Immerse yourself in Okinawa’s Blue Zone

by Bonson Lam
Japan Travel
Okinawa is home to some of the world’s oldest and healthiest people, with 34 centenarians per 100,000 people. Citizens of this blue zone have lower rates of cancer and cardio-vascular disease than most other parts of the world. It is time to take the plunge. Become an Okinawan for five days on this exclusive tour and experience it for yourself.
Day 1: Arrive in Naha
On arrival at Naha Airport take the monorail to the hotel in Naha city, the capital of Okinawa. Following dinner take in one of the many cafes, Okinawan or jazz music venues in Kokusai dori, the island’s “International Street”, before retiring to Mercure Hotel Naha.
Day 2: Naha Markets and Culture
Makishi Public Market is Naha’s kitchen, with dozens of fresh food stalls showcasing local produce. Drop in after breakfast, before heading to a hands-on cooking class using some of the ingredients. This is an insightful foray into Okinawa culture, which will be of interest to active and passive cooks alike. We will also visit the Okinawa Cultural Museum, for a unique insight on what makes this island kingdom so special.
Day 3: Island Life
For a taste of traditional village life, we take the ferry to one of the outlying islands. Take life at a slower pace, discover some of the special fauna and flora, as well as a pork soba lunch at an authentic beach side restaurant. You might even be taken in as part of the family.
Day 4: Hiji falls hike and longevity lunch
Venture to Hiji, home to the highest waterfalls in Okinawa. The 1.5 kilometre trail to Hiji Falls can be hiked in about two hours round trip. Keep an eye for the native wildlife like the Ryukyu Robin and the Ryukyu Black-Breasted Leaf Turtle. It is then time to have lunch at a local restaurant and discover the secret behind why five times as many Okinawans live to be 100 as the rest of Japan. After lunch we visit a local village and take a private yoga lesson with one of the island teachers before heading back to the hotel for a traditional Okinawan family meal for our farewell dinner.
Day 5: Trip concludes
This 5 day adventure concludes today after breakfast.

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