Okinawa's awesomeness: The great outdoors
Though parts of it have been heavily developed, Okinawa still retains much of its original natural beauty. Ride a water buffalo-drawn cart across the shallow channel separating Yubujima from Iriomote, a verdant paradise that’s like Yakushima without the crowds. For the ultimate experience, take a tour of the island’s virgin jungle and mangroves on foot or by canoe. Other popular ecotourism destinations include Yanbaru Forest in the north of Okinawa Honto—superb hiking terrain—and the mangroves of Yagaji island.
For a different kind of green experience, tee off while enjoying spectacular ocean views at one of the prefecture’s top-class golf courses, including Unimat Okinawa G.C. (www.unimat-golf.jp/unimat-okinawa) near Onna-son and The Southern Links (www.southern-links.co.jp) near Gushikami-son.
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