There are at least three good reasons to explore Okinawa's southern spur. The culture park Okinawa World is an interactive trip through the islands' Ryukyu past, with restored houses, a large limestone cave, and traditional performances. More than the ancient Ryukyu culture, however, it is Okinawa's history during World War II that will resonate most with visitors. Himeyuri Peace Museum and Okinawa Peace Memorial Museum trace Okinawa's tragic story. Caught between American and Japanese militaries during the last months of the war, Okinawa suffered an astronomical toll in lost lives and resources. Like Hiroshima's Atomic Bomb Dome, these sights are important not only to local history, but also for their message teaching the value of peace to all.
Don't go to these destinations in 2017—try our suggestions instead.More