dining options, including fresh sushi at Okinawa Cuisine Ishigaki, the finest beef at Fireside Terrace and cocktails with an ocean view at Tropics Lounge & Bar. Every room and suite has a private balcony with ocean vistas, along with Bluetooth speakers and baths. The suites add extra luxuries like Jacuzzis and separate living rooms. 

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • Ishigakishi Chuoundo Park (2 kilometres)
  • Maesato Beach (500 metres)
  • Ishigaki Shiritsu Yaeyama Museum (3.3 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 448 – USD 1,296
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: 354-1 Maesato, Ishigaki, Japan

Club Med Kabira Beach

Nestled on a western point of Ishigaki Island, Club Med Kabira Beach is part of a protected marine park with white-sand beaches and baby-blue water. This idyllic setting lends the resort a wealth of aquatic activities, including snorkelling with manta rays, windsurfing and kayaking. Le Restaurant serves traditional Okinawan flavours, while Tingara is perfect for a casual drink.

The Superior and Deluxe rooms overlook verdant mountain landscapes and feature private balconies and enough room and bedding for three to six guests. Opt for a Suite if you prefer to admire the ocean from your furnished balcony. It also comes with a separate lounge room and two flat-screen TVs.

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • Euro-Divers Japan (250 metres)
  • Kabira Bay (3.7 kilometres)
  • Sukuji Beach (3.7 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 806 – USD 1,612
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Ishizaki 1, Banchi, Kabira, Ishigaki, Japan

Hotel Location

Okinawa World

Why You Should Stay near Okinawa World

Focused on Okinawan culture, Okinawa World is a fun and educational theme park where you can learn more about this region’s history and traditions. The theme park includes the five-kilometre-long Gyokusendo Cave, a replica of a traditional Ryukyu village and a snake museum. You can purchase souvenirs from numerous stalls and indulge in authentic Okinawan cuisine at specialty restaurants. 

Tips for Visiting Okinawa World 

  • Learn the art of instrument making, sugar cone processing and pottery at workshops throughout Kingdom Village.
  • You can catch bus 83 from Naha Bus Center to Okinawa World in about one hour.
  • Combine the theme park with a visit to a cafe in a limestone cave at the nearby Valley of Gangala.

Top Hotels near Okinawa World

The Yuinchi Hotel Nanjo

The Yuinchi Hotel Nanjo
Photo| The Yuinchi Hotel Nanjo | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Located within a 15-minute drive from Okinawa World, The Yuinchi Hotel Nanjo is popular among HotelsCombined visitors for its numerous hot springs. One of the springs has panoramic views of the Nanjo cityscape, while the Ocean Ancient Bath has ocean views and the Waterfall Spa is ideal for weary muscles. There’s also a sauna, Jacuzzi, medicinal bath and a variety of leisure facilities, such as a tennis court, gym, lap pool, water slides and karaoke.

Accommodations offer the choice between Western and Japanese furnishings, the latter of which includes tatami mats, rice paper doors and futons. Japanese Style rooms feature a private onsen, while the Universal Family Room offers convenience for handicapable guests and large groups. 

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • Ryukyu Golf Club (1.9 kilometres)
  • Itokazu Castle Ruins (3.9 kilometres)
  • Nanjo Shiei Shinkai Baseball Field (3.1 kilometres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 211 – USD 591
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: 1688 Sashikishinzato, Nanjo, Japan

Asahinoyado Shidakaji

Asahinoyado Shidakaji
Photo| Asahinoyado Shidakaji | Provided by BOOKING.COM

You’ll find affordability and comfort at Asahinoyado Shidakaji, which has spacious rooms with plush beds and private balconies overlooking the gardens. Every room also has air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi and a work desk.

You can also upgrade to a room with ocean glimpses. Start the day right with a sumptuous Asian-style breakfast in the on-site restaurant. There’s also a small library with adult and children’s books. 

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • Ryukyu Golf Club (1.4 kilometres)
  • Hyakuna Beach (2.6 kilometres)
  • Shikiya Ruins (1.6 kilometres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 137 – USD 429
Guest Rating: No Rating
Address: Kakinohana Tamagusuku 189-1, Nanjo, Japan

Hotel Location

Makishi Public Market

Why You Should Stay near the Makishi Public Market

Want to experience more local traditions? Visit Makishi Public Market to see the food, clothing and various lifestyle items purchased by the Naha locals. Although the original market is temporarily closed, the new building is only two minutes away and still stocks an array of local delicacies, handicraft items, clothing and trinkets. 

Tips for Visiting the Makishi Public Market 

  • The market is surrounded by steakhouses, izakaya restaurants and noodle shops, so you can satisfy any hunger cravings.
  • Purchase some of the fresh fish or seafood to be invited to the restaurant to learn the best cooking methods.
  • Combine it with a visit to the nearby Owl Adventure Park.

Top Hotels near the Makishi Public Market

Hyatt Regency Naha, Okinawa

Hyatt Regency Naha, Okinawa
Photo| Hyatt Regency Naha, Okinawa | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Only 350 metres from the Makishi Public Market, the 5-star Hyatt Regency Naha, Okinawa offers sophisticated luxury, particularly in its four dining and drinking establishments. Sakurazaka’s buffet is filled with seasonal ingredients while Milano restaurant serves delicious grilled meats.

The hotel also boasts a sun-drenched deck with a 15-metre pool and a Jacuzzi, as well as a well-equipped gym. Choose from almost 300 contemporary rooms and suites, all of which come standard with work areas, flat-screen TVs and Sealy BoxTop mattresses. The suites add luxurious touches like separate living rooms and rain showers. 

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • Don Quijote International Street (350 metres)
  • Makishi Park (500 metres)
  • Naha Kokusai Dori Shopping Street (600 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 266 – USD 674
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 3-6-20, Makishi, Naha City Centre, Naha, Japan

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Naha

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Naha
Photo| JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Naha | Provided by BOOKING.COM

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Naha is a revered hotel renowned for its sky-high guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, large Japanese-style baths and premium-quality Imabari towels. The Deluxe Double is perfect if you’re seeking extra space with a king-size bed, sitting area and a wide flat-screen TV.

Indulge in a diverse breakfast buffet and grilled dinners at 37 Steakhouse & Bar or relax with a good book in the Library Lounge, which has a connecting terrace with city views. You can also visit the Relaxation Salon for a rejuvenating massage or body treatment.

Other Nearby Attractions 

  • Naha Kokusai Dori Shopping Street (450 metres)
  • Midorigaoka Park (300 metres)
  • Owl Adventure Park (350 metres)

Star Rating: 3.5*
Price: USD 164 – USD 263
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: Makishi 2-16-1, Naha City Centre, Naha, Japan

Hotel Location

What Part of Okinawa Appeals to You?

It’s clear that the hardest decision you’ll make in Okinawa is what attractions to visit and which inviting hotel to call home. We’ve only scratched the surface of what Okinawa has to offer when it comes to sightseeing, but you’ll now be able to better plan your experiences and accommodation so your holiday is memorable for all the right reasons.

Where do you want to visit in Okinawa? Let us know in the comments below.

(Feature image: Shutterstock | SIMAMUSUME)

Author: Ben Stower

I'm enamoured with travel, whether it's finding the quiet, local sanctuaries in touristic cities, venturing into rock vaults in a distant jungle or spending hours on a Spanish beach. I can't see an end to my travelling. Just another chapter and another story to tell.

Ben Stower
I'm enamoured with travel, whether it's finding the quiet, local sanctuaries in touristic cities, venturing into rock vaults in a distant jungle or spending hours on a Spanish beach. I can't see an end to my travelling. Just another chapter and another story to tell.
Posted on Categories Asia, DestinationsTags ,

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