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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide
Okinawa Prefecture

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Okinawa is Japan's southernmost prefecture, consisting of a few dozen, small islands in the southern half of the Nansei Shoto, the island chain which stretches over about one thousand kilometers from Kyushu to Taiwan.

Okinawa Prefecture can be divided into three major island groups, the Okinawa Islands (Okinawa Shoto) around Okinawa Island (Okinawa Honto), the Miyako Islands (Miyako Retto) around Miyako Island and the Yaeyama Islands (Yaeyama Retto) around Ishigaki Island.

Okinawa's climate is subtropical, with temperatures barely falling below 15 degrees in winter. The seas surrounding Okinawa's islands are considered among the world's most beautiful with coral reefs and abundant marine wildlife. Consequently, snorkeling and scuba diving are among Okinawa's top attractions.

The islands making up Okinawa Prefecture, are also known as the Ryukyu Islands, named after the native culture, which is distinctly different from that of the rest of Japan in terms of language, cuisine, arts, etc.

An independent kingdom and tributary state to China for several centuries, the Ryukyu Islands came under control of the Satsuma feudal fief (today's Kagoshima Prefecture) in the 17th century, and were made a Japanese prefecture in 1879, accompanied by efforts to assimilate the native population. But despite these past efforts, the Ryukyuan culture survived and is now Okinawa's other main attraction.

Towards the end of World War Two, Okinawa became the stage of one of the war's bloodiest battles, when American troops invaded the islands. Okinawa remained under US administration until 1972, while several thousands of US military members remain stationed on the spacious and controversial US military bases on Okinawa Main Island today.

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Attractions
 1  Yaeyama Islands
Okinawa's southernmost island group.
User rating: 97/100 (95 votes)
Visited by: 171 users
 2  Okinawa Island
Okinawa Prefecture's main island.
User rating: 93/100 (656 votes)
Visited by: 1495 users
 3  Miyako Island
Subtropical island with excellent beaches.
User rating: 91/100 (51 votes)
Visited by: 113 users
 4  Kume Island
Small island west of Okinawa Honto.
User rating: 86/100 (18 votes)
Visited by: 40 users
  

Access and Orientation
Okinawa is best accessed by airplane. Ferries provide a slower, but not necessarily cheaper alternative. Please consult the Okinawa Island orientation page for more details.

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Hotels and Ryokan
Search Hotels
Recommended Hotels around okinawa - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Okinawa Kenchomae
Reliable business hotel within walking distance of Kokusaidori Street and the monorail.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Hotel JAL City Naha
Conveniently located in the center of Kokusaidori Street in Naha.
Reserve through
Booking
Hotel Nikko Alivila
One of the best luxury resort hotels on Okinawa.
Reserve through
Booking
InterContinental ANA Manza Beach Resort
One of the most popular beach resort hotels on Okinawa Island.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
JAL Private Resort Okuma
A leading beach resort in the sparsely populated north of Okinawa Island.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking

Tours and Packages
Okinawa Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Okinawa.

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English Links
Okinawa Prefecture
Official English website.

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