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South of Japan, you can find the Ryukyu Islands, a string of small islands between Japan and Taiwan. Within this group of islands, is the island of Okinawa. This island boasts a huge history for such a small area, having been part of the independent dynasty of the Ryukyu Kingdom prior to becoming part of Japan in the 19th century.
The island is something of a tropical paradise, featuring stunning sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and dense jungles. The natural beauty of the island makes it a fantastic destination for tourists and provides plenty of opportunities for explorers and thrill-seekers to enjoy adventurous trips where they can go scuba diving, explore the rivers by kayak, plus a whole host of other exciting activities.
While Okinawa is part of Japan, you can see the traces of a history of different cultures across the island. You get a real feeling that you are watching history unfold before your eyes when visiting Okinawa, as the culture and influences are constantly evolving. This is partly informed by the US military presence on the island, resulting in a meeting of cultures, creating an element of diversity.
With so much mystery surrounding the island of Okinawa, there are a few basics that you should know before your visit.Time Difference: UTC +9 hoursCurrency: Japanese Yen (¥)Native Language: JapaneseWeather: Throughout the year, the weather in Okinawa is warm and pleasant, with summer temperatures sitting around the high 80s. During the winter, you can expect temperatures around the low 60s.Sales Tax: 8%
Here is everything you might want to know about flying to Okinawa from the US, including flight times and entry requirements.
Direct flights to Okinawa are not available from the US, so you’re likely to stop over in Tokyo or Osaka. Depending on where in the US you are flying from, the length of time you spend flying will differ.
For example, when flying from JFK in New York, the total flight time to get to Okinawa is just over 17 hours, when not accounting for the time during the stopover. However, if you fly from the west coast, taking LAX in Los Angeles as an example, your flying time is more likely to be around 15 hours.
As a US citizen, you will be given a temporary visitor visa as you arrive, which will last for 90 days. With this visa, you may be asked for proof of your travel plans, such as outgoing plane tickets, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have this to hand in case you are asked. You will also be photographed and fingerprinted when entering Japan.
While you can’t fly directly from the US to Okinawa, you can find direct flights to Tokyo where you can stopover and fly on to Okinawa from there. You can find these flights from a number of airlines, including:
- American Airlines
- United Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
Okinawa’s airport is located in the south of the island, within the city of Naha. The airport has easy links to get around the rest of the island. For example, there is a monorail system as well as different bus routes that you can take.
There are plenty of things to see and do around Okinawa, but here are just our top ten:
- Blue Cave
- Himeyuri Peace Museum
- Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum
- American Village
- Space Science and Technology Museum
- Tadake Falls
- Gyokusendo Cave
- Former Japanese Naval Underground HQ
- Shuri Castle
- Futenma Shrine
You can find the best deals on flights from the US to Okinawa with Globehunters, so while you’re planning your travels, look no further for cheap flights to Okinawa.