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Okinawa Travel Guide, Japan

Okinawa, Japan - Overview: A Reinvigorating Experience

Largest among the beautiful islands of the Ryukyu chain, the islands of Okinawa are strategically placed in the Ryukyu archipelago between Japan and Taiwan. Known for its lovely beaches, rich culture and diversity in nature, Okinawa is a great holiday spot and has the power to reinvigorate visitors with its magnificent beauty.

Okinawa’s Natural Wealth

Known to have some of the best beaches of Japan, Okinawa is not only home to great sun-sand-sea spots but also has a wealth of natural beauty that often leaves viewers speechless. While it can take pride in the infinite coral reefs that have given it worldwide recognition, it also provides shelter to sea turtles, which are seen crawling up its beaches in the dark every year to lay eggs.

Sea creatures like poisonous jellyfish and other dangerous species are usually spotted on its beaches during the summer seasons. Additionally, the island is also home to several species of tropical fruits and plants.

Culture & Religion

A rich culture with tones of Chinese, Thai and Astronesian influences, Okinawa has a treasure of different forms of folk dance and music. The three-stringed musical instrument, Sanshin, is similar in appearance to the Chinese Sanxian. Traditional Okinawan martial arts combined with the Chinese art of kung fu are said to have formed the self-defense art of Karate, which originated in Okinawa. One of Okinawa’s traditional products is the Awamori, which is a distilled spirit made out of Thailand’s Indica rice.

A unique identity of its own characterizes Okinawan religious practices of ancestor worship as well as its respect for the gods and spirits of the natural world.

Art, Craft & Architecture

Art in Okinawa is also influenced by its relationship with neighboring countries. With a strong inclination towards crafts like textiles, pottery and glass making, Okinawan craft also includes the traditional art of making fabrics like bingata.

Unlike Japanese architecture, which is usually done with wood, new structures in Okinawa are built using concrete. To combat typhoons that are regular in these areas, even the roofs of these houses have cemented tiles as opposed to the layered ones seen in other parts of Japan.

Access to Okinawa

Okinawa can easily be accessed via its many airports that connect it to different parts of the world. While it can also be accessed by sea via ports in different parts of this region, other means of reaching this region include rails and roads.

Due to its healthy lifestyle and eating habits, Okinawans are known around the world for their longevity. While one of the many reasons to visit this group of islands is its natural beauty, there is a lot that can be learnt from its cultural and traditional practices.

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