Okinawa is the next responsible destination for meetings and events

Hotels and companies have launched sustainable activities that celebrate Okinawa’s unique culture and landscape

Okinawa is pulling out all the stops to be a responsible destination for meetings and events with programmes that celebrate its heritage and natural environment
Okinawa is pulling out all the stops to be a responsible destination for meetings and events with programmes that celebrate its heritage and natural environment

Brought to you by Okinawa Conventions & Visitors Bureau

From beach cleaning to coral planting programmes, Okinawa offers a host of sustainable initiatives that business events visitors can participate in to maximise positive environmental impact. 

The prefecture is stepping up its green efforts as it aims to become the next responsible destination for meetings. Okinawa Prefectural Government and the Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB) are working with events-related businesses to promote initiatives that not only celebrate the prefecture’s natural beauty and unique heritage, but also meet with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The government has developed the Okinawa MICE Sustainability Guidelines in 2022 (available only in Japanese) to support the sustainability efforts of Okinawa event organisers, operators and suppliers. 

Meanwhile, venues and hotels are accelerating efforts to minimise environmental damage, as well as promote local Okinawan culture, and educate visitors about the prefecture’s flora and fauna.  

Here are some ideas to start with: 

Bagasse Upcycle 

Want to give visitors a quintessentially Okinawan experience? An option is Kariyushi shirts, the Okinawan version of the Hawaiian aloha shirt, which feature designs inspired by the prefecture’s traditional dyed and woven fabric, culture and nature. 

Bagasse Upcycle is a start-up that provides rentals of these shirts. Its Kariyushi shirts are made from bagasse, known as sugarcane pulp, a by-product of sugarcane production. Sugarcane is the main agricultural crop of Okinawa. 

Bagasse itself contributes to waste if not used properly and by upcycling them into shirts, the company is reducing clothing waste. Even when the shirts wear out, they are carbonised and returned to the sugarcane fields as a soil enhancer.

Project Manatii

Event attendees can do their part to help clean up Okinawa’s beaches with Project Manatii. The programme has received positive reviews from participants, largely due to the opportunity to learn from local residents. Group activities also made it easier for participants to interact with one another. 


Take a deep dive into the turquoise blue waters surrounding Okinawa and learn about its coral ecosystems. Lagoon offers customised packages that include coral reef lectures and conservation activities in line with the SDGs. Other activities include the cultivation of coral seedlings and diving trips to transplant them. 

It also works with local fishing cooperatives, environmental experts, and research organisations.


Experience rich nature within the forests of Yanbaru, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, via a guided tour in a low impact way — by electric bus. Yanbaru is home to indigenous species such as the Okinawa rail, a flightless bird, and Ishikawa’s frog. 

Tours operate under the standards of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Travel speeds are kept below 20km/h and a limited number of participants are allowed so as to protect the environment. 

DMC Okinawa

This destination management company organises team building events and activities including two sustainability programmes.

Making Okinawan Music is a team building programme where participants learn to create harmony using Okinawan musical instruments, such as the sanshin. The aim is to promote local culture and heritage and thus preserve it, in line with the UN’s SDGs. A portion of the fees paid goes towards the restoration of Okinawa’s iconic Shuri Castle. 

The other is a tree-planting programme on Ishigaki Island, which helps to protect and develop the island’s coral reefs. 

Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island, Okinawa

Join two uniquely Okinawan projects at the exclusive Hyatt Regency located on the private Seragaki island. 

The first, a Honey & Coral Project led by the local Onna Village, sees farmers working to prevent red soil erosion by planting crops around farmland and promoting beekeeping. Sweets made with the honey harvested in the village are on sale at the hotel’s restaurants or market. Offer varies depending on harvest season.

Another, the Clownfish Nurturing Project, under supervision of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), seeks to create a sustainable tourism system and protect the clownfish population around Seragaki Island. Snorkeling tours to learn more about this project are also available.

Visit Okinawa MICE Navi now to inspire your next exciting event.

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