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Okinawa

Tropical paradise and a unique culture

About Okinawa

Things to do in Okinawa

Areas

Naha

Naha

Naha in the south of the main island of Okinawa is the capital city of the Prefecture and the center of business, culture, arts, entertainment and politics. Nearly all visitors will begin their visit to Okinawa by arriving at the Naha International Airport or Naha's Tomari Sea Port. The city is ..

Kadena

Kadena

Kadena is a small town of about 13,000 residents on the East China Sea along the western shoreline of the main island of Okinawa. More than 80% of the towns land is leased by the Japanese Ministry of Defense for use as the United States Kadena Air Base as a part of the two nations' mutual defens..

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..

Dining

Smoke & Camp

Smoke & Camp

If you love tapas style dining and you are in Okinawa, then look no further. I have easily found my preferred tapas style restaurant on the island. So what is tapas? Traditionally, it comes from Spanish culture and a “tapa” is a starter. ..

Taketora Ramen Restaurant

Taketora Ramen Restaurant

One of the best things about food in Okinawa is the amount of accessible ramen or noodle shops on the island. If you like ramen, Taketora is a great idea for a relaxing lunch or dinner. Luckily, my husband and I love ramen so we were very excited to ..

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..

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..

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Okinawa Pottery Street

Okinawa Pottery Street

Okinawa’s story is the story of baked goods. Not roast pork or pastries, but of ceramics, like the famous red roof tiles that grace the palaces and the everyman’s houses all throughout the archipelago. Yachimun Street in Tsuboya is the go..

Something's Afoot

Something's Afoot

Looking for something fun and different to do in Okinawa? Check out the Pacific Okinawa Players’ production of Something’s Afoot. Pacific Okinawa Players is an all-volunteer theatre group in Okinawa that produces shows for the community. ..

Keramashoto National Park

Keramashoto National Park

As an island nation that itself is subdivided into smaller and smaller islands across the archipelago, Japan lends itself well to being understood as a series of self-contained cultures within cultures, all bound together strongly, which only accentu..

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About okinawa

Okinawa Nagasaki Fukuoka Saga Kumamoto Kagoshima Miyazaki Oita Ehime Kochi Tokushima Kagawa Yamaguchi Hiroshima Okayama Tottori Shimane Hyogo 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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