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.

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


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.

13 Jul

The torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will start in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on March 26 of that year, the organizing committee of the games announced on Thursday. (Jiji)

12 Jul

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

11 Jul

Typhoon Maria is bringing strong winds and rough seas to a remote island chain in Japan’s southern prefecture of Okinawa. (NHK)

6 Jul

Officials in Japan have issued warnings for floods and mudslides. They’re due to torrential downpours brought by a seasonal rain front over much of the country. (NHK)

3 Jul

Areas popular with foreign tourists in Japan, such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa Prefecture, have enjoyed strong growth in land prices year on year, a government report showed Monday. (Jiji)

12 Jun

A U.S. F-15 fighter jet crashed off the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa Monday morning. (Jiji)

2 Jun

A new survey shows that Japan’s population decline is picking up pace.

2 Jun

Japan’s government is to withdraw a recommendation to list nature-rich islands in the southwest of the country as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site.

29 May

The rainy season appears to have begun in northern Kyushu and Shikoku, the Meteorological Agency announced Monday. (Japan Times)

25 May

The Japanese government plans to withdraw its proposal for the addition of Amami-Okinawa islands to the UNESCO World Heritage List for now, with a view to resubmitting the application to the international cultural body next year after revamping it, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji)

24 May

The Okinawa prefectural government on Wednesday granted an honor award to Japanese pop diva Namie Amuro, 40, a native of the southernmost prefecture. (Jiji)

23 May

Health officials in Japan say as of Monday more than 170 people across the country have been infected with measles. The outbreak began in the southwestern prefecture of Okinawa in March. (NHK)

16 May

Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga said Tuesday that he underwent surgery in April to have a cancerous pancreatic tumor removed. (Japan Times)

14 May

A 6-year-old girl was fatally stabbed with a knife Sunday when a relative attacked her family at a pub near Inage Station in the city of Chiba. (Japan Times)

10 May

Okinawa Prefectural Police are searching for a man who slashed an American woman at her residence in the town of Chatan on Sunday, reports the Okinawa Times (

4 May

An outbreak of measles in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa in March has spilled over to the central prefecture of Aichi, with the accumulated total of patients surpassing 100 in the two prefectures. (Jiji)

2 May

This year’s Cool Biz campaign, designed to encourage office workers to dress lightly to reduce air conditioner use in summer, started at central government offices in the Kasumigaseki district of Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on Tuesday. (Jiji)

21 Apr

An outbreak of measles in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa is affecting local tourism ahead of the spring holiday season. (NHK)

18 Apr

The average life expectancy in 2015 for women was highest in Kitanakagusuku, a village in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa, at 89.0 years, a health ministry survey showed Tuesday. (Jiji)

14 Apr

A Japanese government survey shows the country’s population continues to shrink and age. (NHK)

31 Mar

All of Japan’s 47 prefectures are predicted to face declining populations after 2030, a welfare ministry think tank said Friday. (Jiji)

29 Mar

Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Yonaguni Island on Wednesday.

28 Mar

Residents of Okinawa Prefecture in southern Japan have brought lanterns to a nighttime gathering to welcome Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. (NHK)

24 Mar

The US military has shown to the media for the first time F-35B fighter jets deployed in Japan. (NHK)