Okinawa is Japan's southernmost prefecture and is located over 600 km south of the island of Kyushu. Okinawa consists of approx. 50 islands. Some of them are developed with modern resorts, others are remote islands that boast untouched beautiful natural landscapes. Visitors can enjoy distinctive Okinawan culture in food, craft, music and architecture which originated from the Ryukyu Kingdom which ruled the islands until the late 19th century.
If you travel by Shinkansen train from Tokyo to Kyushu Island, you will first come to Fukuoka Prefecture. Its capital Fukuoka City is a former castle town and now the biggest city on Kyushu Island. Ohori Park is located on the old castle grounds. The Kyushu National Museum has an excellent collection showing Japanese art and history. It is located nearby in Dazaifu, the former governmental center of Kyushu. The Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is the national headquarter for all Tenmangu shrines. Also in the Fukuoka area is Munakata Taisha, UNESCO World Heritage and one of the oldest shrines in Japan.