Okinawa Islands - Japan Travel Guide - Japanspecialist

Okinawa Islands

Lovely beaches and world-class coral reefs.

About the Okinawa Islands
Far to the south, many hundreds of miles from the rest of Japan, lie the idyllic Okinawa Islands with white beaches and turquoise waters. The islands also have world-class coral reefs, good surfing opportunities and their very own culture. Despite all this, the islands are far from overrun. Japan does not have much of a beach culture, and if you travel outside the Japanese peak season, you can almost have it all to yourself. The subtropical climate makes it warm, sunny and inviting all year round.

Completely different from the rest of Japan
The Okinawa Islands consist of the main island, Okinawa, as well as over 20 small islands. For many centuries, the islands were independent and known as the Ryukyu Kingdom. During this period, the islands developed a very unique culture, strongly influenced by both China and Southeast Asia as well as Japan. In recent years, the islands have also been influenced by the United States. This is most clearly seen in the largest city, Naha where the two thoroughfares International Street and Peace Street are each other's opposites. The first is modern and comfortable, and the second a traditional market street filled with Asian scents and narrow side streets. In the Shuri district of Naha, you will find the magnificently restored castles that were the seat of the Ryukyu kings for 500 years, when Okinawa was its own kingdom. These castles are an example of the mix of Japanese and Chinese architecture that was characteristic of this culture.

Other attractions on the Okinawa Islands
It is on Okinawa that the martial art of karate originated, and there are many opportunities to try your hand at the noble art. Okinawa also has a wealth of idyllic islands where you can unplug completely. Many of them offer wonderful opportunities for swimming, snorkelling or other nature experiences. All of Okinawa's islands have their individual strengths and charms. Read more about the different islands on our website.

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