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Okinawa

Okinawa is Japan's southernmost territory, markedly different from the rest of the region. The temperate climate, excellent beaches, and insight into the little-known Ryukyu Kingdom make it a favorite among travelers, and a must-see for new visitors to the region. Originally built by the Ryukyu Kingdom, it's one of the few reminders of the region's rich and ancient history. A selection of shops, restaurants, and hotels can be found on International Street, which runs from the city center all the way to the castle. On the Motobu peninsula, travelers will find Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, a state-of-the-art aquarium featuring one of the largest tanks in the world containing manta rays and whale sharks.

Outdoor adventurers will find Okinawa to be a great destination for snorkeling, whale-watching, and even swimming with manta rays. For even more adventure, take a short trip to the Yaeyama-Shoto Island and trek along the mountainous jungles.

Okinawa features some of the most beautiful beaches in the area, one of them being Zanba Beach. Small islands like Miyako-Jima and the Keramas have also been rated to have the best beaches in Okinawa. Some of the finest accommodation in Okinawa can be found on secluded beachfront properties.

The city is served by Ishigaki Airport and flights from here connect to dozens of cities across Japan and international cities.

Learn more about the landmarks and must-see destinations around Okinawa as they’re expertly outlined on the interactive map on this page.