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