Photo by tata_aka_T


Visitors to Okinawa are often surprised by how different the southernmost prefecture is from mainland Japan.

Rather than neon signs and bullet trains, this tiny island is often characterized by its relaxed pace, stunning ocean vistas, distinctive cuisine, and locals who live to 100. But Okinawa is more than a laid back vacation spot. It’s an island committed to its own cultural identity, celebrated and reinforced through community festivals like the Naha Tug of War, dragon boat races, and Eisa dance competitions.

Matador articles about Okinawa have been contributed by long term expats who’ve written about what it’s really like to live here. You’ll find photo essays celebrating obon, wildlife, and dance troops, advice for what NOT to do, and personal accounts of celebrating New Year’s Day Okinawan style.

Okinawa Articles

What NOT to do in Okinawa

by Mary Richardson

Ditching the cubicle to farm in Thailand

by Lindi Horton

New Year’s Day in the life of an expat in Okinawa, Japan

by Mary Richardson

A Japanese baby shower lost in translation

by Mary Richardson

Finding Marin In Okinawa

by Michael Lynch

Eisa dancing in Buddhist Okinawa

by Michael Lynch

Fire, flowers and phalluses: Ten festivals in Japan

by Turner Wright

Shinugu Matsuri: The Festival That Could Change the World

by Michael Lynch

Introducing: Okinawa wildlife photographer

by Tim Patterson

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