Does it any of these sound like you?
- There are lots to see in Okinawa, so much that you don’t know how to plan.
- You are preparing for your trip to Okinawa, and you want to get the most out of your trip.
- You have seen the major touristy spots, and you want to find something unique and hidden – you know, where the locals hang out.
We are making a series of printable itineraries to help you plan, discover, and enjoy Okinawa. These itineraries are beautiful, filled with local knowledge, and printable.
Let’s Get Started
Vol. 2 – Uruma Sanctuary, Legend of The Sea Tour
A recently opened farmers market promotes and products by local farmers and markers, especially those from Uruma city. Urumarche is a great spot to load up snacks for the day, and perhaps groceries for the week. I recommend getting pastries at the bakery inside the store. Lunch box and seafood from the pre-made food department has a fantastic selection for everyone.
Katsuren Castle Ruin
Katsuren castle wan a business and political center for central Okinawa back in the Ryukyu kingdom. The 10th owner of the castle, Amawari, is the most celebrated owner of the castle. Young, handsome, brave, and ambitious, Amawari was an outstanding leader. Under his leadership, Amawari’s clan rose in power and wealth until the Sho family from Naha defeated him, which led to the Ryukyu Kingdom’s unification.
From the bottom to the top of the hill, it is a short ten-minute hike, but the view at the end is worth the walk. There you can see most of the east coast of Okinawa. Katsuren castle ruin is a popular spot for locals to watch the new year’s first sunrise.
It looks like a bright, but it is a long crossroad built on top of the shallow seabed. Kaichu Doro was constructed in the 1970s, and it means The Road in The Sea. Five kilometers in length, it’s was once the longest crossroad in Asia connecting the Okinawa main island and Henza island. Before Kaichu Doro, residents of Henza walked across the ocean floor during low tide or travel across by Water Taxi during high tide. The resting area in the middle of Kaichu Doro sells locally made souvenirs, snacks, and refreshments.
Amamichu and Shirumichu
In the Okinawa religion, people believe their gods live among people, and they have their resting place off the coast of Okinawa’s main island. It is more accurate to say that the Okinawan gods are ancestors with superpower. Okinawa gods are very human-like. They eat, sleep, and die too. Amamichu and Shirumichu are the father and mother of the Okinawan people. After their past, they sleep under a giant rock in two separate locations on Hamahiga island.
Amamichu is the tomb of Amamichu – the father of Okinawan people.
What is unique about the Amamichu is the size of the rock. It is the largest rock in the area as the rest has broken into small pieces after centuries of erosion by nature.
Shirumichu is the shrine of Shirumichu – the mother of Okinawan people.
Shirumichu is a magical place. To reach Shirumichu’s shrine, you need to pass a small forest. While in the forest, if you feel as if time slows down, congratulations. You are being blessed and cleaned by the sprite of Shirumichu. When you finally reach the tomb of Shirumichu after walking up to the hill, you will achieve your inner peace, and all your stress will go away.
Happy Cliff locates in the back garden of a sea salt factory called Nuchimasu. Looking down from the top of Happy Cliff, you will see one of the four most beautiful vistas in Okinawa. I am not going to spoil it. You will have to see it yourself.
While you are there, you can visit the Salt Factory Nuchimasu. Nuchimasu is known for producing snowflake-like sea salt instead of the chunky, rocky sea salt we usually see in the market. Nuchimasu’s secret is their process. Instead of using evaporation to extract salt from seawater, they use steam. You can see their production line on the second floor and try the famous sea salt ice cream.
How about dining in a traditional Okinawan house built with coral stone and covered in red clay tiles? Teirabui is a family restaurant that offers two set menus. They are simple but unique dishes prepared by locals. Teirabui is also the winner of the best family restaurant in Uruma.
Moruyoshi Family Restaurant (丸吉食品)
Moruyoshi is known for her unique invention – Crab leg mozuku tempura. Hamahiga island produces a lot of mozuku seaweed. Most locals eat mozuku raw with vinegar or fry in oil to make tempura. Moruyoshi adds a unique twist by wrapping crab legs with mozuku seaweed and then deep fry. Another unique feature of Moruyoshi is that the owner turns her living room into a dining room by day. You get to go inside a real Okinawan home. When I visited, I saw finger paintings by their grandchildren on the wall and trophies from school. Here is the dining experience that comes with the guest experience in a local home.
The area covered in this itinerary has many natural beaches and shoreline picnic spaces. Consider packing up some delicious looking pre-made food from Urumache and find a good picnic spot along the way.
Check out other day trip maps for Okinawa like this.