Okinawa is located in the south of the Japanese archipelago and consists of 363 islands including the Nansei Islands. The capital city is Naha on the main island of Okinawa. Most of Okinawa is subtropical, but Miyakojima Island, Ishigakijima Island, and Iriomotejima Island have a tropical climate. Rare animals such as Okinawa woodpeckers, Okinawa rails, and
Iriomote wildcats are found here. In the past, Okinawa was ruled under the administration of the Ryukyu Kingdom for 450 years until 1879. Even during the time when Japan was closing its doors to the world, Ryukyu Kingdom was trading with the Chinese continent. After World War II, the prefecture of Okinawa became occupied by America for 25 years until 1972. Having such historical background, Okinawa came to develop its unique culture through the fusion of Ryukyu, America, and Japan. Although no railways existed in the main island of Okinawa for a long time, Okinawa Urban Monorail that is commonly called “Yui Rail” was completed in 2003. Therefore, it is now possible to travel thorough the 14 stations between the Naha Airport and Shuri in 30 minutes. The main island of Okinawa, as well as other remote islands, is a very popular resort in Japan, and Okinawa’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism. As for agricultural production, sugarcane used for making brown sugar, and fruit such as mangos and pineapples are grown, while the culturing of tuna is the primary marine industry here. Okinawa has its own unique food culture, and people use pork in many different dishes. A unique noodle dish called Okinawa-soba is prepared by cooking flour based chewy noodles in soup stock made from dried tuna and pork bones. As a main ingredient for Okinawa-soba, stewed pork called soki is indispensable. Noodles topped with boned “authentic soki” are called “soki-soba.” There are varieties of stir fried dishes called chanpuru such as chanpuru cooked with bitter melons, papaya, or wheat gluten. As an authentic Okinawa souvenir, biscuit-like sweets made mainly with flour and lard called chinsuko are popular.
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|Okinawa Port Hotel|
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