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Okinawa Travel Posters Collection

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The “Okinawa Travel Posters Collection” invites you on a visually enchanting journey to the heart of Okinawa, capturing the essence of its landscapes, legends, and the vibrant tapestry of life that defines this unique island. From the serene beauty of Kouri Jima, whispered to be the birthplace of love, to the historical depth of Shuri Castle and the bustling streets of Naha, each piece offers a window into the soul of Okinawa. This collection not only highlights the natural splendor and architectural marvels but also delves into the rich cultural heritage and the timeless stories that have shaped Okinawa. Through the eyes of artists, discover hidden gems like the tranquil village of Oogimi, the romantic tales of Manzamo, and the mystical allure of Senaga Island, dubbed Okinawa’s Little Greece. Let the Churaumi Aquarium’s majestic whale sharks remind you of the world’s vast wonders, inviting you to explore Okinawa’s enchanting realms through a tapestry of artistic expression.

Let’s get started.

Cape Zanpa

Cape Zanpa has always been the stage for a clash of forces. It is here that the sea claims the land, inch by inch, over millions of years. It is here that heroes have fallen, and divided territories have unified into one Ryukyu Kingdom. It is also here that U.S. troops landed, followed by a bloody battle that led to many deaths and the end of World War II.

Today, many come to share a moment of the beautiful Zanpa sunset with loved ones. Only a few are aware of the stories that preceded them.

This drawing highlights the many attractions near Cape Zanpa, making it one of my favorite places in Okinawa. I hope one day you will visit Cape Zanpa to see the color of the sky, listen to the wind’s whisper, and smell the sea breeze.

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Yambaru Sakura

In Japan, the sakura awakens first in Okinawa. Unlike the sakura in mainland Japan, Okinawa’s sakura don’t grow in clusters. Instead, they are scattered across the island, from Mt. Yae to the streets of Naha. Every January, if you follow the singing of the Mejiro, you will discover a blooming sakura tree, quietly reaching for the sky, waiting to be found.

This piece illustrates a peaceful old village in Oogimi (part of the Yambaru region of Okinawa). The area is divided by a river. One by one, fully bloomed sakura petals fall into the water, continuing their journey to the sea. Driven by the current, the petals spin as if bidding farewell to the mother tree.

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Kouri Island

Kouri Jima – the island of love, whispers the tale of a timeless romance. According to local legends, it was on a pristine beach of Kouri Island where the progenitors of the Okinawan people first met. Their love blossomed, and together, they laid the foundation of the Okinawan lineage. Today, many lovers journey here, seeking the blessing of the creators, hoping to weave their own tales of love into the island’s rich tapestry. As years unfurl, this legend comes full circle, with the descendants of those once blessed by the island retracing their ancestors’ steps, back to this enchanted isle of love.

In this drawing, you will discover all that Kouri Island offers to kindle the flames of romance. Traverse what was once the longest cross-ocean bridge to the island, and you will encounter Kouri Beach, Kouri Ocean Tower, Heart Rocks, the Couple’s Rock, and the very spot where the first love in Okinawa ignited. Before you depart, indulge in a savory treat from the island’s famed Kouri Shrimp Truck, known for its irresistible garlic shrimp, a perfect finale to your romantic pilgrimage.

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Shuri Castle, the eternal emblem of Okinawa, forever etched in our hearts. More than just a castle, it serves as a gateway to the majestic saga of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Within this drawing, you’ll uncover the myriad elements that crafted the Ryukyu into one of the most prosperous kingdoms across the Pacific. Let the pathways guide you; they will lead you to the serene Shureimon Gate, along the historic Kinjo Tatami Stone Road, to the sacred Naminoue Shrine, through the artisanal lanes of the Tsuboya Pottery District, down to the bustling Port of Shuri, and even into the vibrant heart of modern-day Kokusai Street. Each step is a journey through time, a dance with history, and a romance with the soul of Okinawa.

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Kaichu Road, Part of Katsuren Peninsula

In today’s Okinawa, overshadowed by resorts and malls, the Katsuren Peninsula whispers tales of a past where ambition and unity shaped history. Here, Amawari’s legacy, feared by the Sho family, spurred the unification of Okinawa from the ramparts of Katsuren Castle.

Imagine, before the Kaichu Doro bridged seas in the 1970s, islanders traversed seabeds at low tide, connecting lives and stories.

Now, the ruins of Katsuren Castle are where dreams of the new year dawn. As the sun ascends, painting hope across the sky, Katsuren awakens. Stand amidst its ruins at sunrise, bask in its glow, and feel the pulse of history. Here, you’re not just witnessing daybreak; you’re part of a continuum, as majestic as kings of yore.

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Cape Manzamo

The tale of Manzamo is woven from the fabric of the Ryukyu era, where a king, struck by the vista’s grandeur, proclaimed:

“This rock could seat ten thousand souls.”

Thus, Manzamo, meaning “Ten Thousand Seats,” was born. Without its legend, Manzamo remains a mere stone, silently guarding the coast of Onna village. Yet, a story breathes life into the inert, transforming a simple rock into a beacon for millions each year.

Stories are the soul of art, infusing the inanimate with spirit. It is the king’s vision, carried through generations by storytellers, that now reaches you through this artwork. From the depths of royal imagination, through the echoes of tales told, to the stroke of my brush, and now, into your gaze.

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To witness Okinawa’s true splendor, venture northward to Nago, the gateway to the island’s wild heart. Beyond the northernmost point of the Okinawa Expressway, Nago Bay unfolds—a dazzling welcome into the untamed north, its waters painting a stark contrast against the monotonous road.

Before the expressway, Busena was the northern gateway, where coastal roads ascend into the mountains, and the tumultuous sea shapes rocks into ruins.

Ryukyu, despite its small size and lack of resources, thrived as a vital trading hub in the Pacific. At Busena stands the Bankoku Shinryo Kan, “The Bridge to Ten Thousand Nations,” a testament to its historical significance, epitomized by hosting the G8 summit in 2000, once again uniting the world.

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Senaga Island

Senaga Island casts a spell unlike any other in Okinawa or Japan, earning its nickname as Okinawa’s Little Greece. Though its shops and restaurants might not offer Greek fare, the island’s architecture whispers tales of the Aegean Sea from across the distances. For those ensnared in Naha city’s bustling life, Senaga is an oasis, a secret retreat offering solace and simplicity. Here, people unwind, breathe deeply, reflect, and forge lasting memories with loved ones. It’s astonishing how this small haven can bring profound joy to many, time and again. A visit to Senaga Island serves as a gentle reminder of the minimal necessities required to rejuvenate our spirits. Much like the tiny island of Okinawa has nurtured some of the world’s happiest and longest-living people, Senaga teaches us that happiness is woven into the fabric of our daily lives, often missed in our ceaseless hurry. A leisurely stroll by the sea, a simple meal shared with dear friends, the warmth of community—true contentment surrounds us, awaiting our notice.

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Churaumi Aquarium

The Churaumi Aquarium, Japan’s largest, holds a place in my heart, especially the mesmerizing spectacle of its giant tank, home to the majestic whale sharks. Within its glass walls swim creatures of grandeur, far surpassing human size and speed, inviting contemplation of a world beyond our own confines. This sanctuary casts a spell, dissolving trivial human woes, reminding us of the vastness and beauty that lies beyond. So, when the weight of the world seems unbearable, let the sight of these gentle giants shift your perspective. Sometimes, a glimpse into their serene world is all it takes to soothe the soul.

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