Southern Okinawa Tour

Explore the rich cultural and historical tapestry of Southern Okinawa with a private or small group tour that takes you to five fascinating locations. Begin your journey at Fukushu-en Garden, an exquisite Chinese-style garden in Naha, featuring beautiful landscapes, ponds, and traditional architecture that offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling city.

Next, visit the Ryukyu Glass Craft Factory in Itoman. Here, you can watch skilled artisans create vibrant glassware using techniques developed after World War II when local craftsmen started melting down discarded American bottles. You’ll have the opportunity to make your own glass creation, taking home a unique souvenir that reflects the island’s cultural fusion.

A short drive away is the Himeyuri Peace Museum, with a poignant memorial dedicated to the female students and teachers who served as nurses during the Battle of Okinawa. The museum provides a deeply moving experience, offering insights into the tragic human cost of war through personal stories and artifacts.

For lunch, enjoy a meal at Yabusachi, a restaurant renowned for its stunning ocean views and delicious Okinawan cuisine. Savor fresh, local ingredients while overlooking the breathtaking landscape of southern Okinawa.

Conclude your tour at the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, located in Mabuni. This expansive park commemorates the Battle of Okinawa and serves as a solemn reminder of the importance of peace. The park includes various memorials, a museum, and serene walking paths where you can reflect on the historical significance of the site and pay respects to those who lost their lives.

This tour not only offers a deep dive into Okinawa’s history and culture but also provides a well-rounded experience with moments of reflection, creativity, and culinary delight.

Read on for expanded details on each location we will visit.

Fukushu Garden

Fukushūen Garden in downtown Naha is a stunning Chinese garden built in 1992 to celebrate Naha’s sister city relationship with Fuzhou, China. The garden features traditional Chinese design elements, with materials and artisans from Fuzhou. Located in the historic Kume neighborhood, once the heart of Chinese culture in the Ryukyu Kingdom, it boasts a large pond with koi and turtles, symbolizing longevity and wisdom. Visitors can cross various bridges over the pond and even feed the koi for 100 yen.

A highlight is the beautiful waterfall near the East entrance, cascading over rocks into an artificial cave. Visitors can explore the cave and climb stairs to a pavilion with spectacular views. The garden also features four cardinal direction gates, statues, bells, pavilions, and lush flora. It’s free to enter, with restrooms and vending machines available. Despite being in the city, the garden is peaceful, perfect for a relaxing stroll or a picnic. One of our favourite parts of the garden is the zodiac bridge, a sweet little crossover with the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac carved in stone adorning it.

Ryukyu Glass Factory

The Ryukyu Glass Craft Factory in Itoman, Okinawa, is a major attraction where visitors can admire and create unique glass items. Originating in the early 20th century, Ryukyu glassware gained popularity after WWII when local craftsmen repurposed discarded American glass bottles. The factory features a museum, shops, and an outdoor workshop where guests can watch glassblowing and even make their own glass pieces starting at ¥1500. Known for its colorful glass mosaics, the factory offers a wide variety of glass products, including discounted pieces with minor imperfections. This destination attracts both tourists and locals, providing a hands-on cultural experience that celebrates the ingenuity and artistry of Okinawan glassmaking.

Himeyuri Peace Museum

The Himeyuri Peace Museum and Cenotaph in Okinawa memorializes the Himeyuri Student Corps, a group of schoolgirls conscripted as nurse assistants during the brutal Battle of Okinawa in 1945. Located in a tranquil park south of Naha, the site features a solemn cenotaph where visitors can pay their respects. The museum offers a deeply moving experience with its exhibits of photographs, personal belongings, reconstructed wartime shelters, and powerful testimonies from survivors. These elements collectively provide a harrowing insight into the human cost of war and underscore the importance of peace.

Cafe Yabusachi

Café Yabusachi

Our next stop is for lunch at Café Yabusachi, perched above the stunning seas of Nanjo City in southern Okinawa, embraces Nature, Culture, and Healthy Living. Named after the nearby sacred site, Yabusatsu Utaki, the café’s logo features a crane and rice stalk, inspired by local legends of Ukinju Hainju. Guests can savor delicious French-Italian cuisine while enjoying breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. This unique location combines rich cultural heritage with a commitment to health and wellness, offering a serene dining experience that connects you to the natural beauty and history of Okinawa.

Okinawa Peace Park

Peace Park

Our final stop is The Mabuni Peace Park, located in the Mabuni hills where the final battle of Okinawa took place during World War II, stands as a cornerstone of remembrance and peace in the prefecture. The park’s museum offers a comprehensive narrative of the war, featuring personal stories of victims and survivors. Exhibits cover the history of the Ryukyu Islands, the American invasion, and the impact of U.S. military occupation on Okinawan life.

A highlight is the replica of an Okinawan cave, allowing visitors to experience the harrowing conditions civilians endured. The park also features walkways, rest areas, and libraries for reflection amidst the serene natural beauty of Mabuni.

Central to the park are stones engraved with the names of American and Japanese soldiers who perished in the last battle. The museum is user-friendly, with English translations available, and offers a poignant post-war town exhibit depicting Okinawan life in the 60s and 70s.

Ask About This Tour

Get in touch to check your dates or enquire about this tour. We can help with any private or group tour requirements in Okinawa and can customize any of our tours to fit your needs.

Prices start from just $50 per hour with discounts available depending on tour length and group size.

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