Okinawa Prefecture
Best months:
June to November

Okinawa Prefecture

Ryukyu Islands, Japan
LAST UPDATED 07/01/2008
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introduction

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Lincun: Map of Japan with highlight on Okinawa-ken; 2 March 2007

Okinawa  Prefecture is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. It is one of the southern prefectures and consists of hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over 1,000 km long.
Okinawa Island is the main and largest island of the Okinawa Prefecture in Japan with Okinawa's capital, Naha, located in the southern part of it.

surfing

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Aoki Shigenobu: Map of Okinawa; 2006

The chain of islands and atolls that comprise Okinawa offer excellent variety for the travelling surfer. Home to some of the best artisan shapers of Japan, the islands have had the largest amount of American influence due to the ongoing US military presence here since the end of World War II (1945). Surfing culture was one of the imports that came with US Servicemen and the breaks of the region were found to be very well suited to the culture. Spend a winter here (Dec-Feb) and feel the love!

where to stay

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Japanese Futon Bedding; J.Patokal; 22.06.2006

In most parts of Japan you’ll find a wide range of accommodation available both of typical Japanese and more westernised styles – as well as more novelty variations such as capsule hotels and temple lodgings.  One note worth taking though is that all prices advertised are per person and not per room.
Accommodation types you’re likely to come across are as follows:-

Ryokan

Ryokan are truly traditional Japan style Inns with authentically decorated rooms and Japanese meals included. These are a good option for a traveller wanting a real taste of traditional Japanese culture.

Minshuku

These are like a Japanese bed and breakfast, usually small places run by families that again offer a good Japanese cultural experience and the price includes a Japanese breakfast.

Western style hotels

You can find all the major hotel chains in Japan – particularly in the larger cities, this option can be expensive however.

Dormitories and Hostels

Backpacker hostels offering dorm style rooms can be found all over Japan for the traveller on a budget for a reasonable price and many offer single sex dorms.

Capsule Hotels

These offer bare the  minimum requirement of a single bed in a capsule – no standing room – these are pretty unique to Japan and not for the claustrophobic! Though it’s worth a night in one for the novelty value, some have a mini TV in there too and all have shared bathrooms, of course.

Temple Lodgings 

Some Buddhist temples allow travellers to spend a night there for the cultural experience, worth doing as a one off.

Longer stays

There are many apartment blocks all over the major towns and cities in Japan offering weekly or monthly rates of rent for those wishing to stay longer – these can work out as a cheap option over a long period.

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