Okinawa, historically the Ryukyu Kingdom archipelago, is totally different from mainland Japan; In fact, Okinawa has its own language and a culture closer to ancient China and the Philippines. It has a rich history of regional trade, unsurpassed life longevity, and a unique ancestral worship religion. The kanji characters for Okinawa mean "offshore rope" based on the resemblance of the 67 mile long by 14 mile wide main island to a green rope in the water. Okinawa is located southwest of mainland Japan, and consists of 161 islands, spanning 620 miles from east to west and 250 miles from north to south. Okinawa's capital, Naha, is located in the southern part of the largest island, which is typical to most Asian large cities. Despite the relatively small size of Okinawa, the archipelago has many activities unique to Okinawa; cuisine and rice-based spirits/beverages like awamori, bullfights (matching bull versus bull similar to Sumo wrestling), and unsurpassed natural beauty. Okinawa is considered an international resort destination on the same latitude as the Bahamas and has been called "The Hawaii of Japan" due to it's year-long warm weather and tropical beaches. It is also a common destination by history buffs as this was the site of the last Pacific land battle (and largest) during World War II. Extensive reef networks and destroyed war material located below the surface of the water also draw world class SCUBA divers.
Naha is the main city of Okinawa. On first site it looks a bit 'boro-boro' or rundown, but there are many amazing aspects of this city ready to be uncovered. Bright gaudy colours line the mai…