|Okinawa – Overview
Okinawa is Japan’s southernmost prefecture, which are consisted of hundreds of small islands – the Ryukyu Islands. The Okinawa Main Island (Okinawa Honto) is the far biggest one, which holds Naha as the capital.
Okinawa also has a traditional name ‘Ryukyu’, Okinawa was an independent kingdom until 20th Century. Ryuku had close relationships with China and Taiwan, resulting in deep, rich Chinese culture while still developing Okinawa’s own distinctive traditions. Okinawa holds several castles and ruins (known as ‘Gusuku’) that are recognized as World Heritage Sites.
Culture, traditions, and tourist attractions
After the World War II, Okinawa was under United State’s governance until 1972, which still leaves many influences on especially the Okinawa Main Island. Now, Okinawa is a part of Japan, but still retains its unique cultural features especially for its Pidgin-like language (often called Okinawan Dialect) and own religion where Okinawan people pay great respect to ancestor worship and the natural world. Okinawa’s traditional music, dancing, food, architecture, pottery, textiles, and glass making keep attracting visitors as well. Also, Okinawa is the islands of festivals. The huge ‘Tag of War’ in Naha, ‘Eisaa Dancing’ in summer, bull-fighting in Okinawa City, and ‘Haarii’ boat racing are just some examples.
Okinawa is Japan’s Hawaii
For its history and location, Okinawa is often compared to Hawaii. (In fact, many Okinawan people have immigrated to Hawaii in the history.)
Many Japanese mainlanders as well as foreign tourists from all over the world visit Okinawa to enjoy its unique island style, tropical climate, and the beautiful ocean.
Although Okinawa is still growing as a tourist destination, the language barrier has sometimes made travel & tourism difficult for non-Japanese speaking visitors. Bluefield has been working very hard to provide as much assistance to the Okinawa tourism industry – providing a lot of our web site information in English is a perfect example. If there is any further information you require please do not hesitate to contact us – we would be most honored in providing you with all your needs!!
Accommodation & Area Info (Click!)
Useful Links (English)
Mahae Plus (Okinawa Tourist Information in English)