Former kingdom of Ryûkyû, Okinawa is made up of several sub-tropical islands that can be said to be divided into three archipelagos. Northeast, Central and Southwest. The main island of Okinawa is the largest and is located in the center block. It is also where the capital, Naha, is located. Tourism in Okinawa is mostly Japanese, as it is considered their Algarve, with the necessary caveats. In Okinawa, the population has the highest life expectancy in the world, and women are the ones who, on average, live the longest in the world.
Although most of the cultural heritage was devastated in the Second World War, the rich intangible heritage, such as music, cuisine and dance, persists to this day. It was also in Okinawa that the martial art Karate, which means empty hand, was born, and for this reason it is also one of the great tourist destinations for many practitioners of the sport.
The island of Okinawa, or also known as Okinawa-Hontô, is the largest and where the capital, Naha, is located. The southern part of the island is more developed and inhabited than the mysterious and dazzling north of the island. It is also on this island that close to 26,000 Americans live, due to their military bases being installed in Okinawa.
Okinawa, from north to south, has many points of interest for all tastes. From the Coral Islands, ideal for diving in the south, to the sub-tropical forests of Yakushima in the north, ideal for nature lovers and hikers.
It's hard to say which are the best beaches in Okinawa, as each one has its own unique qualities and special features.
Naha is the capital of Okinawa and the most populous city in the Ryūkyū archipelago. About 300,000 people live in Naha, the surrounding area numbers up to 800,000, which makes the Naha region more than half the population of the island of Okinawa. It is also the gateway to this wonderful archipelago.