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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 ..

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..

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..

Dining

Hyakuna Garan Kanro Restaurant

Hyakuna Garan Kanro Restaurant

I wonder what Hiromi's grandmother would have made of this. Generations of Okinawan wisdom, which dictates the pairing of pork belly with daikon radish, was being cast aside. The digestive qualities of the radish were meant to offset the heavin..

Mahou Coffee at Tsuboya

Mahou Coffee at Tsuboya

What is it about coffee that rouses the sleeping giant within? Is the aroma from the freshly roasted beans, at just the right temperature? Or the careful selection of the finest blends, with just the right mixture of flora and spice? How do they extr..

Nakijin's Cafe Koku

Nakijin's Cafe Koku

This was the Garden of Eden that the folks in downtown Naha forgot, let alone those in the far away capital of Tokyo. Perched on an steep hill above the beaches of north-west Okinawa Island, there are stunning and uninterrupted views out to what appe..

Places to stay

Hyakuna Garan Resort & Spa

Hyakuna Garan Resort & Spa

Hyakuna Garan is very much a symbol of the resurrection of Okinawa. Located near the epicentre of the Battle of Okinawa, these bleeding hills south east of Naha were, for the post war generation, a place associated with sadness and destruction. These..

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..

Latest

A Day at Tokashiku Beach

A Day at Tokashiku Beach

We visited Tokashiki Island (Okinawa) in June for a week and the small island is truly amazing. Not many tourists stay that long as most of them choose the ferry from Naha to go there in the morning and return in the evening. So there is enough free ..

Disney's The Little Mermaid Jr

Disney's The Little Mermaid Jr

Let's face it, it's hot in Okinawa. Why not cool off under the sea? The Pacific Okinawa Players brings you Disney's "The Little Mermaid Jr" opening this week. The story is the classic tale about a beautiful princess who ..

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..

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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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