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Okinawa tourism: Islands of Ryukyu heritage, surrounded by ocean

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How do locals react to requests from tourists?

When visiting another country, most tourists ask locals to take their pictures, ask for directions, or get advice on local cuisine, hotels, and popular destinations.

Cultural norms and environment (think small village versus a huge city) often dictate reactions by local residents. See this YouTube video to compare norms in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Japan.

If you're visiting Disney World in Orlando, Fla., you'll probably get a friendlier accommodation than if you were in the middle of the financial district in super busy New York.

Destination: Okinawa

If you're a visitor in Okinawa, Japan, you'll probably get a warmer reaction to tourist requests. Locals pride themselves with their friendliness.

Okinawa consists a group of islands in southern Japan with a population of nearly 1.5 million. The capital, Naha, is located in the southern part of Okinawa Island. The region features diverse local dialects.

Visitors often participate in marine sports as the islands are surrounded by beautiful blue ocean. Okinawa also features old growth forests for tourists who like to go hiking and sightseeing on land.

"The Ryukyu culture flourished in 14th to 16th centuries when Okinawa was known as the 'Ryukyu Kingdom'," according to Old traditions have been passed through the generations, and the local heritage is reflected in crafts, arts, food, and lifestyle.

Contact: Marv Dumon at


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