Let’s go to Northern Okinawa on the Day 2!
This is an area covering from the West Coast, where resort hotels are lined up, to Kori Island which is reached by crossing a large bridge, and also includes the very popular Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. On this route you will be driving from one beautiful blue ocean one location to the next, and you will be sure to have such a fascinating experience that you will be determined to return again, and again!
First, let’s go to the West Coast where many resort hotels are lined up along the coast. After leaving Busena Marine Park near The Busena Terrace in Nago City, we pass through the city downtown area and enter Nakijin Village. From here you cross Kouri Bridge to reach Kouri Island, after which you will head to Bise Fukugi Trees in Motobu Town, from where it takes about 10 minutes to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium by foot. Finally, you will return to Nago City for dinner.
1. Busena Marine Park
You can have a panoramic underwater view from 4 meters deep at the observatory, which is located 170 meters offshore of Cape Busena. The view of colorful tropical fish reminds us of an underwater castle. It is an indoor observatory, so you can enjoy the view even on rainy days. Also, you can see tropical fish closer from a whale-shaped boat that has its bottom made of glass. Enjoy strolling under the sea with your clothes on.
2. KOURI BRIDGE
Kouri Island is a small island which takes about 20 minutes to complete the coastline road by car. The island is reached by crossing a long bridge, which gives a sense of driving over the ocean. Kouri Island is also known as the Love Island, and an Okinawan version of the Adam and Eve story is passed down in this island. Heart Rock, the heart-shaped rock which floats on the ocean, is a hot topic that everybody talks about. You might feel romantic when you visit Kouri Island.
3. KOURI OCEAN TOWER
Kouri Ocean Tower, the white building with triangle-shaped rooftop, stands on a hill that can be seen from Kouri Bridge. Guests can visit a museum which houses over 10,000 of shells from Japan and around the world, and the scenic view of the ocean from the observatory tower is breathtaking. A restaurant that serves special curry and pizza is also located within the tower facility. Sweets using local ingredients fare produced and available at a shop, and these make good souvenirs of this enchanting island.
4. Bise Fukugi Trees
Bise is a community near the north gate of Ocean Expo Park that is located along the coastline. Beautiful Fukugi (common garcinia) trees are used as a windbreak, and the blue ocean comes into view after passing through the trees. Ie Island can be seen from here, and it is only about 30 minutes from Okinawa Main Island by ferry. Walk along the coast for 15 – 20 minutes and you will reach Bisezaki, the northwest tip of the Motobu Peninsula, which offers a good view of the tree-lined alley and the surrounding sea. Don’t forget to bring an anti-insect spray though, as the trees tend to attract insects.
5. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
There are about 740 species and 21,000 sea creatures to be seen at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. At the Kuroshio Sea section, which features one of the world’s largest acrylic tanks, visitors can observe the largest fish in the world, the whale shark, and the world’s first successfully bred-in-captivity manta rays are also here. Cafe Ocean Blue is located next to the large tank. Visitors can enjoy eating dishes including taco rice, pasta, ice cream and others while whale sharks pass you by.
6. SHIMABUTA SHICHIRIN-YAKI “MANMI”
This is the popular yakiniku (BBQ) restaurant in Nago City. Yanbaru shimabuta (a type of pig produced in Northern Okinawa) are raised up in a different environment and on different food to those found in other areas. Each part of pork is cut differently so as to serve the finest meat, and you can also eat rare cuts of pork that are only available at this restaurant.
Shimabuta Shichirin-yaki “Manmi” Official Website*Only in Japanese