Make the most of your stay in Okinawa by visiting the many alluring destinations nearby.
Ocean Expo Park (60 minutes by car)
With the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, the Oceanic Culture Museum, arboretums, and a reproduced native village to explore, this educational park offers something for the entire family. At the Tropical Dream Center, more than 2,000 orchids are displayed throughout the year. The aquarium is renowned for its 8.5-meter whale sharks.
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (60 minutes by car)
Part of Ocean Expo Park, this aquarium is one of the world's largest, and is known for its successful manta ray and other breeding programs. In striking displays that recreate the waters of Okinawa from the surface to the ocean floor, visitors can see live coral colonies, rare deep-sea species, and numerous whale sharks.
Bios on the Hill (50 minutes by car)
Filled with exotic plants and orchids throughout its five gardens, this floral park and nursery invites people of all ages with walking paths, boat rides, a play park for small children, a petting area with goats and pigs, and water-buffalo cart rides. Giant swings, hula hoops, and stilts bring out the kid in everyone.
Neo Park Okinawa (20 minutes by car)
Within the sprawling 25-hectare grounds of this park visitors can see flamingos, capybaras, and rare blooms from South America, Oceania, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Ryukyu Mura (50 minutes by car)
This architecturally themed park features traditional dwellings relocated to this site from across the Okinawan islands. There is a regular schedule of song and dance performances, and workshops invite visitors to try their hands at pottery-making, bingata and indigo dyeing, and traditional musical instruments such as the three-stringed sanshin.
Nakijin Gusuku Ruins (60 minutes by car)
One of a group of castle ruins in Okinawa collectively named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, Nakijin is said to date back to the 13th century. A number of shrines and the remains of stone structures can be seen, while permanent exhibits at the Nakijin Village History & Culture Center offer insight to the Ryukyu lifestyle.