Four Seasons Okinawa

SHIKI TORIDORI

Introduction

In Japan, the landscape changes its appearance as the seasons progress. The scenery, which is accompanied by the flavours and experiences that are typical to each time of year create a whole atmosphere, which we call Shiki Toridori. Here in Okinawa, the unique wonders of each season await you. Come and join us as we tour the four seasons in Okinawa.

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SPRING

春
March marks the opening of the beach season in Okinawa. Spring is also a time of year when visitors can attend unique events like the Iejima Lily Festival, starting in the last week of April. The Hari boat races are also a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The village of Oku, located in the north of Okinawa Main Island is famous for its children’s day (5th of May) Koinobori festival, where more than 700 carp streamers are displayed. Endurance sports enthusiasts will surely know of the annual triathlon held in Miyakojima, the longest running event of the discipline in Japan.

SEASON’S PICK UP

  • Hari (Hare)
    Every year on May 4 of the lunar calendar (around late May to June) a ‘Hari’ takes place in fishing ports throughout Okinawa. This is an event where fishermen compete in boat races…
     
  • Beach Information
    Okinawa is surrounded by beautiful blue waters. In the crystal-clear waters, colorful coral reefs and a wide variety of marine life, which reside there, create a dream-like world. …
     
  • Traditional Arts
    Okinawa openly accepted the knowledge and skills gained through trade and exchanges with Japan and China as well as other East and Southeast Asian countries during the Great Trade …
     

SUMMER

夏
On par with the world’s top-tier beach island resorts, Okinawa offers a large array of marine activities, from diving to sailing, and paddling to paragliding. Aside from sports, flower lovers will be interested in the Yohena Hydrangea garden and the sunflower fields in Haebaru. Summertime is also the season of fireworks, Bon-odori dance festivals, and the famed Eisa festival, where many people from the Okinawan diaspora around the world return for this traditional dance celebration. For scuba divers, summer will bring opportunities to encounter sea turtles and manta rays.

SEASON’S PICK UP

  • Eisa
    “In Okinawa, you can hear sounds of taiko being practiced somewhere every night when it comes close to Bon Festival each year. *Taiko is a traditional Japanese drum.” That’s right….
     
  • Diving and Snorkeling
    The waters around Okinawa are perfect for diving with colorful gem-like fish swimming around the beautiful coral reefs. There are diving spots throughout Okinawa, drawing drivers f…
     
  • Beginners welcome! The staple marine activity
    Okinawa is know for its blue ocean, white sandy beach and glittering sun! You can experience abundance of nature and meet a variety of creatures in the ocean of Okinawa and it is a…
     

AUTUMN

秋
In Okinawa, autumn offers a chance to take part in various cultural events. Highlights include the Guinness World Record holder, Naha Tug of War festival, and traditional events held during the Shuri castle festival. Karate events are often held during this season, Okinawa is the birthplace of this martial art, born from encounters between Chinese ancient techniques and the fighting styles native to the Ryukyu Kingdom. Outdoor sports aficionados can enjoy canyoning and kayaking thanks to the fairer seasonal temperatures.

SEASON’S PICK UP

  • Karate
    Karate is a very popular form of martial arts along with judo and kendo, and Okinawa is said to be the place of its origin….
     
  • The Great Tugs-of-War
    Tug-of-war events are held from June through August of the lunar calendar (July and September on the Gregorian calendar) in Okinawa. In Okinawa, the tug-of-war is generally charact…
     
  • World heritage
    From mid-15th century for approximately 450 years, there was a kingdom centering on Shurijo Castle inOkinawa. “Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu” was reg…
     

WINTER

冬
With the earliest sakura blooming season in Japan, traditional ”hanami” cherry blossom viewing is a winter activity in Okinawa. Favourite sites like Mount Yaedake, Nago Central Park, and the Nakijin castle ruins will not fail to amaze you with their vivid colors. The Ocean Expo Park featuring the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is also a must and displays one of the rare specimens of whale sharks held in captivity. Winter is also the best season for whale watching, with a very high chance of encountering the majestic humpback whales that come to the Kerama Islands. Scuba divers will make sure not to miss the thousands of hammerhead sharks gathering off the coast of Yonaguni island. For visitors looking forward to relaxing and reenergizing, a journey to the remarkable, yet lesser-known, Motobu hot springs will deliver sought after revitalization.

SEASON’S PICK UP

  • Hot Springs
    The sunset arrives and transforms the colors of the beautiful blue seas and skies. The open-air, natural spa offers a great view of the landscape. At dusk, the stars begin to shine…
     
  • Cherry Blossoms
    Vibrant pink blossoms bloom in a beautiful backdrop of green mountains and blue skies. Leisurely stroll along and take pictures of the cherry blossoms, or check out the roadside fo…
     
  • Whale Watching
    An Impressive Experience to Encounter in Okinawa! A Whale Watching Guide From January to March, the ocean around Okinawa is in full action. This is the season when humpback whales …