I always find that choosing where to go on my travels is the hardest part of the whole experience. I am a seasoned veteran of Europe and so the East looks like a good place to head to next. I’ve always wanted to visit the beautiful lights and rich culture of Japan, but have never been able to fit it into my life. After reading up on the islands and where is best to go, I asked my mate who comes from Japan, and he told em that if you didn’t visit Okinawa then I will waste my whole trip.
To those not in the know, Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture of Japan, which is made up for lots of tiny little islands. It is a tourist hotspot for many reasons, but I thought I would put together a top 5 reasons why you should hit up the islands if you ever find yourself in that part of the world:
The islands are incredibly hot, and so are perfect for swimming and diving in the crystal waters surrounding them. The islands are home to some of the world’s northernmost tropical coral reefs and over 1,000 species of reef fish have been counted there. There are opportunities to see the reef via glass bottom boats and also the chance to see humpback whales of the coast of Tokashiki Island.
If you fancy yourself a bit of an Indiana Jones type then the 500+ ruins of castles dotted across the islands will keep you intrigued. The majority of the castles were destroyed during WW2, but check out Shuri Castle that has been rebuilt in an effort to showcase its grandeur to the rest of the world.
At 35 meters long, holding 7,500 tons of water and has an acrylic viewing panel that is 22.5 meters wide, 8.2 meters high and 60 centimeters thick, Kinawa Churaumi Aquarium is the largest viewing panel in the world. Inside the tank are three whale sharks, three manta rays, 16,000 fish, 50 kinds of living coral and scores of different kinds of fish and sea creatures. Every year millions of people flock to sea the marvel of the tank.
Gyokusendo is the largest stalactite cavern in Japan and it;s majestic natural formations run for almost 3 miles long. Although the area is very popular with tourists it is a site to behold.
The people that live on the islands had their own language (known as Uchinaguchi) up until the end of WW2. There has been a big push to reintroduce the language to the mainstream, so if you are on the island and don’t have a clue what they are saying don’t worry! Even the Japanese wouldn’t know w3aht they are saying!
Okinawa is an a amazing place to visit and if you want more information check out the Be Okinawa campaign running at the moment that highlights the great things happening on the island: