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The Ryukyu Islands, more popularly known as Okinawa, is the southernmost island chain in Japan. Dubbed the “Hawaii of Japan”, these islands are rich in history and culture, being an independent kingdom for hundreds of years before officially becoming a Japanese prefecture in the late 19th-century. It served as the gateway to Japan from China and the rest of Asia, and therefore, has a cool blend of Japanese, Chinese, and pacific island culture.

I fell in love with Okinawa after my trip in February. Not only have I started seeking Okinawan restaurants every time I go to Fukuoka, I’ve also taken to cooking Okinawan food at home. Good way to get in touch with my tropical side while enduring cold nights in a Japanese apartment!

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