Okinawa Prefecture (also known as the Ryukyu Archipelago) consists of 160 islands (40 of which are uninhabited) stretching 400 km from north to south and 1,000 km from east to west. Okinawa has a distinctive and unique culture, history and philosophy of life.
The capital is the city of Naha (Okinawa Island). Major cities: Okinawa, Chatan, Ginowan, Yomitan and Onna Township, which are located on the island of Okinawa.
Tourist offices, where they will tell you the necessary information, help you book a hotel and give free maps and promotional materials, can be found at the airport in Naha: domestic flights terminal, arrivals center, 1st floor.
How to get to Okinawa
Direct daily flights link Okinawa’s main airport, which is located in the capital, with Tokyo (2.5 hours), Osaka (2 hours), Nagoya (2 hours 15 minutes) and Fukuoka (1.5 hours).), as well as with Seoul (Asiana Airlines, travel time 2 hours 20 minutes; departures daily except Tuesday and Friday), Taipei (2 flights per day by China Airlines, travel time 2.5 hours), Shanghai (China Eastern Airlines, travel time 2 hours), Hong Kong (Hong Kong Airlines, travel time 2 hours; once a day except Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday) and Manila.
According to clothesbliss, domestic flights are operated by JAL and ANA. Travel time from Naha Airport to the islands: Kume (35 minutes), Kerama (20 minutes), Aguni (25 minutes), Miyako (45 minutes), Ishigaki (1 hour) and Yonaguni (1.5 hours).
Banks and exchange offices in Okinawa
You can exchange currency in banks (9:00-15:00) and hotels (commission is charged). At the Jasco Cattleya Plaza branches in Chatan and Gusikawa, you can exchange money at Bank of Okinawa ATMs from 9:00 to 21:00, but only US dollars to yen. In addition, Ryukyu Bank ATMs are available at Sun-Ai Hambi (9:00-21:00) and Naha Main Place (10:00-22:00) department stores.
US dollars are accepted for payment at all Sun-E department stores.
In the role of public transport on the island of Okinawa, as a rule, buses act. Routes 1 to 17-1 (except 15) operate within the city of Naha. Routes 15, 20 and beyond are suburban lines, the final station is the Naha bus terminal.
Cuisine and restaurants in Okinawa
Okinawan cuisine is characterized by very healthy food made from natural ingredients. Popular dishes: goya champuru (goya is a summer Okinawan vegetable rich in vitamins and minerals), tofu champuru (a typical Okinawan homemade dish, made from fried tofu, vegetables and meat), tundabun (light snacks traditionally served in a hexagon-shaped lacquer dish), ikasumi shiru (bonito tuna broth with squid meat, pork and squid ink), saataa andagii (traditional tulip-shaped pastry made from flour, sugar and egg), tebichi (boiled pork feet), rafute (pork ribs marinated in fish broth), chinsko (cookies made from flour, lard and sugar).
Popular alcoholic beverages are Orion beer and awamori, an ancient alcoholic drink made from Thai rice and rice malt.
Shopping and shopping in Okinawa
Traditional Okinawa souvenirs: Ryukyu pottery (Tsubaya area in Naha city, Yachimun no Sato in Yomitan village), Basho-fu textiles, Juntanza-hanaori, Miyako-yofu, Yaeyama-yofu, and Bingata fabrics (local dyeing technique), Ryuk glass and lacquerware.
Entertainment and attractions in Okinawa
The main attraction of the paradise islands of Okinawa is the heritage of the Ryukyu era, in particular the beautiful castles of the 14th-18th centuries, many of which were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. Castles in the city of Naha: Shuri Castle (national park, the mausoleum of the kings of the Ryukyu Tamaudun dynasty), Sonohyan stone gate (the sacred symbol of the island), the sacred site of Sefa-Utaki (a grotto in the shape of a triangle where prayers were offered), the royal garden of Shikinaen.
Other UNESCO sites in the archipelago include Nakijin Castle in the village of the same name, Zakim Castle in Yomitan (13th century), Katsuren Castle in Uruma (the oldest castle in all of Okinawa), and the beautifully preserved Nakagusuku Castle in Kita-Nakagusuku, which offers excellent views of the surroundings.