In December of 2016, I went on a family trip to Okinawa. We stayed on the main island for about a week and leisurely drove our way around the island. Here is my top 5 things to do with your family!
Note: December is not exactly the best time to go to Okinawa, so factor that into your trip planning 🙂
1. Have Lunch at the Tomari Fish Market
This market is definitely worth the trip if you are in Okinawa! It is rather a small but mighty market close to Naha city. It had everything that I craved for and more – otoro, uni, salmon fish roe… you name it! There is only one sit-down “restaurant” (more like a booth) and there are some tables and chairs at the back of the market. I find the prices to be very reasonable for the quality of the seafood, and guess what? I still think about the toro from time to time. Mmmm. For more info: visit Okinawa Island Guide.
2. Drive along the West Coast
I cannot stress the importance of renting a car in Okinawa, it made my trip that much more convenient! Not only was it affordable, I felt safe and comfortable even though I don’t understand any Japanese. Along the coast, you can stop by famous sightseeing and snorkeling spots: Cape Maeda, Maeda Flats and Cape Manzamo.
3. Hop on the glass bottom boat at Busena Marine Park
One of the challenges of traveling with my grandparents is that you really have to be selective in the things you do. That means no scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, etc. But Okinawa is all about water activities?! I know, I know. To compromise, we went on a glass bottom boat tour. It was the best of both worlds – you get to see sea creatures without getting wet. More info here.
4. Spend an Afternoon in the Churaumi Aquarium
This one is a given must-do on everyone’s list if you are planning a trip to Okinawa, although I have to admit I was not that impressed. Nonetheless, it was good for people watching. The most memorable part of this visit was touching a sea cucumber. I am actually not sure if it does any harm to the sea cucumber, but it was definitely very spongy… More info here.
5. Enjoy the View from the Kouri Ocean Tower Cafe
This was an unexpected find! The restaurant was practically empty when we arrived late afternoon and we had the restaurant to ourselves. In the tower, you can visit the seashell museum, ring the bell at the top of the tower, and enjoy a panoramic view of the entire island and Kouri bridge. More info here.
This is definitely a family-friendly list, and I wish to return to Okinawa again and visit the other islands!