The prefecture of Okinawa consists of about 160 islands between Kyushu and Taiwan. The climate of Okinawa is subtropical, making it comfortable throughout the year as well as lush in nature. Even during the winter months, the temperature is about the same as spring in central Japan. Okinawa is an attractive destination to relax or dive with its azure seas, white beaches, and colorful coral and sea life.
Okinawa also has a unique history, existing for over 450 years as the independent Kingdom of Ryukyu. This unique history can be found today in the islands’ many festivals and historical sites. The vivid Hari Dragon Boat Race in May and the Eisa dance competition during the Bon festival are Okinawa’s most popular festivals and events.
The activities available in Okinawa are the typical ones of tropical destinations. Besides enjoying the pristine beaches and ocean watersports, try fishing from the shore or off a charted fishing boat. Take a guided jungle trek to a waterfall. Go spelunking in the enormous Gyokusendo cave. Whether you prefer to be active or to relax, you will find something that suits you in Okinawa.
Okinawan cuisine is unique from the rest of Japan due to its warmer climate and having been influenced for centuries by neighboring countries and, more recently, by the presence of American military bases. Traditional Okinawan dishes have hints of Chinese and Southeast Asian influences while modern Okinawan dishes, like the ubiquitous “taco rice”, are strictly Western. Regular Western foods like hamburgers are easy to find at Okinawan restaurants as well.