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Okinawa

Tropical paradise and a unique culture

About Okinawa

Things to do in Okinawa

Okinawa Top 10

Where to eat in Okinawa

Mahou Coffee at Tsuboya

Mahou Coffee at Tsuboya

Bonson Lam

Could this the best coffee house in Okinawa, if not all of Japan? Our JapanTravel correspondent uncovers this secret gem in the..

Places to stay in Okinawa

Hyakuna Garan Resort & Spa

Hyakuna Garan Resort & Spa

Bonson Lam

Like many relics of Okinawan heritage that survived the passage of time, this resort looks a bit like a fortress from the outside,..

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Okinawa Grand Mer Resort

Okinawa Grand Mer Resort

Bonson Lam

The staff here have called this island home for several generations, making them a great source of local history and culture. ..

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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
Region Kyushu
Island Ryukyu Islands
Capital Naha
Population 1,392,818
Area 2281.00 sq. km

Although each Japanese prefecture is unique in its own way, tropical Okinawa Prefecture (沖縄県, Okinawa-ken) 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 retaining traditional Okinawan culture.

Around Okinawa

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