For travellers wishing to relax at the end of their holiday Okinawa & the Southern Islands are a group of subtropical islands offering a temperate year round climate, white sandy beaches, rural solitude and some magnificent coral reefs. At certain times of the year, off islands such as Ishigaki-jima, it is also possible to swim with Manta Rays.
ABOUT OKINAWA AND THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS
Okinawa is located 1200 km from the mainland and as Japan's most exotic and southernmost prefecture is in a world of its own. The culture on the islands is distinctly different from the rest of Japan with a unique language & cuisine.
The warm, crystal clear waters surrounding the islands are a haven for marine life and as such the snorkelling and diving is excellent.
There is no hint from the Okinawan people of the suffering known in times of war, or for that matter in times of peace. They are gentle and friendly people who are proud of their heritage and boast one of the longest life expectancies in the world.
The main town of Naha where the airport is located, is very busy but travelling north more beaches appear with fine white sand and clear blue seas. Accommodation isn’t too plentiful, however standards are getting better all the time. There are a couple of very nice, 5 star hotels with good beaches and a few smaller hotels located in the hills with fine views to the sea. There are smaller more charming hotels located on some of the other islands.
- Witness the vibrant Eisa drum dances between July and September, colourful celebrations with dancing, drumming, singing and clowns!
- See Humpback Whales between December and April
- Be the first to see the cherry blossom when the trees in Okinawa bloom as early as mid-January due to the mild climate
- Island hop between some of the 160 islands
- Take a Karate lesson – did you know that Okinawa is the birthplace of Karate?
- Dive with Manta Ray and Hammerhead Sharks
BEYOND THE ORDINARY
See the world’s largest tug-of-war festival in October. Listed in the Guinness Book of Records the team of people involved can often reach over 15,000 who pull on seven metre ropes which are in turn attached to a main rope measuring around 200 metres long, two metres in diameter and weighing more than 40 tons.