I was told that Okinawa is the Hawaii of Japan--don't mistake it for the mainland, know the love for Spam and most of all, be prepared for a warm welcome. And it was all true. There are some things that are unmistakably of this Ryuku island. In a few words? Sanshin (the Okinawan cousin to the banjo), pineapple, beni imo (purple yam), Orion beer and above all, a great connection to the sea with a plethora of coral reefs, cerulean waters and amazing fish.