Nestled within the rugged Sekiryo Mountains along the west coast of Okinawa Island is the laid-back village of Onna. It stretches along 27-kilometres of picture-perfect coastline, backed by the peak of Mount Onna for which the village is named. Most of its beach resorts are situated between Yomitan Village and Nago City along the East China Sea, renowned for its white sands and turquoise waters.
Apart from lazing on the beach, getting active with a range of watersports and soaking up the distinct Japanese beach atmosphere, there’s impressive snorkelling and scuba diving around Cape Maeda, renowned for its naturally-illuminated Blue Cave. Cape Manzamo is another popular stop when exploring around Onna, with its unique elephant trunk-shaped rock offering fantastic sunsets across the East China Sea, and there are also numerous local markets where seaweed products, seasonal fruits, and local handicrafts are on sale. Onna also lies along a humpback whale migratory route, with these majestic beasts spotted during February and March.
The best way to explore Onna and the rest of Okinawa Island is by car, motorcycle or moped, although the terrain can be rugged and hilly, particularly when driving inland from the coast. There’s plenty of rental companies at the airport or in the capital Naha located just an hour away and a few public buses which run along the Okinawa Expressway from Naha to the beach resorts lining Route 58.
The village of Onna dates back to 1673 when it was first established as Unna Magiri by the Ryukyu Kingdom. The kings unified Okinawa and ruled across the Ryukyu Islands which stretch from Kyushu to Taiwan until the annexation by Japan in 1879.