Travel to Kyushu Okinawa Region

Kyushu region is Japan's third largest island, includes Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures. Kyushu is internationally famous for its Tonkotsu(porky) ramen, rejuvenating hot springs, dramatic mountains, peaceful beaches and outgoing people. While the startup hub of Fukuoka bubbles with international attention, the volcanic terrain to the south continues to rumble and smoke. The seismic activity has created a craggy wonderland of eight steaming hot spring areas, known collectively as Beppu Onsen, as well as soaring peaks to hike, such as Mt. Karakuni in the Kirishima mountain range. Offering a taste of both cutting-edge modernity and slow-paced living, Japan's southern island is best explored at a leisurely pace. Head south to relax on an island bursting with spectacular nature, culture and cuisine.

Although each Japanese prefecture is unique in its own way, tropical Okinawa prefecture is by far the most distinct, almost like a different country. And that assessment is true to a certain extent; Okinawa, known then as the Ryukyu Kingdom, was independent from Japan until 1879, and was part of US territory from 1945 to 1972. As a result, the culture, food, and even the language (although many do speak standard Japanese) differ vastly from those of any other region. On Okinawa Island, places of note are the Chura-umi Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world and home to the whale shark, as well as ancient Ryukyu castle ruins, most notably Shuri-jo. Buy your souvenirs at Kokusai-dori, Okinawa’s main street. Off the main island, the Yaeyama and Miyako Islands have Japan’s most pristine beaches, while retaining traditional Okinawan culture.

The Nakamura House

The Nakamura House is a traditional Okinawan dwelling built around the middle of the 18th century. As a rare and precious example of pre-war Okinawan architecture that escaped the destruction of World War II, it has been designated a National Treasure. During the time of the Ryukyu Kingdom, this 1560-square-meter residence belonged to a wealthy farmer who served as village headman. Its principal buildings are the Omoya (main house) and Ashagi (guest room annex), which are notable for the open verandas that let in cool island breezes and a collection of furniture and pottery typical of a wealthy Okinawan family. There is also a grain storehouse, as well as a livestock barn and pig-pen outfitted with the tools needed to raise animals. The compound is surrounded by walls made of Ryukyu limestone that conceal the house from the main gate, which is believed to prevent evil spirits from entering the residence. There are also a number of features to protect the house against the fierce typhoons that visit Okinawa. Fukugi trees (a kind of Garcinia, or tropical evergreen, related to the mangosteen) and Chinese banyan are planted in the grounds to block wind, while all the roofs are clad in red tiles that are sturdier than the thatched roofs of poorer Okinawans. Statues of mythical Shisa lion-dogs stand guard on the ends of the roofs to ward off bad luck.

The Nakamura House Interior

A safe trip to Okinawa with Smiles

In order for visitors to enjoy their Okinawa trip safely, we have summarized the quarantine control measures regarding where tourists are involved such as tourist facilities and transportation in Okinawa. 

By 2020 Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau