Okinawa is situated east of Asia, at the southwest end of the great arc of the Japanese archipelago. Strategically located at the crossroads of Asia, Okinawa has a 600-year history of international exchange. Okinawan people have long cultivated relations and interactions with other countries and are renowned for their hospitality and tolerance. There is an international airport in the prefectural capital of Naha with excellent connections to mainland Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and other destinations.
Climate and Geography
With its subtropical climate and lush nature, its special history and culture, Okinawa is a fascinating environment in which to live and work. It is regarded as a premier vacation destination, attracting visitors from mainland Japan and abroad. Surrounded by clear blue seas with schools of brightly colored tropical fish, Okinawa’s coral reefs support a rich profusion of life and accordingly some of the best diving in the world.
Okinawa has a unique and rich cultural heritage. International influences meld with local traditions and inspiration to produce a unique culture of music, dance and art. The widest range of contemporary culture can be found on the island and Okinawa musicians and artists are famous throughout Japan and worldwide. Whatever your interest, hip-hop dance, string quartets or traditional Irish dance, you can be fairly sure of finding it on the island.
Okinawa is a hub of international exchange and cooperation. The island has 1.4 million inhabitants and has all the facilities and amenities of 21st century living, modern shopping centers, hospitals, excellent roads and infrastructure, high-speed Internet access, and a stable power grid. The cost of living is low in comparison to mainland Japan. There are hundreds of restaurants on the island offering cuisine from all over the world. The Okinawan diet has an emphasis on locally produced organically farmed vegetables and exceptional fish caught the same day from the water surrounding the island. The result is that the life expectancy of the Okinawan people is one of the longest in the world.
Diving and snorkeling are a huge draw to Okinawa. Minutes from the OIST Campus you can dive in a wonderland of fish and coral. All marine activities like sailing, fishing, and kayaking are easy to organize. The many smaller islands just off the coast of Okinawa offer wonderful opportunities for adventure. Cycling is very popular and there are dozens of outstanding golf courses. Horse riding and hiking are popular in the wild forests in the north of the island.