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Fantastic Okinawa series launches to present island’s most cherished sights

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2004-04-15

Okinawa Prefecture’s principal island is home to some 1.2 million people. It is also home to countless cultural assets, tourist sights and simple fun spots that everyone should visit. Trouble is, many thousands of people have no idea what is available on this island for fun and pleasure.

Island Market and Japan Update are about to change all that. An ambitious year-long undertaking, “Fantastic Okinawa”, will introduce visitors and residents to each of the island’s most tantalizing sightseeing spots, cherished cultural locations, and the ever popular sites for fun and relaxation.

A New Concept

Beginning with the coming issue, every Island Market edition will key in on a popular tourist program or site. Each issue will highlight at least one, a generally two, places for you to visit on Okinawa.

Realizing that the Island Market and Japan Update audiences are continuously changing, the journalistic project goes far beyond the simple confines of today’s newspaper. Each article will be available on the Japan Update.Com website, continuously cross referenced to make it easier for readers to visit the sites.

The project essentially divides the island’s treasures into several categories: cultural assets, tourist attractions, fun places and casual living.

Each article will present the highlights of the spotlight location, together with admission costs and directions for getting there. Recommendations will sometimes be offered on ‘not to miss’ photo opportunities and souvenir opportunities.

We’ll guide you through each armchair visit, and give hints on how to make the most of your travel options. We’d suggest you print out the articles as a handy dandy reference, and take them as you travel.

So Much to See and Do

No matter that you’ve been here ten weeks or ten years, it’s an odds on bet you’ve not seen a fractions of Okinawa’s sights. Island Market and Japan Update are changing that now. You’ll thrill at the sights and sounds of this island we live on.

We begin next week, with a walk through the island’s most cherished cultural spot, Shuri Castle. Long the home of Okinawa’s kings, it was bombed to oblivion during World War II, resurrected as the sight of a local university, then reconstructed as the sacred castle site it is.

April 29th takes you into the wonders of Spring, and the first major festival of the year. The Naha City Harii Festival, complete with the ever popular dragon boat races, is coming in early May. We’ll take you there.

Early May is also the time for Okinawa’s most revered holiday week, Golden Week. A series of holidays jammed into the same week’s time frame, it brings business to a standstill, and traffic too. Learn about it, and appreciate Okinawa’s customs and traditions in this first of a series.

It’s not all boring, ancient sightseeing locations. There will be a mixture of many different things to make your time on Okinawa more rewarding. And for the locals, there’s no longer the excuse you didn’t know what’s available on your Okinawa.

Something for Everyone

You’ll want to read every issue, and keep them as well, because they’ll provide most every idea you’ve ever had for places to go and things to do.

There will be firsthand information on the festivals, parties and events to attend across Okinawa. Take that a notch farther, and learn about the best restaurants. Wondered if there’s a good Italian restaurant on Okinawa? There is! French? Yes. Indian? Yes. Thai? Yes. Korean? Yes. We’ll share.

Leisure activities such as the beach, and shopping, will be covered in detail. So will sports opportunities. Most people don’t know there’s ice skating available here. We will take you there.

There’s a zoo, a butterfly farm, hiking and fishing and diving and swimming and…

Well, you get the idea.

Castle ruins? We know where they are, and soon, you will too.

It’s all coming your way beginning April 22nd, in your Island Market, and Japan Update.

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