About Okinawa
Island:Ryukyu Islands
Area:2281.00 sq. km

Although each Japanese prefecture is unique in its own way, tropical Okinawa is by far the most distinct, almost like a different country. And that assessment is true to a certain extent; Okinawa, known then as the Ryukyu Kingdom, was independent from Japan until 1879, and was part of US territory from 1945 to 1972. As a result, the culture, food, and even the language (although many do speak standard Japanese) differ vastly from those of any other region.

On Okinawa Island, places of note are the Chura-umi Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world and home to the whale shark, as well as ancient Ryukyu castle ruins, most notably Shuri-jo. Buy your souvenirs at Kokusai-dori, Okinawa’s main street.

Off the main island, the Yaeyama and Miyako Islands have Japan’s most pristine beaches, while traditional Okinawan culture remains there very much.

Things to Do in Okinawa

Latest travel features

Okinawa Odyssey

Explore Japan's tropical paradise in six days

Aka and Geruma Islands in Okinawa

As peaceful a place as you'll find anywhere in Japan

The Ferry to Zamami

Enjoy the ride from Naha to Zamami-jima

Sunset Beach at American Village

Okinawa's land of the setting sun

Community discussion

Getting around Naha without a Car

Navigating Okinawa's largest island by public transport


Okinawa Odyssey

Explore Japan's tropical paradise in six days

Great tips here

Sunset Beach, Okinawa

A family friendly beach located in Chatan.

Beautiful Place.

Cape Maeda

Snorkeling in Okinawa

Looks Beautiful Place.