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Okinawa

Okinawa

Okinawa Prefecture occupies the southern half of the so-called the Ryukyu archipelago, which stretches between Kyushu and Taiwan. It consists of 160 large and small islands studded over a vast ocean area centering 26 degrees north latitude and 127 degrees east longitude, but only 49 are inhabited.

Okinawa is the only prefecture in Japan of which the entire area belongs in a subtropical oceanic climate. Southeasterly winds in summer and northeasterly winds in winter are mostly constant. The Kuroshio, or Black Current, starting from off the coast of the Philippines flows northward through the islands and contributes to the warm winter. The average annual temperature is 22.7 C, and the average low temperature is 20.5 "C. It hardly snows or frosts. From summer to autumn, typhoons with violent winds and rain often arrive.

Okinawa Main Island

Naha city, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, with a population of more than three hundred thousand. West Coast ^ is the gateway to Okinawa from the sky and the ocean. Shuri used to be a castle town of the royal government wherein lies Shuri castle, which is registered as a world cultural heritage. The southern part of the island, where sugar cane fields spread, was a hard-fought field in the battle of Okinawa. Many civilians were caught up in the battle and lost their precious lives. Today, the area centering around Mabuni in Itoman city has been put back into good condition as an old battle field never stop coming .

Central Area

The central part of Okinawa, with its U.S. military bases, is an Americanized town. You see many signboards in foreign languages. The American Village in Chatan town constructively introduces American style for their town planning, and draws many people. The Southeast Botanical Garden is a large-scale botanical garden with the theme of tropical plants, and has been a popular spot.

West Coast

The shoreline of Onna Village is the number one marine resort zone in the Okinawa main island and is dotted with resort hotels. You can enjoy various marine activities on the beaches in front of hotels. 1he beautiful scenery made up of bluffs and white sandy beaches of the best scenic spots in Okinawa main island such as Cape Manza and a Mecca of diving, Maeda Promontory, are designated as the Okinawa Shoreline Quasi-National Park.

Northern Area

Mountains close down on shorelines to the north of Nago City, known as 'Yanbaru.' Many indigenous and invaluable creatures such as Yanbaru Water Rails, Pryers Woodpeckers, etc. live in the evergreen forest of broadlcaf trees. In the Motobu Peninsula, there is the 'Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium' which Okinawa can boast to the world for its scale.

Primal Scenery of Okinawa

The Kerama Islands, located 30 kilometers west of Naha City, have one of the best diving spots in the world. Visibility of the water is surprisingly high. The islands are divers' longed-for spots.

Kume Island was a commercial transit area for trade with China in the Ryukyu King-dam era, and boasts Kume Silk Cloth, which is said to be the root of Japanese silk cloth.

Miyako Island, surrounded with colorful coral reef seas and studded with snow-white sandy beaches, is thriving with sports events represented by the All Japan Triathlon Miyako.

The Yaeyama Archipelago consists of very unique islands such as Iriomote Island where Iriomote Wild Cats live; Taketomi Island, where the primal scenery of Okinawa has left its mark; Yonaguni Island, Japan's westernmost island and Hateruma Island, Japan's southern tip island.

You can get by with summer clothing such as short sleeve shirts and short pants from around May to October in Okinawa with its subtropical climate, but it's better to have long sleeve shirts for sunburn protection on sunny days. It is very warm and humid, especially in summer. Even Oie nights are muggy. Temperature goes down below 10C from January to February, so sweaters and light coats are necessary. From March to April and from November to December, long sleeve shirts and light jackets or cardigans will do.

Customs and Manners

Currency in Japan is Yen. There are four types of notes: 1,000-yen, 2,000-yen, 5.000-yen and 10,000-ycn, and six kinds of coins: 1-yen, 5-yen, 10-yen, 50-yen. 100-yen. 500-yen. On the 2,000-yen note, an illustration of Shurcino-mon gate in shuri castle in Okinawa is printed.

In Okinawa(Japan), there is no custom of tipping. Please be careful not to reveal your body outside of beaches.

International ATM Service (cash withdrawals)

Many people can speak only Japanese. It is said that Okinawan dialects are very close to old Japanese used around the 7-8"1 cent.ury(ancient Manyo language). Sentence structure is the same as today's Japanese, but the words are quite different. It is difficult to understand, even for Japanese from other prefectures.

Food

You can choose whatever you like from Japanese, Chinese of Western foods. Ryukyuan dishes developed with the influence of Japanese and Chinese foods and has two origins: court cuisine and commoners' home cooking. Foreign credit and cash cards can be used at Post Office ATM throughout Okinawa. Cards from the VISA, VISABLECTRON, PLUS, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, China Unionpay and DISCOVER can be used. Service hours chage with ATM. There is a case where ATM cannot deal with the card of use.

Convenience Store

You can always find convenience stores along main roads. They are open 24 hours, and sell various goods such as drinks, sweets, box lunches, rice balls, sandwiches, convenience goods, magazines and what not. They are convenient for travelers, too. Three chain stores like Lawson, Family Mart, Coco Mart are available in Okinawa. A8% consumption tax is added to all the goods and service you pay for. Prices on goods are consumption tax inclusive. Some items such as books are indicated as 'the book-proper + separate charge for tax'.

Voltage

Voltage in Okinawa is 100 volts/60 Hz. Please confirm with an instruction manual if you want, to use electric appliances which you brought in.

Indication of toilets are or often with illustrations of a man or a woman. Most of them are western style, but Japanese-style lavatories are placed side by side at some places. In downtown, toilets in department stores, shopping centers or convenience stores are available.

Experience Okinawan Culture

In Okinawa, there are ceramic and lacquer arts, dyed and woven textile and glass craft that were born in the Ryukyu Kingdom era and have since been developed. Without sanshin, there is no Okinawan music. Even today, many Okinawan people practice the martial arts of Karate and Kobudo.

Pottery

Some studios in Tsuboya accept visitors for observation. Please contact Tyuboya Ceramics' Cooperative for more information. Tsuboya Ceramics Cooperative 1-21-14 Tsuboya. Naha city TEL098-866-3284 Yornitan Village Common Sales Center 2723-1 Zakimi. Yomitan village TEL098-958-4468

Dyed and Woven Textiles

Dyed woven textiles of Okinawa were born from trade between Southern nations and China during the Ryukyu Dynasty era and developed their own textiles adopted to the culture and the climate. Dyed woven textiles handed down in generations at the various parts of the prefecture are varied.

Karate

Karate is a martial art for self-defense using bare hands and originated here in Okinawa. It is said that Okinawa's traditional martial art received influences from Chinese boxing techniques and has developed on its own. The name Karate came from Chinese "te" and has prevailed to the world. The martial art which handles weaponry such as "Nun-chaku", "Tun-fa", "Sai" etc. is called "Kobudo", and has developed along with Karate. Okinawa Traditional Karatedo Kobudo International Training Center is an institution to help further spread the martial art both domestically and outside of Japan.

Sanshin

The musical instrument which should be ne missed in Okinawan music is Sanshin. It is ; that Sanshin is an improved form of the Chin musical instrument called Sangen. Although skin of a poisonous snake, the Habu, which I in Okinawa was used as a stretch of the sou chamber, imported python skin and synthe leather are used today. They teach you how play at most specialty stores. March 4 in Okina is Sanshin Day, and at the signal of the nc whistle, events featuring group performan start in all parts of Okinawa.

Glassware glassware, popular within tourists alike, was created carded soft drink bottles War II. The glassware is ly evolving through intensive d development, with expanded the introduction of new to create unique designs

  • A: Dragon El
  • D: Naha Gref
  • E: Shurijo Cr

The Makishi Kousetsu Ichiba, Naha Citys central produce, meat, fish and general merchandise market, is an excellent place for visitors to learn about everyday life in Okinawa, On the first floor you can buy every conceivable kind of Okinawan foodstuff, from pork including pigs face, feet and stomach to many types of colorful fish and shellfish and unique vegetables fresh from the farm. To whet your appetite, the small alleys around the market feature stand-up-style shops selling delicacies such as fresh tempura, sweet saataa andagii and goya juice, following the end of World War II, this,II ea was home to a black market where people bought and sold contraband obtained from the U.S. military. A visit to the market will allow you to experience firsthand the history and, iilture of Okinawa.

Theres no such place as Shangri-La, but Okinawa comes pretty close to being that mythical land of perpetual youth. Okinawans are the worlds longest-lived people and are among the least likely to suffer from the chronic diseases of aging such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and dementia. The good news from researchers is that lifestyle, not genetics, seems to be the key to a healthy and active old age. If you want to live long and well, eat healthy foods used for Okinawan dishes, exercise effectively, slow down to Okinawa time and get the yuimaru spirit by weaving a supportive web of friends and family. If you follow this advice, you should be well on your way to everlasting health. It certainly seems to work for the Okinawans.

Okinawan Nuchi Gusui Herbs and Vegetables.

Okinawa, the island of longevity, has a saying, "nuchi gusui," meaning that food is medicine.

Okinawa's representative vegetable, goya, is of sugar in the blood and urine. Ucchin contains curcumin, which has been shown to have an antioxidant effect, and it has been used in a traditional Indian health care method called Ayurveda. Okinawa's deep-sea water is rich in minerals and good for the health, possessing a mineral balance similar to that of human blood, body fluid and amniotic fluid. Okinawa has many more healthy foods, including acerola and shikuwasa (Okinawan lime), which are loaded with vitamin C, and mineral-rich brown sugar produced from Okinawan sugar cane.

Healthy Foods from Remarkable Ingredients maw sampler called tundabun is reived In a hexagonal footed tray u vui null at celebratory gatherings, tiy It at well established Ryukyu

Ikasumi Shiru Cuttlefish and pork are put into a bonito based broth 1 and finished off with cuttlefish ink. It has a flavor that Is both light and rich at the same time

Rafute Rafute, pork ribs simmered for hours in fish broth and awamori, used to be a typical dish for the royal family of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Awamori Embodies the Spirit of Okinawa Awamori, Japan's oldest distilled liquor, is made from Thai rice and rice malt. The brewing technique was introduced to the .Ryukyu Kingdom from Siam (presentday Thailand) in the early 15th cbntury. According to recent research, awamori is rich in one of the thrombolytic enzymes, which help blood ML vessels remain open and clear, possessing one-and-a-half limes as much of it as wine.

 
Festivals of South Corea
The Attraction of Okinawa