If you ask Muslims where they would like to go in Japan, many will respond “Hokkaido”. This is because Hokkaido is home to silky snow, vast lands, and delicious foods such a fruits and seafood, etc. However, a place in which visitors can enjoy the deep blue sea, transparent to a depth of 40m, the white sands, which are some of the world’s finest, and the so-called macrobiotic cuisine may also be a candidate. Okinawa, Japan’s leading resort area, is located 3,000km to the south of Hokkaido.
Okinawa Prefecture is made up of around 160 large and small islands including the main island of Okinawa. It flourished for 450 years as the Ryukyu Kingdom and has been a part of Japan for 135 years. The culture, based on the unique landscape, nature and spiritual features of the area which are unique from mainland Japan and Taiwan, is attractive to tourists. In fact, Okinawa was popular as a hidden resort visited by wealthy Asians and Middle Easterners before awareness of Halal spread in Japan. The high-quality hospitality and untouched nature of Okinawa more than rival Phuket and Bali.
Okinawa is ready for an influx of Muslim tourists. In addition to the development of Halal food and restaurants, hotels are also making efforts to welcome Muslims. Local businesses frequently hold study sessions and a travel guide called “Muslim Friendly Okinawa” has been created. While there are no international LCCs currently servicing Okinawa, Air Asia has established a Tune Hotel on the main island of Okinawa. They most likely have plans to fly to Okinawa in the near future.
The Japanese archipelago stretches from north to south and tourists can enjoy travelling wherever they go, to Hokkaido in the north then south to Okinawa, for example, throughout the year. If you enjoy viewing cherry blossoms in many places, you will find travelling north from Okinawa along with the cherry blossom front a very interesting experience unique to Japan.