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Explore the Heart of Okinawa: A Guide to Nanjo City

Welcome to Nanjo City, a gem hidden in the southern part of Okinawa, where history and culture converge to offer a unique experience for visitors and locals alike. Known as the “City of Heart” due to its heart-like shape on the map, Nanjo is a must-visit for anyone keen on diving deep into the rich tapestry of Okinawan culture and history.

Nanjo city Okinawa, cape chinen

🏰 The Historical Significance of Nanjo City

Nanjo’s historical significance is deeply rooted in the days of the Ryukyu Kingdom, a period marked by cultural flourishing and international trade. The city was a cradle of the island’s culture, where pottery, winemaking, and religious rituals thrived. Here’s why this city holds a special place in the hearts of Okinawans:

  • Seifa Utaki: The spiritual epicenter of the Ryukyu Kingdom, where the highest-ranking priestess performed rituals. Located closest to Kudaka Island, considered the birthplace of Okinawa by Ryukyu religion, this sacred site offers a glimpse into the spiritual practices of ancient Okinawa.
  • Kudaka Island Pilgrimages: The Ryukyu king would visit Kudaka Island every 12 years to perform religious rituals, coinciding with the full circle of the Chinese zodiac calendar.

🌊 Must-Visit Attractions in Nanjo City

Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or just someone looking to unwind, Nanjo City has something for everyone. Here are some top attractions:

Seifa Utaki

  • What to expect: Explore the most sacred site of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Don’t miss the big rock with a naturally formed circular window, offering a direct view to Kudaka Island.
  • Location tip: Find it on your map and discover the hidden image of a Ryukyu priestess praying towards Kudaka Island.
  • Google Pin:
Seifa Utaki Okinawa Japan

Cape Chinen

  • Visitor center: A perfect starting point to learn about the religious history of the Ryukyu Kingdom.
  • Scenic views: Offers breathtaking vistas of the Pacific, ideal for those perfect vacation photos.
  • Google Pin:
Chinen Misaki Okinawa Japan

Nirai Bridge

  • Overview: A stunning architectural marvel that offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the lush landscapes of southern Okinawa.
  • Best time to visit: Sunset is particularly magical, as the sky and sea are lit in vibrant hues.
  • Google Pin:
Nirai Bridge Okinawa Japan

Mibaru Beach & Azama Sun Sun Beach

Okinawa World

  • Highlights: A cultural theme park showcasing Okinawa’s history, culture, and natural beauty. Features include a massive limestone cave, traditional Ryukyu village, and live performances of Okinawan music and dance.
  • Must-see: The Gyokusendo Cave, one of the longest caves in Japan, offers a spectacular walk through an ancient underground landscape.
  • Google Pin:

Kudaka Island

  • Significance: Often referred to as the “Island of the Gods,” Kudaka is considered one of the most sacred places in Okinawan mythology, believed to be the first land created by the Ryukyu gods.
  • Activities: Ideal for those interested in cultural tours, peaceful walks, and experiencing traditional Okinawan rituals and lifestyle.
  • Travel tip: Take a short ferry ride from Azama San San Beach in Nanjo to reach this tranquil island. Spend the day exploring its rich cultural heritage and beautiful natural landscapes.

Kudaka Island Okinawa Japan
Kudaka Island Okinawa Japan

🍽️ Where to Eat in Nanjo City

Indulge in some of the best culinary experiences in Okinawa right here in Nanjo City:

Cafe Kurukuma

  • Highlights: Offers stunning views from its outdoor terrace and serves about 30 types of dishes including original curries and authentic Thai dishes crafted by Thai chefs.
  • Average cost: ¥1,500 per person
  • Location: Cafe Kurukuma

Mozuku Soba Restaurant

  • Specialty: Everything is made with Okinawa’s famous motsuku seaweed, from main dishes to desserts!
  • Location: Mozuku Soba


  • Must-try: Fish sashimi and Japanese tempura.
  • Why go?: Known for offering the best flavors at the most reasonable prices.
  • Location: Oojima

🌟 Why Visit Nanjo City?

Nanjo is not just a city; it’s a journey through time and culture. From sacred sites that whisper tales of ancient rituals to eateries that serve up a fusion of flavors, every corner of Nanjo invites you to experience the depth of Okinawa’s heritage.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Okinawa, or already exploring this beautiful island, make sure to carve out time for Nanjo City. It’s an experience that will fill your heart and enrich your understanding of this incredible part of the world.


The information provided in this website is for general informational purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we cannot guarantee its completeness, reliability, or complete accuracy. Travel information, including attractions, accommodations, and transportation, may change over time. Readers are advised to independently verify details, check travel advisories, and make necessary reservations. We do not assume any liability for loss or inconvenience caused by relying on the information. Remember, travel experiences are subjective and vary based on personal preferences. Tailor your travel plans to your individual needs and interests. Happy travels!

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