Okinawa: Asia’s Secret Beach Island Getaway for Honeymooners

Ishigaki Island Okinawa

Japan’s island paradise of Okinawa is a surprising escape for adventurous couples. A drastic difference from the mainland pace of life, the laid-back island is encircled by brilliant coral reefs tucked under sparkling blue waters that lap up to the white, sandy beaches. 

The feel here is much more like Hawaii with less expense. That’s likely why honeymooning couples are changing their itineraries and going on new adventures by the sea in Okinawa for a magical romantic getaway that’s off the beaten path. 

Beach in Okinawa
Okuma Beach. Photo: OCVB

Okinawa impresses with 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore. The Okinawans are hospitable and friendly while the gorgeous beaches and surrounding landscape offer an air of romance. With splendid weather, epicurean delights, thrilling water activities and sports, plus shopping and dining, perhaps you should be planning your honeymoon in Okinawa instead!

Quick tips for Okinawa

Start here to make the most of your romantic escape in Okinawa!

– Know when to go
If you want more peace and seclusion during your honeymoon, avoid scheduling your trip in late April through early May. It’s known as Golden Week, which means you’ll surrounded by throngs of tourists from the mainland. 

Shurijo Castle Park. Photo: OCVB
Shurijo Castle Park. Photo: OCVB

– Don’t miss the UNESCO World Heritage Castles
While there are many of them to see, at least bring your soulmate to see one of the castles. There are 5 castles to explore in Okinawa. Nakijin Castle is perhaps the most stunning of them all in architecture, surrounded by breathtaking landscape. 

– Explore your playful side
Themed villages offer a fun way to explore the old ancient villages. Okinawa World is among the best as it is also home to the largest cave in the area, Gyokusendo Cave. Craving more adventure than that? Don’t miss trying habu sake, better known as snake sake!

– Enjoy the beaches or get active on the water
Visit famed Manza Beach, Emerald Beach, Okuma Beach, or any of the others to luxuriate in the sun. While there’s nothing wrong with sticking your toes in the sand and unwinding, try some of the water sports you’ll find. Scuba diving, snorkelling, jet skiing, glass bottom boat rides, and even water cruises that take you out to see the majestic whales are all great activities!

Parasailig in Okinawa
Parasailing in Okinawa. Photo: OCVB

– Don’t forget to declare your love
On Manza Beach, head to Cape Manzamo where the Kouri Ocean Tower awaits. It’s home to the ‘Bell of Love’ which you can ring while gazing out together over the immaculate coastal views!

Weather in Okinawa

Thanks to its prime location, Okinawa has a comfortable climate that’s never too hot or too cold. Winters see an average of about 15C while summer temperatures hover around 32C. Cherry blossoms abound in winter, a stunning backdrop to all those honeymoon photos. Warmer months mean more chances to spot whales and enjoy the beach setting. 

Mt. Yae Sakura Festival
Mt. Yae Sakura Festival. Photo: OCVB

Must-try food in Okinawa

Live a longer life by eating as the Okinawans do. Their healthy diet also happens to be delicious. Here are a few that you shouldn’t miss:

  • Umi budo – These sea grapes look like little bubbles and are best enjoyed chilled with a little soy sauce and vinegar.
  • Rafute – This pork rib dish is stewed in a mixture of fish broth and soy sauce. The locals claim it helps with longevity! 
  • Okinawa soba – With noodles more like udon than soba, they are highly adored on the island. They even have a holiday on 17 October to celebrate it!
  • Agu – It’s basically the pork version of wagyu beef. Rich in taste, it melts in your mouth and is prized for its plentiful collagen content.
  • Blue Seal Ice Cream – This ice cream is exclusive to the island, something that has been delighting visitors for about 70 years!
  • Orion Beer – And finally, don’t forget to sip Okinawa’s exclusive beer, made with fresh spring water!

Visa concerns for Okinawa

Pack your bags for an Okinawan getaway for 2! For most travellers, no visa is required for tourism purposes up to 90 days. In all, the citizens of 68 countries embarking to Japan need nothing but their valid passport. Among these countries are citizens of Australia, UK, US, Canada, most European nations, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, and Singapore. 

Cabana Room - The Ritz Carlton, Okinawa
Cabana Room – The Ritz Carlton, Okinawa

Hotels in Okinawa

Truly enjoy your honeymoon with hotels that know how to help you luxuriate in love!

– The Ritz-Carlton Okinawa
Not only is this hotel one of the most opulent places as per Ritz Carlton’s world-renowed standards, but all rooms feature terraces; some, including the Cabana Room, offer private whirlpools.The immaculate spa, dining, and other amenities are sure to help you make it the time of your life. Check for the best rates at The Ritz-Carlton Okinawa here.

– Hyakuna Garan
Set overlooking Hyakuna Beach is the striking Hyakuna Garan. This independent luxury resort is ideal for those seeking pure tranquillity on their getaway. Made exclusively for adults, it beckons to couples that want to connect with nature and each other. 

– ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort
Go for sophistication with this upscale resort close to that Bell of Love. It features 6 luxury bars and restaurants plus an immaculate outdoor pool and spa. ANA Intercontinental Maza Beach Resort is literally surrounded by water and just a 45 minute drive to the iconic Shuri Castle.

Okinawa Kariyushi Resort EXES Onna
And for 5-star luxury, EXES offers chic accommodations that provide sea views attainable from the balcony. This upscale spa resort has all the makings for an absolutely opulent escape. Check for best rates and availability at Okinawa Kariyushi Resort EXES Onna.

Languages spoken

In Okinawa, the people speak both Japanese and Ryukshan. In larger towns and in places of hospitality, such as your hotel, you’ll find people that speak and understand English. Even if they don’t though, it won’t hurt to learn a few key phrases before you go and install an app that can help you translate.

Okinawans, much like the Japanese on the mainland, are very kind and welcoming. For those that don’t speak or understand English, they will try to help in any way they can. 

Looking to honeymoon in Japan? We’ve put together the Ultimate Tokyo Honeymoon Guide for you. Or, visit our library of travel articles on Japan for couples here. From Kyoto to Hakone and Koyasan to Japan’s best ski regions, you’ll find it all covered!

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