As a part of your study & internship program, you have the option to tour the southern areas of the island. In the Southern end of the main island of Okianwa, is where the capital, Naha is located. Many visitors enjoy the historic sites that commemorate the battle of Okinawa, in addition to the many turquoise beaches that dot the south east side of the island.
is a beautiful Chinese-style garden that includes a pond, a waterfall, and buildings designed and constructed using traditional Chinese techniques. Okinawa had close relations with China during the years of the Ryukyu Kingdom. This relationship included periodic visits from envoys of the Chinese emperor. Fukushu Garden was constructed to celebrate the city's historical ties to China's Fujian province and current relationship with the city of Fuzhou. Chinese technicians came to Okinawa to ensure the gardens were as authentic as possible, and even imported special materials for the project. The result is a tranquil space where visitors can relax and reflect in the middle of the bustling city.
Was built in honor of the 194 schoolgirls and 17 teachers mobilized as nurse assistants during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. Tragically, only five of them survived the carnage. They were known as the Himeyuri Student Corps. The Peace Museum exhibits photographs of the many victims, their personal effects, model reconstructions of the appalling conditions, and testimonies from survivors in an appeal against the misery of war. Today, as memories of Okinawa's war experiences wear ever thinner, the Himeyuri Peace Museum and war memorial serve as places that can teach the importance of peace.
The Okinawa District Headquarters of the Japanese Navy was in this underground shelter during the war. At the end of the war, Commander Minoru Ota and other officers committed suicide here at the shelter. The interior of the shelter is kept as it was.
The beautiful and spacious Peace Memorial Park is located near the southern tip of the island. Its main attraction is the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum, which gives a sobering overview of the road to the battle, the battle itself, and the reconstruction of Okinawa. Other monuments in the park include the "Cornerstone of Peace", a collection of large stone plates with the names of all fallen soldiers and civilians, including Koreans, Taiwanese, Americans and Britons.
Also known as Gyokusendo, is a touristy theme park about Okinawan culture. The park's main attractions are the Gyokusendo Cave, a crafts village and a snake museum. With a total length of five kilometers, Gyokusendo Cave is the longest of the many caves in the south of Okinawa Island, and Japan's second longest. 850 meters of the cave are open to the public and feature spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. The Kingdom Village is a nice replica of a traditional Ryukyu village with workshops introducing the various traditional Okinawan crafts, such as weaving, dyeing, paper making, pottery, sugarcane processing, the making of music instruments, brewing and the more recently introduced glass blowing. Visitors can gain hands-on experiences at many workshops and have ample of opportunities to purchase the local products at numerous souvenir shops. There is also a restaurant specialized in Okinawan cuisine. The Habu Park, named after the infamous, poisonous, local Habu snake, consists of a snake museum, a small zoological garden, and a snake show.
The largest glass factory in Okinawa. Visitors can see the entire glass production process happen right in front of their eyes. In fact, you can even try glassblowing and make your own Ryukyu Glass cup!! After you witness the miracle of glassblowing, you can experience all the fun of shopping from a wide selection of colorful glasswork in their large gift shop - everything from drinking glasses and plates to countless other beautiful glass pieces, you're sure to find some exciting souvenirs. Next to the glassblowing center is a pottery shop, which not only sells pottery but also offers Ryukyu pottery classes. Ryukyu glass is very unique and is 100% handmade with vivid colors and various shapes. Craftsmen in the glass factory produce hundreds of masterful Ryukyu glass pieces every day. Taking a tour of the factory allows visitors to see how the craftsmen create their glass art. Officially recognized as an Okinawan traditional craft, Ryukyu glass was created from raw materials of empty beer and soda bottles
This is the most sacred site in Okinawa. In the Ryukyu language, Seifa refers to a place holding divine power and Utaki refers to a sacred place. The natural ceremonial altars at Seifa Utaki are named after rooms in Shuri Castle. Due to its strong connections to the Ryukyu Royal Family, entrance to Seifa Utaki was limited to Royal officials, with the ordinary public forbidden even to pass through the gates. A legend about the origin of the Ryukyu Islands says that the first of all gods, Tedako (God of the sun), ordered two gods to land on the islands and organize them as nations. The first thing they did during this process was to establish sacred sites, one of which was Seifa Utaki. The Ryukyu kings used to visit Seifa Utaki every year to pray for a rich harvest and whenever a new king acceded to the throne for special ceremonies. There are six places of worship within Seifa Utaki and you can also see countless indigenous trees. The triangular cavern, formed naturally by gigantic rocks, is the symbol of Seifa Utaki, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 2000.
Senaga Island’s white-washed buildings are evocative of a Mediterranean town, and are filled with a diverse array of cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. Relax in the island’s hot springs, or watch the sunset on this charming island only 15 minutes away from Naha Airport.
Senaga Island’s hot springs are located on top of a hill, overlooking the sea and the runway at Naha Airport. Hot springs are a rare treat in Okinawa, so unwind in an outdoor bath and let your cares melt away. Senagajima Umikaji Terrace is a trendy oceanfront complex where you can indulge in a diverse range of cuisine made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Eat your fill before browsing the chic boutiques selling Made in Okinawa jewelry and crafts.