A Pacific archipelago paradise, Okinawa is Japan’s southernmost prefecture and is fiercely proud of its original culture and dialect. Home to pristine white sands and turquoise water, Okinawa is the perfect escape for those who want a break from busy city life. Hosting the Churaumi Aquarium, once the largest aquarium in the world, with tanks big enough to support fully grown Whale Sharks and Manta Rays, Okinawa is the place where 2 cultures meet.
The remains of the Ryukyu Kingdom are very popular with Japanese tourists. The main island has been strongly influenced by the United States, being the home of “Chanpuru” (mixture) culture, a unique blend of Okinawan and American influences.
Naha is the centre of Chanpuru culture. At night, various songs echo down the alleys of Okinawa, as many live music venues compete with each other, playing various types of music, from American Rock or J-pop to the traditional Shima-uta (island songs).
Another characteristic of central Okinawa is the abundance of historical remains. Katsuren Castle in Uruma, inscribed as a World Heritage Site, the remains of Zakimi Castle in Yomitan-son Village, as well as the remains of Nakagusuku Castle in Kitanakagusuku villages, show you how Okinawa was once a proud trading island.
World class beach resorts, as well as a variety of western style hotels.
Ferries and airplanes connect Okinawa islands with Japan mainland. Car hire is also available.
The busiest times to visit:
Golden week (Japanese holiday in the beginning of May), Obon (Japanese national holiday in mid-August. During these days, the streets will be overcrowded and the hotels fully-booked. Summers are hot and humid. Winters are short and mild, the average temperature being 20°.
Local food specialities:
Umi Budo - seaweed