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Okinawa Island

Okinawa

Okinawa, Japan

Sitting in Japan’s southernmost prefecture of the same name, Okinawa Island is one of a chain of dozens of small islands that stretches over 1,000kms from Kyushu to Taiwan. Because of its popularity as a holiday destination, there is a wide variety of accommodation options to choose from.

Contrary to popular belief, Okinawa city is actually the second largest urban centre in the prefecture as the nearby capital, Naha, boasts a slightly larger population. Okinawa Island as a whole welcomes tourists year-round given the seas surrounding the islands are incredibly beautiful and offer great opportunities for snorkelling and diving in lovely coral reefs. The island features a mild sub-tropical climate, making it a perfect destination for those in search of a seaside getaway.

Because of the island’s popularity among international tourists and Japanese alike, Okinawa Island features a wealth of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Okinawa hotels include a range of hostels, resorts, dormitories, inns and five-star hotels.

In addition to the sea, popular attractions on Okinawa include a number of castle ruins which date back to the time when the island belonged to the Ryukyu Kingdom, a wealthy trading nation that capitalised on its location which provided easy access to Japan, Korea, China and Southeast Asia. Few people may realise it, but Okinawa’s most famous cultural export is karate, a cross between Chinese kung-fu and Okinawan martial arts.

There are several ways to travel to Okinawa. Given it sits on an island the most obvious form of transport is by boat, but the easiest way to get here is to fly. There are a number of international and domestic flights serving Naha Airport, which receives regular flights from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka. Flights from outside of Japan arrive from Taiwan and other mainland Chinese cities as well. With the exception of a monorail that connects Naha with the airport, Okinawa has no trains so transportation options are limited to bus, sightseeing taxis and rental cars.
Ferries for the city of Naha leave from Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Hakata, Miyazaki and Kagoshima. These aren’t quick though with the journey time from Kagoshima being19 hours, while the trip from Tokyo takes 44 hours. Once you arrive, it’s recommended you pick up an Okinawa map to help you navigate the island during your stay.

Check out some the great accommodation Okinawa has to offer.

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