It might be a cosmopolitan town, but Nago is wrapped in extraordinary natural beauty. Blessed with sublime beaches, parkland and islands, it’s also the first place in Japan where cherry blossom blooms each year. Pack both hiking boots and beach sandals, camera and snorkel for your luxury escape. Boutique hotels here make the perfect base for quiet days in or adventures in the great outdoors.
Cherry blossoms and captivating landscapes around this Okinawa Island city.
Things to do
You don’t have to stray far from urban Nago to get back to nature. In fact, Nago Central Park (also known as Castle Park) has the city skyline on its doorstep. This is where the annual Cherry Blossom Festival is held. But year round, there are hiking trails, Koi ponds, sea views, sculpture parks, pavilions, centuries-old castle ruins and a Mount Nago observatory. If you’re visiting with children, there’s an excellent adventure playground.
Busena Marine Park lets you dive into the underwater world around Nago, without the need for flippers and a snorkel. Walk 170 metres into the sea in the circular underwater observatory. You’ll have 360° views of coral reef and the kaleidoscopic creatures that call it home. Don’t miss the whale-shaped glass-bottom boat when the weather is on your side, either. If you’re feeling adventurous, don walking boots and trek through rivers to reach the magical Tadake Falls. Then jump in the pool at the bottom.
Just a few kilometres outside Nago city is Yagaji-shima Island. With postcard-worthy good looks and plenty of walking tracks to explore, it’s ideal day trip territory. This protected area features mangroves, sugar cane fields and beautiful coves around its turquoise shoreline. Take a canoe or boat trip around the fringes, exploring other islets. Or simply kick back on the beach with a picnic.
Exploring Nago’s city and countryside can be thirsty work. So a tour around Orion Breweries, followed by a refreshing glass of local beer, is a must.
Top tip from SLH