Okinawa – The Latest News and Forthcoming Events in the Prefecture

Okinawa - The Latest News and Forthcoming Events in the Prefecture

For this Japanese travel feature, we are heading over to Okinawa, looking in detail at the latest hotel openings and the forthcoming events that will enthuse visitors to the prefecture in 2022.

Okinawa is one of Japan’s 47 prefectures and consists of 160 islands stretching over more than 1,000 kilometres which means that there’s always a lot going on. Within the Okinawan boundaries are eleven cities, nineteen villages and eleven towns, and it boasts a warm and comfortable climate throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for travellers.

A tourist boat waiting at one of the islands

Okinawa offers pretty much something for everyone thanks to its incredible culture, diverse nature, history, food, and wonderful beaches. We will be looking at its newly opened properties and some events to look forward to for this feature guide.

In the News:

Shinminka Villa Iriomote opens

The exterior of the Shinminka Villa Iriomote

Opened in November 2021, Shinminka Villa is one of the newest holiday properties in Iriomote Island, which has recently been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for its ‘outstanding universal value’.

Views of the Shinminka Villa Iriomote interior

The new Ryukyu-style private villa is designed with a 360-degree glass wall, offering stunning views of the surrounding area. It boasts a fully equipped kitchen and can accommodate up to four people, with four futon sets available. A hammock and yoga mats are also available to guests.

Further information is available here.
Image courtesy of Shinminka Villa Iriomote.

New properties set to open

Okinawa Prince Hotel Ocean View Ginowan

The exterior and location of the Okinawa Prince Hotel Ocean View Ginowan

Overlooking one of Okiwana’s largest yacht harbours, Ginowan Marina, Okinawa Prince Hotel Ocean View Ginowan is scheduled to open in April 2022. With a splendid location, within walking distance from the beachfront Ginowan Seaside Park and Tropical Beach (a lively spot for marine sports), the new hotel is perfect for leisure and business travellers looking to make the most of Okinawa’s warm tropical weather.

All 340 guest rooms will boast a terrace with ocean views, meaning that golden hour is set to be extra special for those staying at the property. Additionally, the hotel will also boast two infinity pools on the second and fourteenth floors, ideal for those looking to relax while taking in uninterrupted sea and sky vistas.

A woman looking out to sea from the pool area

Other facilities and services will include an indoor bade pool, sauna, hot stone spa, fitness gym, spa and a large communal bath. With capital Naha 20 minutes by car and the exotic resort town Mihama American Village ten minutes away, Okinawa Prince Hotel Ocean View Ginowan will also be a great base for shopping and sightseeing.

Further information is available here.
Image courtesy of Okinawa Prince Hotel Ocean View Ginowan.

Ryukyu Hotel & Resort Nashiro Beach

A rendering of what the Ryukyu Hotel & Resort Nashiro Beach will look like once completed

Located in the southern tip of Okinawa Island, 20 minutes from Naha airport, is the fisherman city of Itoman, set to welcome the opening of Ryukyu Hotel & Resort Nashiro Beach in 2022. The new luxury resort will be located on a 50,000 square metre plot facing a dreamy sandy beach and emerald-green seas.

With two 11-storey towers and 443 guest rooms, all with ocean views and Ryukyu-inspired interiors and artwork, the resort will offer a wide range of facilities and services such as nine restaurants and bars, six swimming pools, including a flowing water pool and a kids’ pool, a chapel, a gym and a beauty treatment salon.

The resort will be a great option, especially for MICE travellers looking to combine business and incentives, with three banquet halls boasting the latest technology, foyer and garden – the ideal setting for events accommodating up to 2,000 people.

Further information is available here.
Image courtesy of Ryukyu Hotel & Resort Nashiro Beach.

Events to look forward to:

Okinawa to celebrate 50 years of reinversion to Japan

A team of female traditional dancers wearing colourful clothing

Okinawa is set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of reinversion to Japan in 2022. A ceremony is set to take place on May 15th 2022, with commemorative events, performances and exhibitions of Okinawan arts and artefacts also due to happen.

7th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival

Young children marching with a banner at the Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival

The 7th edition of the Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival held roughly every five years, is scheduled to take place from October 30th to November 3rd 2022. The festival is one of Okinawa’s largest events and aims to honour the achievements of Okinawan people from all over the world, deepen understanding of Okinawa’s unique history and culture and bring people together to reaffirm their roots and identity to pass on to the next generation.

In addition, a variety of cultural events will be held in parallel with this unique five-day event that will strengthen the bonds between participants from all over the world.

Further information is available here:
Image courtesy of OPG.

Okinawa’s whale watching season from January to March

A whale breaching the water

From January to March, the oceans around Okinawa are home to an array of stunning wildlife, including humpback whales which can be spotted off the coast of Zamami Island. Tourist boats run daily from Okinawa and Kerama Island, offering visitors the truly unforgettable experience of glimpsing these majestic animals in their natural habitat.

Whale watching tour operators include the Zamami Whale Watching Association, Cerulean Blue Okinawa, Joy Create Okinawa Tea-Da and Marine House SEASIR.

Further information is available here.
Image courtesy of OCVB.

Read more travel guides, features and news here.

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Editorial Team

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