Okinawa is well-known for its relations with the Ryukyu history, which is a given considering it forms two-third of the Ryukyu Islands which was brought together under the rule of Ryukyu Kingdom. As such, here in the prefecture, it is easy to find various legacies of the Ryukyu. Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture of Japan, with Naha as its capital and largest city, followed by the Okinawa city as the second-largest city. The islands have been inhabited since the Stone Age and mainly placed under the rule of Ryukyu Kingdom before being usurped under a unified Japan till this day. The present-day Okinawa city is only formed since 1974 by merging Koza and Misato. In contrast, Naha is the political, economic and education centre of the prefecture, having remained important since the Ryukyu Kingdom rule.
Naha Airport is a second class airport in Japan which is mainly serving the prefecture of Okinawa and nearby cities, having located about 4 kilometres west of the city hall. This airport is operated primarily by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, are the seventh busiest airport in Japan and the primary gateway for people travelling to and from the Okinawa Prefecture. Opens since the year 1933 as Oroku Aerodrome for military purposes, Naha Airport has a runway that is 3,000 meters long which is made of asphalt at an elevation of 3 meters. Besides that, it also has four separate terminals, namely Domestic Terminal, Cargo Terminal, LCCT Terminal and New International Terminal, all of them with different functions. On 2015, the airport has handled about 18.3 million passengers. Naha Airport is also the main hub for Japan Transocean Air, Ryukyu Air Commuter and Peach, in addition to being the focus city for Skymark Airlines and All Nippon Airways. There are many connecting flights to Okinawa from Singapore via airlines such as All Nippon Airways, China Airlines and Jetstar among others, with a budget ranging from 458 SGD to 1,000 SGD.
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The off-peak season is during September during the fall season which is generally a low time for tourism. Nonetheless, if you do not mind the lower crowd anyway, accommodation prices can be lower around this time. It is undoubtedly the best time to get good bargains. Peak season in Okinawa is during April and July which is during the mid of spring and summer seasons when the temperament is so much better and pleasing to explore the city. The best time to visit Okinawa is undoubtedly around the fall season going all over to end of spring, which is from October to May, is the time when the crowd is lower and the temperature is not too bad. Therefore, your travel experience would not be affected much.
Okinawa, in general, is said to have a humid subtropical climate according to the Köppen classification which implies hot, humid summers and generally cool winters with higher precipitation in summer than in winter. The annual precipitation is about 2,040.8 millimetres with 121.8 rainy days; the wettest months are usually from May to September. Snow is much rarer and does not happen heavily. There are about 1,774 sunshine hours annually with a relative humidity of 74%. The temperature can go up to 35.6 degree Celsius record high in August to as low as 4.9 degree Celsius record low in February.
There are a lot of festivals you can look forward to enjoy in Okinawa as well as nearby towns throughout the year just like the locals. First up there is the New Year celebration at the Shurijo Castle Park which is among the most highly decorated events in Okinawa. Then there are various Cherry Blossom Festivals around town from January to February, which is perfect if you happen to be in town to view the cherry blossoms. Other events include Ryukyu Kaiensai Fireworks Festival on April, Naha Hari on May, Great Tug-of-War in August and many more.
Shurijo Castle – Once the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom, the Shurijo Castle in the present is largely restored and reconstructed based on various historical records and photographs to make it as close as possible to the original setup. It was built in the 14th century and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can visit this castle to learn more about the Ryukyu kingdom history.
Southeast Botanical Gardens – Found within the city of Okinawa, the Southeast Botanical Gardens is a commercial botanical garden covering over 40.47 hectares. There are an impressive 2,000 different species of plants that can be found here as well as insects such as beetles.
Cape Manzamo – This scenic rock formation is found near the Onna Village in the Kunigami District, facing the South China Sea. It is only about 26.2 kilometres away from Okinawa city and 46.7 kilometres away from the Naha city. It is a popular place that is a must-visit if you are in Okinawa, being a top spot for local and foreign touri