Japan's southernmost prefecture, Okinawa is a chain of islands with its own history as an independent kingdom and a distinctly subtropical climate, as well as the birthplace of karate. Explore the ruins and restored castles of the Ryukyu kings, and visit magnificent beaches and coastlines with an amazing array of coral and undersea life. Come for whale watching and dragon boat races, rare flora and fauna, and an island mindset that makes you forget the clock and just follow the sun.
From mainland Japan, most flights to Okinawa's Naha Airport depart from Tokyo or Osaka. If you're coming from China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Hong Kong, there are direct international flights to Okinawa.
There are frequent flights from Tokyo to Naha on Okinawa's main island every day as well as direct flights to the outlying island of Ishigaki. There are also seasonal direct flights to Miyako Island. You can also catch connecting flights to the outlying islands of Miyako, Ishigaki, Yonaguni and Kume from Naha Airport. The best way to get around Okinawa is by rental car, or by bicycle or scooter in some areas. If you prefer public transportation, there is a monorail running from Naha Airport through Naha to the old capital of Shuri. There is also a comprehensive bus service on the main island, and ferry services run between nearby islands.
Bitter melon, as its known in English, packs one powerful punch. Eaten raw it can be overwhelming, but when mixed wit...
The shiquasa is Okinawas answer to the lime. Rich in vitamin C and refreshingly tart, this citrus fruit is squeezed o...
Okinawan Raw Sugar
A mineral-rich brown sugar made from Okinawa sugar cane, with a mellow sweetness and a rich molasses flavor. The raw ...
A liquor unique to Okinawa made from Indica long-grain rice and aged in clay pots to mellow its fire. Awamori is most...
Soki are pork spare ribs simmered in awamori (a strong type of shochu), soy sauce and sugar. They are placed in noodl...
Kijoka Plant Fiber Textiles
Bashofu is a woven textile unique to the town of Kijoka on Okinawa island. Made from the fibers of a local banana pla...
Miyako Hemp Textiles
Light and breathable, Miyako jofu is a ramie fabric featuring precise ikat patterns. This textile tradition from Miya...
Vibrantly colored Ryukyu glass has been around since the 19th century. Okinawan glassmakers first used broken glass p...
Spring comes early in Okinawa. Cherry blossoms bloom in late January and February and azaleas, irises, lilies and hydrangeas follow in April and May. Early spring is also the best time for whale watching off the coast of Zamami Island.
Okinawa’s subtropical summer stretches from June to October, an open invitation to go waterfall trekking and explore the beaches, coral reefs and mangrove glades of these islands. Go snorkeingling, diving, kayaking and more.
The humidity drops after the early fall typhoons, making this a great time to explore the islands while it's still warm enough to enjoy sand and sea. The Naha Giant Tug-of-War Festival and Shuri Castle Festival are autumn events that you won't want to miss.
Winter in Okinawa is a comfortable 15°C. Divers can still explore the ocean in December, while January brings the whale-watching season. Take a scenic hike on Cape Manza or enjoy the illumination festivals during the holiday season.