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Planning Your Trip

From strolling along powdery beaches or exploring remote jungle landscapes to enjoying a peaceful moment touring one of the centuries-old fortresses nearby, Japan’s southernmost prefecture offers many activities to fill your days. Pack wisely to enjoy all Okinawa has to offer.

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Day Trips

Just beyond the resort there are many activities to explore on the 70-mile-long island. Depending on your interests, it would be wise to pack a few of these items.

 

  • From January to March, whale watching is a spectacular way to spend an afternoon. Bring a lightweight waterproof layer to protect against light sea spray.
  • Spring and summer are a popular time to go trekking in Yambaru Forest — home to some of the last surviving areas of subtropical rainforest in Asia — so bring comfortable walking shoes for the excursion.
  • Don’t forget a waterproof pouch for phones or cameras to capture images of the stunning scenery and rare animals while kayaking among the mangroves on the northern part of the island.
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Beach Vacation

The prefecture of Okinawa is famed for its pristine and vast beaches, and the area surrounding the resort is particularly known for its warm waters and soft sand.

 

  • Bring along two bathing suits to make the most of the opportunities for sun and swim — one will always be dry and at the ready, even if you go for a swim twice (or more) in a day.
  • Sun is plentiful year-round in Okinawa, so pack sunscreen and reapply often. In addition, bring a hat to shield your eyes and face from the rays.
  • Particularly after a big surf storm or typhoon, shelling along Okinawa’s beaches can yield quite a boon. Bring a small tote to collect your seashell treasures.
Golfer hitting out of a sand trap up the lush fairway toward the magnificent hotel building

Resort Essentials

Of course, visitors would be wise to spend a day relaxing at the resort and savoring its many amenities. Bring a few key items along to make the most of your downtime.

 

  • The Ritz-Carlton is nestled within the Kanehide Kise Country Club with direct access to an 18-hole golf course. Pack your clubs and shoes to play a round or two.
  • The award-winning spa features a sauna, steam room, vitality pool, hot dipping pools and spa area. While robes and slippers are provided, consider bringing comfortable clothing for lounging in the relaxation room after your treatment.
  • While temperatures can soar outdoors, most buildings offer air conditioning. Pack a lightweight sarong or layer to ward off any chill.    

Don't Forget:

May through June is considered rainy season and downpours can be unpredictable, so it’s wise to throw a lightweight umbrella in your tote bag.  


While many travel to Okinawa for the sun and stunning beaches, there are many other spectacular things to see and do, from world-class dining and relaxing spa appointments to touring historic sites. In addition to the requisite rental car or taxi, arrange for a few activities before your visit to take full advantage of your time in the region.

Dining Reservations

Place Setting

For classic Italian fare prepared with fresh-from-the-market ingredients, reserve a table for dinner at Chura Nuhji (which translates to “beautiful rainbow”). For a more dynamic meal — literally — Kise offers a teppanyaki experience with dishes featuring locavore specialties like Kuroge Wagyu beef and fresh seafood.  

Spa Appointments

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Arrange for a signature treatment at the Okinawa Spa Resort — a stunning space of relaxation reached through a striking bamboo tunnel and beautiful gardens. The Stress Reliever Ritual combines a body exfoliation with an algae, mud or Oshadi body wrap and a massage using essential oils. Or consider the Ryukyu Nature Elements treatment that combines a foot cleansing, body smoothing, hot stone massage, facial and scalp treatment using natural ingredients like sea salt, Alpinia flower, honey, sea clay and other local elements.

Day Trips

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Beaches may be one of the main attractions on Okinawa Island, but there are many inviting outdoor adventures to be had inland as well. Arrange for a trek in Yambaru Forest in the north to experience one of the last surviving areas of subtropical rainforest in Asia. Or hike to Nakagusuku Castle, the ruins of a 15th-century Ryukyu castle overlooking Nakagusuku Bay. Take in the beauty of the sprawling gardens at Shikina-en Gardens, the second home of the Ryukyu Royal Family with unique features like a hexagonal Chinese-style Buddhist temple floating on a pond and a mix of Chinese, Japanese and Ryukyu styles.

Museum Tickets and Cultural Sights

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Arrange for tickets to Churaumi Aquarium, considered Japan’s best aquarium and home to the fresh-seawater Kuroshio Tank — the second largest in the world. Tamaudun, the mausoleum of the Ryukyu Royal Family, features a unique structure including inner chambers carved directly into the surrounding rock walls and ceilings covered in detailed engravings. The Okinawa Prefectural Museum is a modern structure, which houses a history museum as well as an art museum.

When you arrive in Okinawa, which comprises 150 small islands, you might not think you’re in Japan.The country’s southernmost prefecture is perhaps the absolute antithesis of Tokyo’s sprawling megalopolis.Instead of skyscraping buildings and neon signs, Okinawa’s skyline is marked by gently swaying palm trees, and the biggest light show is when the sun sets. Settle into a slower pace of life and take the time to enjoy the view, because with everything from snorkeling and white-sand beaches to ancient ruins and stunning waterfalls, Okinawa is truly a slice of paradise.  

 


A Romantic Getaway

Japan doesn’t always come to mind when you picture a romantic tropical getaway, but Okinawa, its southernmost prefecture, certainly does. 

 

 

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24 Hours In

When most people think of Japan, they think of the big metropolitan areas: Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. And while they are all worthwhile cities to visit, Okinawa is perhaps Japan’s hidden gem. 

 

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