Okinawa is a subtropical/tropical island in Japan, located roughly 640 kilometres (400 mi) south of the rest of Japan.
Because of its average high temperature as well as the richness of its nature and its unique culture formed by the dynamic mix of characteristics from various countries through trade with China, Korea and other Southeast Asian countries, Okinawa attracts numerous tourists from the mainland Japan and overseas, and is rated among nation’s major tourist destinations. Okinawa island where ASRU will be held is the main island of Okinawashoto (Okinawa Islands) that count more than 160 islands. Owing to a warm ocean current, called “Kuroshio”, most islands in Okinawa are surrounded with beautiful coral reefs. Some of them are ranked among top places for diving.
The average temperature in Okinawa in December is somewhat warm about 18 °C (64 °F), where afternoons can be warm with average high temperatures reaching 21 °C (70 °F) while overnight temperatures are generally very mild with an average low of 16 °C (61 °F).
Okinawa islands are mostly famous for their wonderful nature, including splendid beaches and spectacular sceneries such as Cape Manza (below), caves, mangrove forest and tropical jungle. The main Okinawa island offers a great deal of sea activities including scuba diving, yachting...
Okinawa is also home to 9 UNESCO world heritages that includes ruins of castles from the “Ryukyu Kingdom” from the 14th to 16th century. The main palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom was Shuri Castle which is located in Naha city close to the venue of ASRU.
Okinawa offers many great spots for diving. However, for those willing to explore the wonder of the sea without getting wet, Okinawa Chura umi aquarium is the perfect place! Among the top attractions are the whale sharks and manta rays.
Okinawa is known for its healthy food; that is one of the main reason for the long life expectancy of its inhabitants. Some of the typical food include umibudo (sea grapes) seaweeds, goya champuru and a large variety of awamori liqueurs, to list just a few.
Okinawa is also well known for its unique music which mixes traditional japanese instruments with relaxing songs from the tropics.