Itsumi Nakamoto, president of travel and hotel operator Endemic Garden H in the Yanbaru region of Okinawa's main island, senses a change in demand for tourism in the prefecture.

“The question now is how to make it more sustainable,” Nakamoto says.

With the resumption of international travel after a pandemic-induced halt, Okinawa is beginning to see an increase in tourism. Local businesses are exploring ways to re-establish Okinawa's rich nature and unique history and culture as valuable tourism resources while trying to raise per-person spending by tourists and create more jobs in the region.