OKINAWA

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

OKINAWA NEWS

23 May

It’s a spring morning as seven food trucks pitch up by an office building in Ginza, where a few curious workers are already nosing around for lunch options. Run by husband-and-wife duo Naoya and Rieko Shibutani, the Pieni Kissa van is a big hit and queues quickly form to take advantage of its best-selling taco rice. (Nikkei)

21 May

The Cultural Affairs Agency on Monday announced 16 additions to its Japan Heritage list of tangible and intangible cultural properties that have been preserved based on unique regional histories and traditions, including narratives. (Japan Times)

5 May

May 5 is Children’s Day in Japan. But the number of children in the country has declined for 38 straight years since 1982, and is now at an all-time-low.
(NHK)

5 May

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito has made his first remarks in front of the public since ascending the throne earlier this week.
(NHK)

17 Apr

Japan’s Hoshino Resorts will open a luxury hotel in Okinawa next year based on the ancient fortresses that dotted the subtropical islands. (Nikkei)

14 Apr

A US military serviceman and his Japanese girlfriend have died at a condominium in Okinawa.
(NHK)

28 Mar

The Japan Meteorological Agency says the average density of carbon dioxide in the air over the country hit a record-high level last year at all fixed-observation points.
(NHK)

25 Feb

A ceremony to celebrate 30 years of Emperor Akihito’s reign has been held in Tokyo, with the attendance of the Imperial couple.
(NHK)

18 Feb

Two rare deep-sea oarfish caught in fixed nets off Toya port on the southwest side of Okinawa stunned the local fishing community last month for simply being alive. (Japan Times)

17 Jan

Japan’s most beloved flowers are often associated with April, but they’ll be at their most beautiful in Tokyo before that, says forecast. (soranews24.com)

24 Dec

Japan’s Emperor Akihito turned 85 on Sunday.
(NHK)

20 Dec

It’s been the most radical cash injection in history — nearly ¥400 trillion pumped into Japan’s economy over more than five years to slay deflation and kick growth into higher gear.
(Japan Times)

15 Dec

Japan’s central government is pushing ahead with a controversial plan to relocate an American military base within the southern prefecture of Okinawa. They’ve started full-scale land reclamation work despite strong local opposition.
(NHK)

11 Dec

Japan may have assimilated so many western cultural influences, yet it still remains exotic and enigmatic.
(newsonjapan.com)

5 Dec

An increasing number of national parks and other scenic areas in Japan are collecting voluntary entry payments from visitors for environmental protection and infrastructure improvements, including the creation of pathways and the installation of bathrooms.
(Japan Times)

17 Nov

Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. pledged Friday to administer more stringent alcohol tests for pilots and use new testing equipment in response to recent drinking incidents involving flight crew.
(Japan Times)

25 Oct

Ten Japanese traditional rituals featuring people in costumes will be put on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
(NHK)

1 Oct

Voters in Okinawa have chosen Denny Tamaki as their next governor. The former Lower House lawmaker has won Sunday’s election.
(NHK)

5 Sep

There is something very romantic about the Far East, especially Japan. (newsonjapan.com)

18 Aug

The national health insurance program underwent a major reform at the start of fiscal 2018 that saw prefectures, rather than municipalities, begin managing the deficit-ridden system to improve its financial base. (Japan Times)

9 Aug

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga has died. He was 67.
(NHK)

26 Jul

Okinawa Prefectural Police have arrested a male employee at a hotel over the alleged theft of women’s underwear from a laundromat in Uruma City earlier this year, reports the Okinawa Times (tokyoreporter.comt)

21 Jul

Severe tropical storm Ampil is moving toward Japan’s southwestern island of Okinawa, bringing strong winds and high waves.
(NHK)

18 Jul

A Japanese Air Self-Defense Force aircraft blocked a runway at Naha Airport in the southwestern prefecture of Okinawa on Tuesday, causing it to be closed temporarily.
(NHK)

12 Jul

Japan’s population has fallen for 9 years in a row, while the capital, Tokyo, keeps growing.
(NHK)