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Okinawa Karate – Expo 2025: Live to Travel, Travel to Live

Okinawa Karate

The Okinawa Karate Hall features dojo facilities and exhibition spaces, as well as karate programs and tile-breaking experiences that first-time visitors can enjoy. Karate, which is said to have 130 million enthusiasts in 193 countries around the world, is now Japan's representative martial art, and, as its birthplace, Okinawa aims to preserve and promote the tradition worldwide. Okinawa Karate Kaikan opened in March 2017 to preserve karate and transmit it to the world.

Local insights

My name is Aya Nagado, and I am the Okinawa Karate Kaikan Administration Office Director. I have been working at the Okinawa Karate Kaikan since April 2020 and am in charge of guided tours of the facility, renting out rooms in the dojo facilities, and accepting groups who wish to experience karate. Okinawa attracts many tourists, and I am very happy that I can meet people from all over the world through karate. In addition to the dojo facilities, the Okinawa Karate Kaikan also has an exhibition facility and a reference room with a hands-on corner where visitors can enjoy karate even if they are new to the sport. There is also a store where you can purchase original goods and a restaurant where you can enjoy the most popular karate soba made with homemade noodles. It is only a 15-minute drive from Naha Airport, so please feel free to visit us. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Okinawa Karate and Expo 2025

Experiencing Okinawa karate—a martial art and sport that has been passed down as a unique culture—and its spirituality demonstrates how a society can live following its own path, which is connected to the Expo theme, "Connecting Lives."

Q1: How does this attraction bring tourists and locals together?

A: We collaborate with organizations such as the Okinawa Prefectural Bureau of Culture, Tourism, and Sports Karate Promotion Division and the Okinawa Traditional Karate-Do Promotion Association to promote not only karate techniques but also its traditional spirit to a wider audience. When hosting groups from overseas, we facilitate exchanges by cooperating with interpreters. We also arrange knowledgeable guides in Okinawan karate and during our tile-breaking experiences, provide explanations using simple English and illustrations, ensuring a supportive environment for visitors to participate with confidence.

Q2: What kind of impressions have you got from visitors?

A: With Japan’s hosting of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the official inclusion of karate as a competitive sport, there has been a surge in global interest, resulting in a lot of feedback about our karate experience program. Visitors have expressed sentiments such as, "It's truly fulfilling to have an authentic experience in Okinawa, the birthplace of karate," and "I was able to grasp the essence of karate and feel a deeper connection to Okinawa." The tile-breaking experience has also received much acclaim for its stress-relief and empowerment aspects, with some guests returning as repeat visitors.

Q3: Any message for visitors planning to see Expo 2025?

A: Okinawa is a wonderful place overflowing with the blessings of nature, rich history, culture, and traditional performing arts. At the Okinawa Karate Hall, we offer a diverse range of experiential programs where visitors can feel the essence of "Okinawa, the birthplace of karate." We invite you to come and experience it firsthand!

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