Tourism is Okinawa’s largest industry. Okinawa prefecture is host to nearly 5.5 million visitors a year who spend nearly 6 billion US dollars annually.Okinawa is the primary resort vacation destination for Japanese travelers. Tourists can enjoy an ancient culture with 9 world heritage sites, a strong crafts tradition in ceramics, textiles, and glass, a lively contemporary music scene, breathtaking empty beaches and crowded old world market places.
Travel on Okinawa and mainland Japan is extremely safe. Okinawans are known for their culture of courtesy. Food, water, and facilities are hygenic.Tipping is not a Japanese custom.
While the tourism infrastructure is extremely well developed, it is primarily targetted to the Japanese visitor.Foreign visitors should not expect English to be spoken in most establishments.Okinawans have a mixed relationship with Americans because of the large and long American military presence on the island. Okinawa is good place to smile. A smile, a nod and a hello or “kon nichi wa” to an Okinawan invariably elicits a similiar response and changes the experience of being on the island. –editor
Written by Yukou Majikina (真境名由康),Iejima Handuguwa (伊江島ハンドー小）is an Okinawan play considered as one of the three tragic love stories of Okinawa along with Okuyama no Botan (奥山の牡丹) and Toumaiahkah (泊阿嘉).
The story takes place 180 years ago in Iejima. A deputy landlord’s son, Kanah-hee, traveled to Hentona in mainland Okinawa where he falls in love with a beautiful girl named Handuguwa. However, Kanah-hee’s uncle forces him back to Iejima, splitting the two. Depressed and unable to forget Kanah-hee, Handuguwa travels to Iejima, but a boatman on board warns Handuguwa not to go and looks after her. Continue reading →
Founded as a part of Discover Okinawa Promotion Project for Island Tourism, DOR39 collects and displays photos, videos, and other media from voluntary participants with the purpose of sharing their island experiences and bringing more visitors to 39 islands off of Okinawa. For more information, here’s an article from Ryukyu Shimpo in English: http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2011/12/08/4034/
A website which supports young, Okinawan artists by networking with communities and companies, promoting artists’ exhibitions, e-commerce selling artists’ products, running art-related events, and helping create an art market in Okinawa. Information only available in Japanese (for now…?)
The Japan Urban Design Institute recognized the Village Road Route 1 footlights of Tonaki Island with the Block Division Prize of the 1st Public Design Award.
According to an article in Okinawa Times, the village first started to set footlights from 2000 to 2005. The 152 lights along the 765 meter long road create a magical atmosphere, illuminating the coral stone walls and Okianwan red-tiled roofs under the starry sky. Tourists who stay in the traditional houses can enjoy the nature safely at night, thanks to the hearty footlights. Continue reading →
Okinawan Tea and sweets for just 300 yen in the “Sasuno-ma” (a room used by princes to host meetings with government officials) at Shurijo Castle. The participants are first escorted into the room with the view of a beautiful garden built with Ryukyu limestones. This garden is not only outstanding, but is also the one and only garden amongst the gusukus in Okinawa. After an explanation about the history of Shurijo Castle and what they’re serving, the servers then bring sanpin (jasmine) tea with Okinawan sweets. The Tsuboyayaki cup, Okinawan lacquered saucer and tray along with the serene atmosphere become essential in creating a gracious moment in your visit to the Shurijo Castle.
Location: Sasuno-ma in Shurijo Castle (15 minute walk from the Yui Monorail Shurijo Castle Station)
Hours: 9:30 ~18:00 (Last Order at 17:30)
Price: 300 yen (* separate from the 800 yen admission fee to Shurijo Castle)
I’m a British guy who has moved to the island of Ishigaki with my Japanese
wife. I’m currently building a website about the island. I’ve only been
doing it for a couple of months so far, but so far it’s progressing quite
Ishigaki island is part of the Yaeyama archipelago and its city is the southernmost of all cities in Japan. Despite being part of the prefecture of Okinawa, Ishigaki city is located 411km from its capital, Naha city.