Take things down a notch on this laid-back island, a haven for water sports enthusiasts and foodies alike
Words: Selena Hoy
Hatomajima is a friendly local family-owned spot known for its live music. In addition to fresh fish from the adjacent Makishi market, you’ll find Okinawan specialities like mountain goat sashimi, goya champuru (bittergourd stir-fry) and more.
Stop in for a snack and some souvenir shopping at Makishi Public Market, which is connected to busy Kokusai Dori, Naha’s main street. Before stocking up on Okinawan sea salt and local handicrafts, be sure to stop in at Ryugu, where you can try sata andagi (Okinawan fried doughnuts).
Start the day with snorkelling at the main island’s best dive spot, Cape Maeda. The cape has a protected reef bursting with sea life, including stingrays and sea anemones. But the real star of the show is the blue cave, where both divers and snorkellers can swim bathed in an unearthly blue light, floating along with the creatures of the deep.
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Traditional Okinawan crafts
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“Shuri Ryusen studio showcases the art of coral dyeing. Here, you can try making colourful patterns using relief painting.”
“Ryukyu lacquerware is handmade using wood native to Okinawa. Pick up a few beautiful pieces at Kakuman in Naha.”
“Head to Yomitan Pottery Village to see craftsmen create yachimun – a style of pottery that’s unique to Okinawa.”