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Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Okinawa

The Okinawa Prefecture comprises more than 160 islands surrounded by the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean…

The Culture Vulture

In Okinawa’s capital city Naha, you’ll find Shurijo Castle Park. Shuri is the name of the former capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom and the castle served as the residence of the Ryukyu kings for several centuries until Okinawa became a Japanese prefecture in 1879. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Okinawa World offers various cultural experiences and glimpses of history. You can explore a beautiful limestone cave, Gyokusendo, enjoy a traditional Eisa dance show and admire the many red-roofed local houses.

Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Okinawa

Beat the drum: An Eisa dance show at Okinawa World

The Foodie

At Makishi Public Market – Okinawa’s central produce, meat, fish and general merchandise market – not only can you learn about everyday life in the Okinawa Prefecture but you are able to buy your favourite ingredients on one floor and have them cooked on another. Create your own perfect meal.

Okinawa soba – a noodle soup – has been the prefecture’s soul food for 100 years. Try different flavours and textures.

Okinawans are known to use every part of the pig for cooking; in fact, they use the saying: “Everything but its cry is eaten.” The most common cooking method is to stew the pork for a long period and Agu pork – from a native pig species on the Ryukyu Islands – is increasingly popular.

The Adventurer

You can snorkel on the subtropical island, so check out Okinawa’s coral and colourful fish.

Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Okinawa

In the wild: River trekking in Okinawa

Head to the forests or mountains to trek in autumn’s milder weather. You can also go river trekking to explore the islands, taking in waterfalls and jungles.

The Party Animal

Sakaemachi Market in Naha was founded in 1955 during the post-war reconstruction period and now houses many pubs and restaurants.

If you want to hop between bars and izakayas, head to Kokusai Dori Yataimura, which has 20 concessions where you can try different dishes and drinks.

For more travel information…

How to get there

Naha Airport connects Okinawa to regions both in Japan and around the world – it’s two-and-a-half hours from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Overseas flights are also available to Ishigaki and Shimojishima airports.