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Okinawa

Tropical paradise and a unique culture

About Okinawa

Things to do in Okinawa

Areas

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..

Okinawa

Okinawa

Okinawa City is the second largest city in Okinawa Prefecture with approximately 140,000 residents and is situated in central Okinawa on the Pacific Ocean. The city is very cosmopolitan due to the influence of nearby American military bases that are a part of the mutual defense agreement between the..

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

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

Yui Rail

Yui Rail

The Okinawa City Monorail, also known as Yui Rail, is Okinawa’s only public rail system. It currently services 15 stations starting from Naha Airport, with a further four more stations to be added by 2019. Like many other trains in Japan, the m..

Scuba Diving on Ishigaki Island

Scuba Diving on Ishigaki Island

Ishigaki Island is closer to Taiwan than mainland Japan, and is a truly gorgeous tropical location. The island is small enough to drive around in one day - but the driving is so relaxing, the views so idyllic, and the ocean so blue that I would recom..

Okinawa Peace Memorial Museum

Okinawa Peace Memorial Museum

“Shota, Shota, are you okay? Shota!” It was a beautiful Saturday evening. Laughter and chatter fill the night skies on the beach overlooking the Philippine sea. Shota is soaked by a wave of friendship, in the form of people in the teens,..

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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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