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Okinawa

Tropical paradise and a unique culture

About Okinawa
Photo: Roxanne LW / JT

Top Attractions in Okinawa

Around Okinawa

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 maki...

Okinawa
Yomitan

Yomitan

Yomitan Village on the East China Sea in Central Okinawa is well known for its pottery, beaches, castle, agriculture, and lig...

Okinawa
Uruma

Uruma

The 2005 merger of the former cities and towns of Gushikawa, Ishikawa, Katsuren and Yonashiro created Okinawa Prefecture's th...

Okinawa
Okinawa City

Okinawa City

Okinawa City is the second largest city in Okinawa Prefecture with approximately 140,000 residents and is situated in central...

Okinawa
Ginowan

Ginowan

Ginowan is a city of nearly 100,000 residents on the coastline of the main island of Okinawa between Urasoe City and Chatan V...

Okinawa
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, ar...

Okinawa
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 Okin...

Okinawa
Kitanakagusuku

Kitanakagusuku

Tiny Kitanakagusuku Village is one of the smallest municipalities in all of Okinawa with less than 12 square kilometers of la...

Okinawa

Top Articles

Upcoming Okinawa Events

Yambaru Art Festival

Yambaru Art Festival

Kim

The Yambaru Art Festival is scheduled from mid December until mid January and the multi-venue event will showcase a wide vari...

Okinawa

Where to eat in Okinawa

Taste of Okinawa

Taste of Okinawa

Bonson Lam

If you can only eat once a year, what would you eat? Obon is the homecoming Okinawans give to their ancestors, a meal that b...

Okinawa
Teishoku Naritaya

Teishoku Naritaya

Sherilyn Siy

From the outside, Naritaya could easily be mistaken for a chain restaurant. But there is only one Naritaya, located in Ginowa...

Okinawa

Places to stay in Okinawa

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....

Okinawa

Latest Okinawa Reports

Sanshin Music Class

Sanshin Music Class

Bonson Lam

Asoviva is a lighthouse, shining a light on the rich tapestry of Sanshin and its connector of language, love, and hope. It is...

Okinawa
Okinawa Bingata Class

Okinawa Bingata Class

Bonson Lam

What is art? What is creation, or creativity? Overflowing with love and beauty, the people of Okinawa expressed their joy i...

Okinawa
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About Okinawa

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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