Long known for being a diver’s paradise, the Japanese prefecture is quickly establishing itself as a wellness destination in its own right

Knead to relax

The Ryukyu Tinnadi is a uniquely local spa treatment where a therapist massages an essential oil into your skin using movements inspired by karate. There’s no “chopping” involved – instead, the therapist gently transfers her body weight to her elbow and arm to knead tension away. Try it at Hilton Okinawa Chatan Resort’s Amami Spa.

amamispa.com

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Stretch it out

If you’re getting bored of practising your downward dog in a cramped yoga studio, then doing yoga in the sprawling shadow of the majestic Unesco-listed Nakagusuku Castle Ruins (pictured) will surely be a welcome change of scenery. Visit the listed Facebook page to find out when the next session will be held.

fb.com/gusukuyoga

Get crafty

Studies have shown that crafting can help ease stress by helping you find a state of “flow” – where you’re so absorbed by the activity that nothing else seems to matter. In Okinawa, lose yourself by trying your hand at making bingata – Okinawan resist- dyed cloth made using stencils – under the guidance of an experienced craftsman.

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Where to stay

If you’re heading to Okinawa, consider a stay at the recently renovated Novotel Okinawa Naha. Besides 328 chic, cosy guestrooms, the hotel offers four dining options, including Toki, which serves up authentic Okinawan cuisine. As a bonus, it’s just a 25-minute drive from Naha Airport and a short walk from the iconic Shuri Castle.

novotelokinawanaha.com