About Okinawa and Ginowan
Okinawa has a unique history. It used to be an independent country (Ryukyu kingdom) in the 12th-17th century. The original culture had been influenced by Japan, China and other south-eastern Asian countries through commerce. In the 20th century, it was also impacted by American culture. Unique music, traditional arts and healthy foods will attract people. You can explore a lot of castle ruins of the Ryukyu kingdom, which were selected as Cultural and Natural World Heritage by UNESCO. Okinawa is also the birthplace of Karate.
You cannot talk about Okinawa without mentioning the beautiful blue sea and white sand beaches. Okinawa Prefecture is Japan's only subtropical region comprising 160 islands, each of which is surrounded by the sea and coral reefs. There are a lot of beaches in the main island (see the beach information). You can enjoy snorkeling, diving, sea kayaking, and whale-watching. Visit the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, where you can see whale sharks and mantas, if you have chances.
Photo © Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau
There are 10 universities including University of the Ryukyus, which is the only national university in Okinawa. The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) was established in 2011, and was ranked 1st in Japan and 9th in the world by the Nature Index for the proportion of its research in 2019.