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Explore the sites of one of the deadliest battles of World War II during this memorable, half-day excursion to Okinawa, its battlefield sites, and monuments.
Battle of Okinawa
Some of the deadliest fighting of World War II took place on Okinawa, the only place where a battle was fought on Japanese soil. U.S. troops landed here on April 1, 1945 and it took 82 nightmarish days for the island to be captured. Discover the major points of interest that memorialise the fighting on Okinawa during World War II.
Depart the pier for the approximately 30-minute drive to the former Japanese Navy's Underground Headquarters.
Former Japanese Navy's Underground Headquarters
The former underground headquarters of the Japanese Navy is located where Rear Admiral Ota and his men desperately fought to the end on June 13, 1945. Upon arrival, walk down the 101 steps into the narrow tunnels of the headquarters to see the commanding officer's room, staff room, generator rooms, and more. Along the way, gain a unique insight into the experiences of the Japanese soldiers and officers inside the headquarters.
Next, re-board your coach and drive to the Himeyuri Monument. This monument and small museum symbolises the severity of the Battle of Okinawa and is dedicated to over 200 female students and their teachers who died as volunteer nurses in the Himeyuri Corps. Visit the small museum to learn more of the lives of these civilians. While most of the displays are in Japanese, the message of the value of peace is evident.
Peace Memorial Park & Cornerstone of Peace
Your tour continues with a visit to Peace Memorial Park, which offers beautiful vistas overlooking the ocean and features several open-air memorials. From here, proceed for a visit to the Cornerstone of Peace. Located in the hills of Mabuni where the fiercest battles took place, the Cornerstone of Peace stands as a symbol of the tragic loss of life for both the Okinawan and Allied forces.
At the conclusion of your tour, commence the approximately one-hour drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking for approximately one mile (1.6 kilometres), and 101 steps to negotiate through narrow tunnels at the former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. This tour includes sensitive material and graphic displays of the atrocities of war. Most of the museum/memorial signage is written in Japanese. Japanese Yen is required for additional purchases. Space is very limited; we suggest you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Experience a moving testament to those who perished in the Battle of Okinawa during this memorable, half-day excursion to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, with a visit to a traditional glass factory.
Peace Memorial Park
Depart the pier for the approximately one-hour drive to Peace Memorial Park. En route, drive through Naha City and its suburbs before crossing the Naminoue Bridge to Mabuni, where the fiercest battles on the island took place during World War II. The Cornerstone of Peace was erected here as a symbol of the tragic loss of life for both the Okinawan and Allied forces. Peace Memorial Park offers beautiful vistas overlooking the ocean and features several open-air memorials.
Okinawa Prefecture Peace Memorial Museum
A stop is made at the Peace Memorial Museum. The museum is divided into four sections, and its exhibits feature descriptive panels, photographs, artefacts and personal testimony that chronicles the full range of Okinawa’s human experience in the tragedy of war.
Next, re-board your coach for the drive to the Ryukyu Glass Factory.
Ryukyu Glass Factory
This unique facility produces glass and ceramics. During your visit, observe the traditional process by which artisans create glass and ceramic objects, and browse for souvenirs at the local shops.
Afterwards, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 30-minute drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking for approximately 350 yards (about 320 metres), with a few steps to negotiate at the museum and glass factory. Guests must be able to embark/disembark the coach via steps. This tour includes sensitive material and graphic displays of the atrocities of war. Photography is not permitted inside the Peace Memorial Museum. Japanese Yen is required for additional purchases. Space is very limited; we suggest you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Discover the rich cultural legacy of Okinawa during this scenic, half-day excursion to the Okinawa Museum, with a stop in Shuri-jo Castle.
Depart the pier for the approximately 30-minute drive to Naha City and a visit to the Okinawa Prefectural Museum. En route, see priceless Okinawan antiquities, the Naminoue Bridge, the Prefectural Government Office, and other city sights.
Okinawa Prefectural Museum
Completed in late-2007, the stunning new Okinawa Prefectural Museum is dedicated to preserving the island's rich cultural legacy. Upon arrival, view some of the 85,000 artefacts in the museum's comprehensive collection, which dates back to the 12th century and includes the 'Omorosoushi', a priceless collection of songs and historical items from the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429-1879).
The vermilion-coloured castle was the seat of power during the 500-year reign of the Ryukyuan Kingdom. Destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in 1992, the castle is surrounded by stone walls and beautiful gates leading to the Main Hall, or 'Seiden'. UNESCO world heritage registered site.
Following your 1.5-hour visit, re-board your coach for the approximately 30-minute drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking for approximately 700 yards (about 640 metres), with some steps to climb. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Most of the museum signage is written in Japanese. Japanese Yen is required for additional purchases. Space on this tour is limited.
Experience Okinawa's unique blend of past and present during this picturesque, half-day excursion to Naha City.
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 30-minute drive to Naha City. The vermilion-coloured castle was the seat of power during the 500-year reign of the Ryukyuan Kingdom. Destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in 1992, the castle is surrounded by stone walls and beautiful gates leading to the Main Hall, or 'Seiden'.
Following your tour of the castle and a visit to the gift shop, re-board your coach for the drive to Kokusai Street. The commercial heart of Naha, Kokusai Street offers an eclectic blend of cosmopolitan flavour with genuine folk appeal, and features hotels, department stores, souvenir shops, and restaurants. Upon arrival, some time is made available to explore the area and browse the shops for souvenirs at your leisure.
Makishi Public Market
During your visit to Kokusai Street, a stop is also made at the nearby Makishi Public Market. The 'Kitchen of Naha' is located on the Main Market Street running south from the halfway point of Kokusai Dori Avenue.
After visiting Kokusai Street on foot, return to your coach and commence the approximately 30-minute drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking for approximately two miles (about 3.2 kilometres), with many steps and uneven surfaces to negotiate at the castle. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Wear comfortable clothing with sturdy, closed-toe walking shoes, which must be removed while visiting the Main Hall of Shurijo Castle. Photography is permitted on the grounds of Shurijo Castle, but not in the castle museum. Japanese Yen is required for additional purchases.