Some travelers opt to head to all-inclusive, hotspot destinations during the cold weather season. However, we think it’s time to adventure beyond the typical and find a winter vacation hidden gem- Okinawa! It may surprise you to learn that Okinawa, Japan averages a mild 14 – 20°C during the winter season, making it the perfect destination for a not-too-cold, not-too-hot holiday. Aside from the weather, there are also a ton of coo and interesting things to do in Okinawa during the winter.
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Here’s 6 things to do in Okinawa during the winter (and why you need to book your next winter holiday there):
Yes- snorkleing or diving is possible during the winter! Due to Okinawa’s subtropical climate, the water temperature in winter remains at a comfortable temperature of approximately 23 – 24°C.
Blue Cave boasts a spectacular and ethereal atmosphere. Spot exotic fish illuminated by the brilliant blue light coming from the cave. As a bonus, Okinawa is less crowded with tourists during the winter season and the seas boast the best clarity during this season.
Visit Okinawa Churami Aquarium and spend a day marveling at an underwater world. Admire whale sharks at one of the biggest aquariums in the world. Stop at the “Kuroshio Sea” tank, holding 7.5 million litres of water and observe tropical fish in a massive tank.
Winter Activity #3: Enjoy High Tea at Yachimun Kissa
Go off the beaten path and make your way to the charming Yachimun Kissa (やちむん喫茶シーサー園) cafe for an afternoon high tea. During the winter, travelers can sit inside this quaint restaurant and take in the surrounding views of lush jungle.
Witness the numerous shisa statues (Japanese lion-dog icons) that line the roof of the traditional folk house and dot the cafe grounds. Pair local Okinawan snacks like hirayachi (similar to a Japanese pancake) with a glass of freshly squeezed juice.
Price: It’s quite reasonably priced, a meal for two should run you about 1800 yen for two guests
Gain insight into Okinawa’s history and culture by enjoying a performance of the Ryukyu dance. Similar to a Western opera, the performance features dance, music and dialogue. It makes a great winter activity if the weather is less than optimal or you’re just interested in a relaxing attraction.
With four different styles of dance: Koten-buyo (classical court dance), Zo-udui (mixed dance that depicts the experiences of the common people), Sosaku-buyo (created dance, choreographed by modern dancers) and Minzoku-buyo (folk dance), you’ll be awed by Japan’s rich culture. Take in a performance at the National Theatre in Okinawa.
Winter is the prime season for whale watching in Okinawa. Catch a glimpse of majestic humpback whales migrate to the Kerama Islands from January to March. Hop aboard a boat and cruise along to observe their impressive size. Book a day tour and also stop at nearby Nagannu Island to dip your toes into emerald waters and bask in the sun on white sands.
Winter Activity #6: Explore Shuri Castle
During the winter, book a day tour and make your way to the stunning Shuri Castle in Okinawa. Behold the vibrantly colored exterior and historic architecture. Wander through the main palace, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a piece of the Ryukyu kingdom. Be sure to capture Instagram-worthy photos!
With outdoor adventures, incredible coastal landscapes and a comfortable, mild temperature, Okinawa is your next winter vacation spot! Have we convinced you yet?