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Okinawa

Tropical paradise and a unique culture

About Okinawa

Things to do in Okinawa

Areas

Aharen

Aharen

If your idea of a holiday is the sound of the spinnaker flapping in the breeze or the gentle waves lapping while you are making your sand castle kingdom, then put Aharen village on the west coast of the Kerama islands on top of your list for your next holiday. The village of Aharen, on the west c..

Yomitan

Yomitan

Yomitan Village on the East China Sea in Central Okinawa is well known for its pottery, beaches, castle, agriculture, and lighthouse. Known as Yomitan Son to the Japanese, Yomitan prides itself as the village in with the largest population in all of Japan; it has nearly 41,000 residents. Historical..

Uruma

Uruma

The 2005 merger of the former cities and towns of Gushikawa, Ishikawa, Katsuren and Yonashiro created Okinawa Prefecture's third largest City. Uruma City, known as Uruma Shi to the Japanese, straddles the Pacific coastline of Central Okinawa and eight nearby islands Historically a collection of..

Dining

Naha Airport Restaurant

Naha Airport Restaurant

Starving after a long flight into Naha Airport, I asked the Information Counter receptionist at the arrivals floor for the best place to go for Okinawan cuisine. When she wrote in Japanese script “Naha Airport Restaurant”, I was slightly ..

Two Awamori Distilleries in Shuri

Two Awamori Distilleries in Shuri

A visit to Okinawa is not complete without having tasted some Awamori, the local liquor of the islands. Influenced from trade with Thailand during the Ryukyu era, Awamori was a popular export from Okinawa and often gifted by the Ryukyu kingdom to nei..

Makishi Public Market

Makishi Public Market

A good place to sample some traditional Okinawan delicacies is the Makishi Public Market. A small, two story building located just off Naha's famous Kokusai street. The first floor is a wet market of sorts where vendors sell fresh produce and sea..

Places to stay

Kalakaua Inn: The Kitchen Hostel Ao

Kalakaua Inn: The Kitchen Hostel Ao

If you're a budget-conscious traveller still intent on exploring the best that Okinawa has to offer, consider the Kitchen Hostel Aoi in Naha city. Its convenient location and comfortable low-cost rooms will allow you to stay in comfort and enjoy ..

Okinawa Grand Mer Resort

Okinawa Grand Mer Resort

Japan is acclaimed for its hospitality, so much so that there is a word for it called omotenashi. In Okinawa, you need to be careful with the locals, least they adopt you into their family. Once I was having lunch at a beach shack, and soon struck up..

Hotel Breeze Bay Marina

Hotel Breeze Bay Marina

At the Hotel Breeze Bay Marina, all the rooms in its Tower Building boast of a breathtaking ocean view. There's a lot to see and do around the hotel. Guests can take a glass-bottom cruise vessel to view the colorful marine life without getting we..

Latest

Itoman Winter Illuminations

Itoman Winter Illuminations

The annual illumination in Itoman is like a giant music box, making every little girl's dream come true. There are also car and panda car rides for kids, photo booths, wine fair and all the usual festival stalls, like fairy floss and takoyaki. It..

Eisa of Okinawa

Eisa of Okinawa

To the south of the main Islands of Japan, you will find the cluster of Okinawan Islands.  As you step foot off the aircraft as you land in Okinawa, you discover right from the beginning that it is definitely a very different vibe to landing in ..

Okinawa Odyssey

Okinawa Odyssey

Okinawa is a kaleidoscope of colours, from the aquamarine seas to the vivid reds and indigos of its court officials. It is also home to some of the world’s oldest and healthiest people, with 34 centenarians per 100,000 people. Previously part..

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About okinawa

Okinawa Nagasaki Fukuoka Saga Kumamoto Kagoshima Miyazaki Oita Ehime Kochi Tokushima Kagawa Yamaguchi Hiroshima Okayama Tottori Shimane Hyogo data-display="Kyoto" Osaka Wakayama Nara Shiga Mie Fukui Ishikawa Toyama Gifu Aichi Nagano Shizuoka Niigata Yamanashi Kanagawa Tokyo Saitama Gunma Tochigi Chiba Ibaraki Fukushima Miyagi Yamagata Iwate Akita Aomori Hokkaido
RegionKyushu
IslandRyukyu Islands
CapitalNaha
Population1,392,818
Area2281.00 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
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