Okinawa is located in the southern part of Japan and it is made of over 100 independent islands. Japan is made of four main islands and Okinawa stretches south of them, for over 620 miles, making its way to Taiwan.
The capital city of Okinawa is Naha. We might say that this is the city of opposites. Once you arrive, you will be amazed by the chaotic feel of the city and mesmerized by its tropical surroundings.
Naturally Okinawa doesn’t have life only above water. It is known to be one of the best snorkeling locations and scuba diving is also popular in the region. The waters are rich in underwater animals, damselfish, that you could catch a glimpse at if you are brave enough. The most popular driving spots are close to Chatan City, which is at a 45 minute drive from Naha Airport.
What to Expect?
photo by ippei & janine naoi
If you decide to take a trip underwater you should expect to see sites rich in corals and macro-sized and medium-sized sea life. In case you are willing to make a small trip to the Kerama Islands, you will see some amazing animals, such as reef sharks and green sea turtles.
photo by Chris Khamken
It is good to know about this city that it is home to three U.S. military bases. There are a lot of U.S. soldiers stationed here and you will also find a lot of ex-pats, so it is considered to be the most Westernized part of the country. You will see a lot of bilingual signs and a U.S. styled city mall, called Mihama American Village.
One of the direct effects of having military bases is the constant air traffic. There are a lot of jets, planes and helicopters performing their regular training missions. At the end of each day they fly back to the base. You can watch them land as the lights of the capital city cast a nest over the clouds.
photo by Okinawa Nature Photography
If you are looking for more challenging pastime, consider renting snorkeling equipment and check out the varied sea life of the island. You can be sure that you will see iridescent coral clams and you only have to descend 10-15 feet. In case you go deeper, you will catch a glimpse of more unusual animals, such as cuttlefish or amazing lionfish.
Visiting Okinawa could turn out to be the time of your life.