Okinawa has a subtropical/tropical climate. Unlike the other Japanese subtropical/tropical islands such as Ogasawara Islands, Amami Islands and Tokara Islands, there are frequent flights from all the major cities of Japan, which helps Okinawa being one of the major tourist destinations for the Japanese.
Most people come to Okinawa for the sun and beaches. Even in midwinter, when many areas of the mainland Japan teeter around the freezing point, temperatures rarely dip below 15°C in Okinawa. For more adventurous types, the vast yet almost uninhabited island of Iriomote is covered in dense jungle.Churaumi Aquarium is a world class aquarium located on the Motobu peninsula. Attractions include one of the world’s largest tanks with huge whale sharks and manta rays. The aquarium is located in Ocean Expo Park with a beautiful public facility called Emerald Beach.
The Okinawa archipelago is known as one of the world's best diving destinations, having a number of coral species and marine lives as large as those in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. You can find over 400 types of corals, 5 types of sea turtles, manta rays, whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and many kinds of tropical fish.
particular highlights include the gorgeous reefs surrounding the Kerama Islands, the manta rays of Miyako and Ishigaki and the hammerhead sharks and underwater ruins of Yonaguni. beware of the typhoons during June-November and the north wind that may frequently close diving sites in the north
Snorkeling is better on the small islands than on Okinawa Island. Especially Tokashiki is ideal for a day trip from Naha with ferries leaving in the morning and returning in the evening.
Above the waves, make sure you experience and enjoy the Okinawan culture. Head down to a local restaurant where you can listen to a sanshin (traditional three-stringed instrument) and watch ryukyu-buyo (traditional dance). You’ll also get to taste some traditional Okinawan cuisine and the local tropical fruits. While on the main island of Okinawa, make sure you visit the beautiful Shuri Castle, the palace of Ryukyu Kingdom, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the mesmerizing limestone Gyokusendo Caves. Okinawa’s white sandy beaches and pristine waters are superb for relaxing and snorkeling.
The main gateway into Okinawa is Naha International Airport (OKA). It has direct international flights from Taipei, Taichung, Seoul, Busan, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. Naha is also a domestic hub to outlying Okinawan islands including Ishigaki, Yonaguni, Miyako and Kume.