Okinawa - a group of pampered sunshine islands located in the very south of Japan in the East China Sea. Tourists are attracted here by lush rich nature and unique culture. Being a well-known destination for the Japanese themselves, in recent years, Okinawa became popular among foreign tourists. Due to its location in the subtropical zone, Okinawa has to offer a mild climate throughout the year. Every spring, Okinawa Japan's first encounters cherry blossom and tropical flowers such as hibiscus bloom on islands throughout the year. Of other natural attractions can be noted for its beauty breathtaking coral reefs around which is home to many colorful tropical fish of Representatives, as well as the forests, where you can meet a very rare species of fauna, particularly Okinawan water cowgirl.
Holidays at sea and eco. Located on the southwestern tip of the Japanese archipelago, Okinawa Prefecture unites 160 medium and small islands scattered across the expanses of the sea about one thousand kilometers from east to west and four miles from north to south. Until the beginning of the seventeenth century in Okinawa Ryukyu kingdom existed, which anciently actively traded with China and Southeast Asia, while developing their own culture.
Today's Okinawa boasts a developed tourism industry, helped by its historical past and beautiful natural environment. Resorts with private beaches on the island of Okinawa, which is the heart of the prefecture, the other islands - all this creates excellent conditions for tourists to enjoy a wide range of marine leisure activities.
Popular tourist activities include viewing coral reefs by special boats, which are half submerged in the water, whale watching and trips to uninhabited islands. Okinawa - a paradise for divers of any level, as the number of the most beautiful underwater scenery endless. Integral part of the eco-tourism programs are in the jungle and mangroves, as well as boating, kayaking on the uninhabited islands.
In addition to natural attractions in Okinawa accumulated unique cultural heritage, which suggests something quite different from what is usually seen in Japan. Traditional dances and music of the Ryukyu Kingdom, not only survived, but also presented the Okinawan three-stringed musical instrument - sansin. Once destroyed to the ground Shuri Castle, the former residence of the rulers of the Ryukyus, was renovated and, together with the other eight historic sites in Okinawa, became a cultural monument.
Meeting with huge stingrays. Ishigaki Island, which is part of the Okinawa prefecture, lies at the farthest south-western tip of the Japanese archipelago. This island is removed at 410 kilometers from the city of Naha in Okinawa and 2,000 kilometers from Tokyo, while the capital of Taiwan, Taipei City, it is separated by only 300 miles. Despite this distance, it is quite popular and visited tourist destinations. Just a few minutes walk from the souvenir shops, restaurants and market, located in the center of Ishigaki - and that you already find yourself on the edge of spectacular unspoilt natural scenery. Here is the highest peak in the prefecture - Mount Omoto, height 526 meters. Ishigaki Island hills covered with subtropical trees and various plants, and in the plains extend the sugarcane fields and pastures.
The ocean can offer no less spectacular views. Here is the blue coral reef Sirah - one of the largest in the world. A bay Kabir admires the color of its waters, from emerald green to turquoise. Tourists can just relax and lie on the beach, or, if they want to go scuba diving, both in the tank, and with the usual snorkeling. After Ishigaki Island in Japan is considered one of the most popular dive sites. Particularly lucky snorkellers can even meet the huge stingrays that reach four meters in length.
The secret of longevity. It is known that in Okinawa life expectancy of the local population is one of the longest. And it is in Japan, a country that ranks first in the world for life expectancy! The key to this longevity okinavchan consider their traditional diet. The basis of many dishes is the pork belly. Another famous dish, tyampuru - a frying vegetables and tofu, seasoned with goya (bitter melon). As for drinks, it is worth noting avamori - a strong alcoholic drink made from rice, produced exclusively in Okinawa.
In recent years, Okinawa is rapidly gaining popularity among foreign tourists. According to a survey by the Japan National Tourism Organization in March 2008, the list of places that are foreign tourists who visited Japan, recommend to their friends and acquaintances, Ishigaki Island in fourth place, and the island of Okinawa - the sixth.