Okinawa (沖縄) is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, an island chain to the south of mainland. The name Okinawa means “rope in the open sea”, a fairly apt description of this long stretch of islands between mainland Japan and Taiwan. Consisting of 49 inhabited islands and 111 uninhabited islands, Okinawa has a subtropical/tropical climate. Unlike the other Japanese subtropical/tropical islands such as Ogasawara Islands, Amami Islands and Tokara Islands, there are frequent flights from all the major cities of Japan, which helps Okinawa being one of the major tourist destinations for the Japanese. Every year there are more and more foreign visitors going to Okinawa but the number still remains low compared to the tourist destinations on mainland Japan. …WikiTravel
Diving. The Okinawa archipelago is known as one of the world’s best diving destinations, having a number of coral species and marine lives as large as those in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. You can find over 400 types of corals, 5 types of sea turtles, manta rays, whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and many kinds of tropical fish.
Beach. Most people come to Okinawa for the sun and beaches. Even in midwinter, when many areas of the mainland Japan teeter around the freezing point, temperatures rarely dip below 15°C in Okinawa. For more adventurous types, the vast yet almost uninhabited island of Iriomote is covered in dense jungle.
Historical sites related to World War II can be found throughout the islands, especially the main island of Okinawa, including the Peace Memorial Park in Naha, the navy’s former underground headquarters and the Himeyuri Monument. …WikiTravel
In the latest incident involving the American military in Okinawa, a U.S. Navy C-2 transport aircraft carrying 11 crew members and passengers crashed into the ocean 150 km northwest of Okinotorishima on Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Japanese people have grown less interested in the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and the islets of Takeshima in Shimane Prefecture, claimed by China and South Korea, respectively, Cabinet Office surveys showed Friday. (Jiji)
The U.S. military will suspend flights of CH-53 large transport helicopters in Japan, following the previous day’s crash of one such aircraft in the village of Higashi in Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Thursday. (Jiji)
A dog checked as cargo by a passenger on a Japan Airlines flight from Tokyo’s Haneda airport Monday morning escaped before being loaded onto the plane, causing a runway to be shut temporarily and disrupting a total of 14 flights. (Kyodo)
Okinawa police say most of a group of teenagers arrested for vandalizing a site of mass suicide during World War Two say they were playing a prank without knowing the site’s historic significance. (NHK)
Police in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa have arrested four boys on suspicion of vandalizing a cave in a local village where a number of residents committed suicide in the final phase of World War II. (Jiji)
Police divisions from Tokyo and Ibaraki Prefecture on Wednesday announced the arrest of five persons, including an organized crime member, and seizure of more than 30 billion yen in stimulant drugs in the bust of a suspected trafficking ring. The seizure is the largest confiscation nationwide this year, police said, reports Jiji Press (tokyoreporter.com)
The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will address a surging number of accidents involving rental cars driven by foreign tourists, whose number is on the rise in Japan, by identifying locations where accidents are likely to occur and setting up foreigner-friendly road signs in the hope of preventing accidents. (the-japan-news.com)
Temperatures soared along the Pacific coast in eastern and western Japan on Wednesday with the mercury topping 37 C in Tokyo and other cities in the Kanto region as Typhoon Noru’s passage was followed by a warm air mass. (Japan Today)
The rainy season appears to be over in the Hokuriku and Tohoku regions in central and northeastern Japan, the weather agency said Wednesday, declaring an end to the early summer wet season throughout the Japanese archipelago.