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Population (approx.): 1.423 million (2012)
Area: 877 sq miles
Area Rank: 44
Subtropical island with beautifully preserved traditional Ryukyu villages
Japan's most beautiful beaches and coral reefs for snorkeling
Coral reef sea famous for its transparent waters and color coral in Okinawa
Subtropical Yaeyama island chain covered in jungle and mangrove
Largest city of Okinawa and once the capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom
Okinawa, comprised of several small islands, is Japan’s southernmost prefecture. Okinawa itself is divided into three sub-regions, Okinawa Islands, Miyako Islands, and Yaeyama Islands. The sub regions are named after the major island the small islands surround. These islands are also collectively referred to as the Ryukyu Islands. Okinawa is best known for its tropical climate and beautiful beaches, considered the best in Japan. Snorkeling and diving are popular activities among tourists. The people in Okinawa are known to be one of the longest lived people in the world. Okinawa has a different dialect than standard Japanese, often incomprehensible by the average Japanese. Okinawa has a strong American influence that still exists today due to the numerous U.S military bases on the island. The American influence has had an influence on the culture, food, and atmosphere of Okinawa.
Aquarium with one of the largest glass panel tanks in the world; 26,000 sea creatures
Americanized shopping and entertainment complex in Okinawa
Played a crucial role in politically unifying the island and as the center of foreign trade
Well preserved castle remains of the Ryukyu Kingdom
Okinawa has many local cuisines, Okinawan cuisine, including “soki soba” (Okinawan noodles) and “goya champuru” (bitter melon stir fry).
Popular Local Food & Drinks
Alcoholic beverage from Okinawa made from distilling long grain indica rice
Okinawa noodles served with soki, boneless pork ribs
Bitter melon stiry fry; staple of Okinawa
Okinawa Pineapple Theme Park
Ryukyu Glass is a popular type of glassware that developed in Okinawa. Ryukyu Glass is known for its vivid colors and interesting shapes. Ryukyu Glass Craft is a great place to visit to view various types of beautiful Ryukyu Glassware on display.
Okinawa's mythical Lion-Dogs protect homes and keep bad luck away.
Authentic Okinawa Ryukyu Island Fabric Dye Patterns
Traditional Okinawa textile to show eternal love
Three Stringed Okinawa Instrument
Okinawa Naha Hari Matsuri is a festival featuring dragon boat races that is said to date back 600 years when it was introduced by China. The dragon boats of Okinawa Naha Hari Matsuri is 15.25 meters long and seats 30 paddlers. A drummer is also on board, adding drum sounds to the excitement. Okinawa Naha Hari Matsuri is meant to pray for great harvest and safe fishing.