Visit Okinawa has released new videos for travel agents looking to learn more about the unique experiences Japan’s southernmost prefecture has to offer as well as tips on how to incorporate the destination as part of their clients´ Japan itineraries. The first video features Iriomote Island, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2021 for its ‘outstanding universal value’ and is an ideal spot for off the beaten track exploration.
Meanwhile, the second video shares the history and insights of the shisa figures, an iconic part of Okinawa´s unique history and heritage and great for visitors looking to book culture-rich breaks in 2022 and beyond. Lastly, the third video, a webinar produced with Online Travel Training (OTT), covers aspects of the archipelago´s culture, history and craft offering and sees Matt Spiller from InsideJapan Tours share his tips on how to sell Okinawa.
Nature activities in Iriomote
Recently recognised by UNESCO, Iriomote Island is perfect for travellers seeking to book a nature-rich break. The video explains the qualities and prominent features of this stunning remote island in the Yaeyama region and the array of nature activities that visitors can enjoy. Due to an abundance of rivers fostering mangrove forests (80% of mangrove forest in Japan is found in Iriomote) popular activities include river kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and, during the summer, canyoning. The video also highlights secluded spots such as waterfalls that can only be reached via kayak and night-time activities including stargazing and tours to find the famous Iriomote cat – which only inhabits Iriomote Island.
Shisa lions of Okinawa
Also referred to as ‘guardian lions´, shisa figures are Okinawa´s cultural icon. Believed to fend off evil spirits, this video Visit Okinawa explains the origins and history of shisa and shares several interesting facts about the popular talismans such as how to differentiate a male figure from a female. Whilst shisa can be found throughout the prefecture on rooftops, roadsides, in restaurants and in workplaces, the video also highlights not-to-be-missed examples and those of historical and cultural significance such as Tomori Stone Lion, located in the town of Yaese (about 30 minutes from the capital Naha) and dating back to 1689.
How to sell Okinawa
The latest webinar with OTT sees Visit Okinawa share an overview of the destination highlighting its history and notable historic sites to visit and popular crafts and authentic experiences such as playing the Sanshin and learning how to cook traditional Ryukyu cuisine.
Additionally, this video is also great for travel agents looking for suggestions on how to incorporate Okinawa into a typical Japan itinerary as Matt Spiller, Trade Sales & Marketing Manager at InsideJapan Tours, talks about how Okinawa is the perfect add-on to a multi-trip to Japan and shares his tips on how to incorporate the stunning archipelago to Japan´s famous Golden Route, how to get there information and recommendations on things to do for clients who have less time and for those that have longer.