Okinawa Prefecture consists of the Ryukyu Archipelago in the Nansei Islands between Kyushu and Taiwan. Although it is one of the smallest prefectures in Japan, the Ryukyu Archipelago contains over 160 islands of varying sizes stretched across a broad ocean area. Okinawa is unique in that it is the only prefecture in Japan made up of islands interspersed across the vast southern seas.
Due to its favorable location at the juncture between mainland Japan and Southeast Asia, surrounded by the East China Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east, Okinawa has historically prospered from intermediate trade with many countries. Today, there is expectation that Okinawa Prefecture will take on a major role to connect Japan with Asia and other countries abroad.
Naha City is approximately 1550 km to Tokyo, 1200 km to Osaka, 1480 km to the Philippines, 820 km to Shanghai, and 630 km to Taiwan. No other area in Japan is closer to southeast Asia. Please refer to the Filming Guide for more details on transportation access.
Okinawa Prefecture is located in the subtropical climate zone. Naha City’s yearly average temperature is about 23.1 degrees Celsius. Compared to mainland Japan, Okinawa has a longer summer and seldom drops below 10 degrees even in the winter, making it mild and comfortable throughout the year. The area is also high in humidity with an annual average rainfall of over 2,000 mm, and is known for frequent typhoons.
Made up of islands scattered across a vast ocean area replete with beautiful coral reefs, the mild and comfortable Okinawa Prefecture is located at approximately the same latitude as Hawaii, the Bahamas, and other world-class resorts. Conveniently located within a 1,500 km radius of major Asian metropolitan centers such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Seoul, Okinawa holds high potential as a tourist destination.
The allure of Okinawa is the azure coral seas of world-class splendor and the lush forests of the Yanbaru region. Divers from around the world visit the coral seas abounding with schools of brilliant tropical fish. The forests of Yanbaru and Iriomote are inhabited by rare and precious species such as the Okinawa Rail, Pryer’s Woodpecker, and the Iriomote Wild Cat.
The Kingdom of the Ryukyus was engaged in active trade with Japan, China, and Southeast and East Asia, bringing about an influx of culture and technology from various countries which shaped the foundation of Okinawa’s unique culture. The history of the Kingdom remains alive today in Okinawa’s distinctive culture and traditions. In recent years, Okinawa’s traditional craft has won high acclaim both in Japan and abroad; Okinawa ranks third in the number of traditional crafts designated by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
In December 2000, nine former castle sites providing testimony to the history and culture of the Kingdom of the Ryukyus were inscribed on the World Heritage List as “Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu”.