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Near the end of World War Two, Okinawa Honto became the site of one of the war's bloodiest battles, when the US forces invaded and occupied the island. An estimated 200,000 people, including more than 100,000 civilians and 12,500 Americans were killed in the battle, which lasted from April to June 1945.

The devastating effects of the war had a profound impact on the Okinawans, and there are a number of monuments and museums relating to the period throughout Okinawa Honto. The worst fighting of the battle took place in the south, and that is where some of the larger monuments have been constructed.

The main memorial to the Battle of Okinawa is the Peace Memorial Park, which is located near the southern tip of the island. Its main attraction is the Peace Memorial Museum, which gives a sobering overview of the lead up to the battle, the battle itself and the reconstruction of Okinawa.

Other monuments in the park include the "Cornerstone of Peace", a collection of large stone plates with the names of all fallen soldiers and civilians, including Koreans, Taiwanese, Americans and Britons. There is also an area with memorials donated by each of Japan's 46 other prefectures.

A few kilometers west of the Peace Park stands the Himeyuri Monument (Himeyuri no To) with an adjacent museum. It commemorates the fate of female high school students, who worked in army field hospitals in caves under horrendous conditions. Most of them did not survive the war.

Another thought provoking, war related site is the Former Navy Underground Headquarters, which consists of several hundred meters of underground corridors and rooms that served as the Japanese navy's headquarters during the war. Many sailors committed suicide in these tunnels, after their situation had grown hopeless towards the end of the battle. Visitors can see in one area a room whose walls have been riddled with shrapnel from a grenade.

Getting there and around

Peace Memorial Park

Take bus number 89 from Naha Bus Terminal to Itoman Bus Terminal (糸満バスターミナル, 60 minutes, 580 yen, departures every 10 minutes), transfer to bus number 82 and get off at Heiwakinendō-iriguchi (平和祈念堂入口, 20 minutes, 480 yen, departures every 1-2 hours). By car, it takes about 50 minutes from central Naha.

Himeyuri Monument

Take bus number 89 from Naha Bus Terminal to Itoman Terminal (糸満バスターミナル, 60 minutes, 580 yen, departures every 10 minutes), transfer to bus number 82, 107 or 108 and get off at Himeyuri-no-tō-mae (ひめゆりの塔前, 20 minutes, 330 yen, 1-2 buses/hour). By car, it takes about 45 minutes from central Naha.

Former Navy Underground Headquarters

From the Naha Bus Terminal/Asahibashi, take bus number 55 or 98 to Tomigusuku Minami (とみぐすく南, 15 minutes, 260 yen, 3-5 buses/hour) from where the Former Navy Underground Headquarters are a ten minute walk up the hill. By car, they can be reached in about 10-15 minutes from central Naha or Naha Airport.

How to get to and around Okinawa Honto

Hours and Fees

Peace Memorial Museum

Hours

Closed

Admission

Typical Visit Duration

Himeyuri Monument and Himeyuri Peace Museum

Hours

Closed

Admission

Typical Visit Duration

Former Navy Underground Headquarters

Hours

Closed

Admission

Typical Visit Duration

Hotels around Okinawa Island

Top rated on Okinawa Island
Budget:
    • Condominium Felicita Naha
      Budget-friendly
      Condominium Felicita Naha is situated in the centre of Naha, just 3.3 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 1.4 km from DFS Galleria Okinawa. The apartment, set in a building dating from 2017, is 1.5 km from Yachimun Street and 3.5 km from Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate. This air-conditioned apartment features 1 bedroom and a bathroom equipped with a bath and free toiletries. A flat-screen TV is featured. Off-site paid public parking is available nearby. Shuri-jo Castle is 3.7 km from the apartment. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from Condominium Felicita Naha.
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    • The LANAI HOSTEL
      Budget-friendly
      In a prime location in the Naha City Centre district of Naha, The LANAI HOSTEL is located 2.1 km from Naminoue Beach, 2.4 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 1.4 km from DFS Galleria Okinawa. Featuring a shared lounge, the 2-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen, and luggage storage for guests. At the hostel every room is fitted with bed linen and towels. The LANAI HOSTEL offers a sun terrace. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Yachimun Street, Sakaemachi Arcade and Tsuboya Pottery Museum. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 8 km from The LANAI HOSTEL.
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    • La Passione Boutique B&B
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring free WiFi and a terrace, La Passione is a secluded bed and breakfast in Naha. Guests can take a 10-minute walk to Naha Kokusai Dori or go to Jogaku Park, a 4-minute walk from the property. Bicycle hire is available upon reservation. All rooms have an electric kettle and a refrigerator, while some rooms are equipped with a private bathroom. A hairdryer is provided on site. Extra amenities include face tissues, cotton buds, hand soap, body soap, hair shampoo and conditioners. Guests can enjoy Western-style breakfast at La Passione. Luggage storage is available on site. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 500 meters away from La Passione, while Makishi Public Market and Yachimun Street are both a 10-minute walk away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, a 20-minute taxi ride from the property.
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    • Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street
      Budget-friendly
      Well set in the Naha City Centre district of Naha, Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street is located 1.2 km from Naminoue Beach, 3.7 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 1.6 km from Yachimun Street. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. Every room comes with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV, and certain units at the capsule hotel have a safety deposit box. At Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street rooms come with bed linen and towels. The accommodation offers 2-star accommodation with a sauna. DFS Galleria Okinawa is 2.7 km from Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street, while Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate is 4.1 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from the capsule hotel.
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    • Condominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya
      Mid-range
      Condominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya features city views, free WiFi and free private parking, located in Naha, 2.5 km from Naminoue Beach. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchenette, a TV and a private bathroom with bidet, slippers and a hairdryer. A microwave, a fridge and stovetop are also provided, as well as a kettle. An American breakfast is available daily at the aparthotel. Popular points of interest near Condominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya include Yachimun Street, Noren Central Market and Tsuboya Pottery Museum. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 6 km from the accommodation.
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    • 美らガーナハウス壷川
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Naha, near Naminoue Beach, Manko Park and Okinawa Prefecture Government, 美らガーナハウス壷川 features free WiFi. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bath, a hairdryer and free toiletries. A microwave and fridge are also provided, as well as a kettle. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 6 km from the apartment, while Yachimun Street is 2.3 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from 美らガーナハウス壷川.
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    • Hotel Collective
      Luxury
      Hotel Collective features a restaurant, seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and bar in Naha. This 5-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and a concierge service. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. The units come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, bathrobes and a desk. At the hotel every room has bed linen and towels. Guests at Hotel Collective can enjoy a buffet breakfast. At the accommodation guests are welcome to take advantage of a sauna and a hot tub. Popular points of interest near Hotel Collective include Naminoue Beach, Yachimun Street and Shijo Hondori. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 6 km from the hotel.
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    • Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku
      Mid-range
      Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku is situated in Naha, within 8 km of Tamaudun Mausoleum and 2.3 km of Naha Air Base. Featuring a shared lounge, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. Private parking is available on site. All rooms have a safety deposit box. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a continental breakfast. Staff at Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku are available to provide advice at the 24-hour front desk. Yachimun Street is 5 km from the accommodation, while DFS Galleria Okinawa is 7 km from the property. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 2.3 km from Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku.
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    • Villa Coast Nishimachi - Guesthouse in Okinawa
      Budget-friendly
      Located just a 7-minute drive from Naha Airport, Villa Coast Nishimachi houses self-contained accommodations with free WiFi connection. The apartment houses a shared lounge with drinks and snacks vending machines. Each room is fitted with a full kitchen with a microwave and a washing machine. All rooms have air conditioning, a working desk and a flat-screen TV. Featuring a bath, private bathroom comes with a shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries. From the apartment, a convenience store is within a 2-minute walk. There are numerous local restaurants and shops within 15 minutes walking distance around the apartment. Naminoue Beach is a 10-minute walk and Asahibashi Station is a 13-minute walk away.
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    • Hotel Torifito Naha Asahibashi
      Mid-range
      Well located in the Naha City Centre district of Naha, Hotel Torifito Naha Asahibashi is located 750 metres from Naminoue Beach, 5 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 2.4 km from Yachimun Street. The property is set 3.9 km from DFS Galleria Okinawa, 5 km from Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate and 5 km from Shuri-jo Castle. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At Hotel Torifito Naha Asahibashi each room is fitted with bed linen and towels. A buffet breakfast is available daily at the accommodation. Staff speak English, Japanese, Korean and Cantonese at the reception. Naha Air Base is 5 km from Hotel Torifito Naha Asahibashi, while Tsushimamaru Museum is less than 1 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from the hotel.
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