Okinawa, a tropical Japanese paradise, is located to the south west of Japan between the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. With temperatures never getting too cold, Okinawa is the perfect place to live if you enjoy year-round sandals and shorts. The many islands that make up Okinawa boast breathtaking views with a wide range of unique wildlife. With a large US military presence since 1960, Okinawa offers an American-influenced environment with international schools and American shopping markets and eateries.
Naha is the capital city of Okinawa Prefecture and has a population of just over 320,000; it is located on Okinawa Island, the largest of Okinawa Prefecture. In central Naha you can find Kokusai-dōri("International Avenue") a 1.6 kilometer long stretch of road home to bounties of shopping arcades, public markets, restaurants and bars. Kokusai-dōri ends at the main bus terminal in Okinawa which also houses the Okinawa Monorail, the only train system in the prefecture.
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Omoromachi: Naha’s new urban center; Equipped with newly paved wide roads, museums, a 7 screen movie theater and various shopping malls.
Shijo Hondori: One of Naha’s famous open air markets. With many quaint restaurants and fish fresher than that of Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji; this is the place to go if you would like to try some of the local delicacies.
Ginowan City is located in the south on the western cost of Okinawa Island and boarders the East China Sea. A majority of Ginowan City is occupied by US military bases however; the coast offers many beautiful tropical beaches. Ginowan City also offers the Ginowan Port Marina, A great place to go if you enjoy a walk down on the dock.
Ginowan Seaside Park: Located on the west coast, Ginowan Seaside Park is a wonderful place to relax. The park is almost never crowded and offers picnic tables making it a prime location to have a quiet seaside lunch.
Hagoromo Market: Hagoromo Market is a great place to go if you are looking to cook at home and need to find the freshest of ingredients. In the summer you can find delicious freshly picked mango and in the winter you can find white gourd, a squash like vegetable popular in Okinawa.
Okinawa City is the second-largest city in Okinawa Prefecture. It is located in the central part of Okinawa Island, roughly 20km north of Naha. Okinawa City offers an active city center, many open markets and plenty of delicious places to dine. Toward the outskirts of the city many quiet safe neighborhoods perfect for families can be found.
Southeast Botanical Gardens: Located in the country side of Okinawa City, this park is a great place to visit if you enjoy flowers. The Garden offers a variety of activities such as flower arranging and classes on botany.
Urasoe City is located just to the north of Naha and just to the south of Ginowan and boarders the East China Sea. The City was once an agricultural center but due to its proximity to Naha has become heavily urbanized in recent years making it a great place to live if you want to be near Naha but not a part of the busy city center.
Minatogawa Stateside Town: Minatogawa Stateside Town used to be a military housing facility but is now being used as a unique dining and shopping area. With its American style buildings and atmosphere, Minotagawa Stateside Town is a great place to go if you want to feel a little slice of home.
National Theater Okinawa: The National Theater Okinawa is the place to be if you are interested in the Japanese Arts. Kabuki, Bunraku and Noh performances are scheduled almost monthly and are available to watch at a reasonable price. Unfortunately only some performances offer English audio guides so it is best to check before purchasing your tickets.