Ryukyu Islands
Largest City


Japan's tropical island paradise

White sand beaches and crystal blue waters, jungles and rare wildcats, centuries of unique native traditions, the birthplace of karate — this is Japan’s very own tropical island paradise.

Made up of several islands stretching from the southern tip of Kyushu towards Taiwan, Okinawa prefecture offers a remote yet accessible getaway that deserves Bora Bora-levels of holiday brochure stardom. It has some of the world’s best scuba diving, gorgeous hiking, acclaimed music and a distinct food culture centered around medicinal ingredients that sustains Japan’s longest-living citizens.

"Naha City. Traditional dance performers make their way down "Kokusai St." (International St.) during a local festival."

Okinawa has its own unique history and culture that is different from mainland Japan.

Okinawan people see themselves as distinct from the rest of Japan, and are known for their warmth and expressiveness. The vibe is laid back and friendly, and islands see record numbers of mainland Japanese visit every year for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

There are three major island groups: the main Okinawa Islands, the Miyako Islands and the Yaeyama Islands. Most visitors will arrive to Okinawa via Naha, the prefectural capital, which mainly functions as a transport hub and home away from home for the nearby U.S marine bases. The popular Kerama Islands are easily accessible as a day trip from Naha.

A scuba diver exploring the coral in Okinawa

Experience world-class scuba diving on Miyako-jima.

To access the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands you’ll need to fly but the extra journey out is worth the effort. The Miyako Islands, about 300 kilometers south of Okinawa main island, boast many of Japan’s best beaches, including Maehama, while Yaeyama’s incredible coral reefs are home to manta rays, hammerhead sharks and underwater ruins which make for some of the world’s best snorkeling and scuba diving.

Places to visit

Habu Encounter at Okinawa World

Habu Encounter at Okinawa World

Get up close and personal with Okinawa’s most dangerous snake.

Uwaga Jungle night trekking in Okinawa World

Uwaga Jungle Night Trekking at Okinawa World

Take a walk on the wild side.


Fly south to Okinawa’s sun-kissed capital for the perfect vacation.

8men Okinawa

Naha’s LGBT nightlife options near Kokusai Dori may be few but are never boring.

Naminoue Beach

Need a quick dip while in Naha? This is the only beach you can swim at while in the main city of Okinawa.

American Village

A slice of the States in the heart of Okinawa.

Nago Pineapple Park

Okinawa: Island of sun, brilliant beaches and… all-you-can-eat pineapples!


The "heart" of Okinawa.

Ryugujo Butterfly Garden

What does one wear on a date with a butterfly!? Red. Red and lots of perfume...

Umikaji Terrace

Naha’s own version of Santorini.

The Shuri Castle in Okinawa, Japan was a capital of Ryukyu kingdom.

Shuri Castle

The castle of dragons.

A guardian shisa lion dog, on the roof of an Okinawan home.

Tsuboya Pottery Street

The 330-year-old center and symbol of Okinawan pottery.

Pedestrians and traffic on International Street. The street is the main thoroughfare and entertainment district of the city.

Kokusai Dori (International Street)

Get your eat/shop/drink on.

Other Destinations in Kyushu

Dazaifu shrine in Fukuoka prefecture


Fukuoka prefecture isn't just about partying - but it's a good place to start.

Kagoshima, Japan with Sakurajima Volcano.


Traditional, tropical; mystical, magical, Kagoshima is nothing short of extraordinary.

Mountain Pass in Kumamoto Prefecture Japan


Between the smoking crater of Mount Aso in the east and the isolated islands of Amakusa in the west, Kumamoto has plenty to keep you enthralled.

Takachiho gorge in Miyazaki Prefecture


Miyazaki is a mountainous and mango-growing prefecture to rival Okinawa in the tropical paradise stakes.

View over Mount Unzen Hot Spring - Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture Japan


Looking out to the East, Nagasaki prefecture has long been the gateway between the outside world and Japan.

Beppu, in Oita prefecture, Japan's onsen town


Bathe in hell (in a good way) in onsen-filled Oita.

Saga Prefecture Rice fields in Japan


Saga is the smallest prefecture on the island of Kyushu best known for its prized, and pricey, pottery.

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People eating and drinking in Yurakucho Tokyo Japan.


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Manhole cover in Ghibli museum, Tokyo-Japan.

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