Okinawa in the News
A natural balance: Local culture and endemic wildlife in northern Okinawa Main Island
Okinawa is Japan’s southernmost prefecture. Once an independent Ryukyu Kingdom, this beautiful chain of subtropical islands has its own traditions of dance, crafts, music, and karate. The ancient forests in northern Okinawa Main Island and Iriomote Island are home to numerous endemic species, and in 2021 their ecological significance was recognised as a Unesco Natural World Heritage Site.
Discover Japan: Forest Bathing and Spiritual Connections
Japan’s southernmost isles boast nature escapes at every corner, but the northern area of Okinawa’s main island is one of the most exceptional. Here, the subtropical forests of the Yambaru area—which is both part of the Yambaru National Park and a newly designated UNESCO World Heritage site (together with parts of the Amami Archipelago and Iriomote Island)—lures adventurers with its impressive biodiversity.
See a New Side of Japan with These Epic Outdoor Adventures
More watery adventures await in Okinawa, the southernmost tip of Japan. This necklace of postcard-perfect islands, renowned for their laid-back tempo and deliciously unique cuisine, offer idyllic beaches and vivid blue ocean. A paradise for divers, there are innumerable diving sites suitable for all skill levels, from deep underwater caves to colorful coral reefs.
Far to the south of Japan's main islands, Okinawa is truly unique. The subtropical climate makes for incredible beaches and diverse flora and fauna, and this small island chain has developed a unique culture of its own.