Okinawa, Japan is a place where residents live to a ripe old age. The #Experientialist uncovers its secrets

Tips from an Okinawian centurian

We’re not talking about Roman soldiers here, although the capital of Italy is imploring OutThere travellers to return to the ancient city … but we made a call out all the way to Okinawa – the remote, archipelago of over 160 islands, Japan – for some wellness tips from those who can prove their techniques actually work.

As one of the world’s designated ‘blue zones’ for longevity and home to the biggest concentration of 100-year-olds on our planet, this southernmost part of Japan is infamous for its healthy lifestyle, sub-tropical sunshine and nutritious gastronomy, where better for us to #KeepYourMindTravelling and seek inspiration on how to live a healthy lifestyle. We speak to some ‘Obaasan’ and ‘Ojisaan’ – local grandmothers and grandads on their top tips to living to a ripe old age.

“Yuimaru” is everything
“Icharibachodee” – in the Okinawan dialect translates loosely to a sense of community – “once we meet, we are brothers for life” and the ties and relationships between family and friends. By getting out there and supporting the local community, the spirit is uplifted, because you know someone has always got your back. They call this “Yuimaru.”

Work on “Uchinaa” time
It’s the way on many island communities, but Okinawa has quite possibly the most relaxed sense of time in the world, which is in stark contrast to that of the stringent punctuality of mainland Japan. Locals have a forgiving attitude towards running late – and considering the wonderful climate and beautiful surrounding – taking your time over everything you do is an easy habit to adopt. Plus it means far less stress.

Eat fresh
Local tropical vegetables – “nuchigusui” – is considered food for the soul. Translated, the world means ‘medicine for life.’ In fact, all local cuisine is considered “kusuimun” – which also means medicine. The point being, a balanced, organic diet, with plenty of nutrition, dominates local cuisine.

Be at one with nature…
“When you live in a place so beautiful, there’s no hurry to get to heaven as you’re already in it,” an octogenarian, shaved-ice merchant on the island of Taketomi told us. Living in harmony with your surroundings is the foundation of life on the islands, to see true beauty in something that is natural and untampered with.

www.visitokinawa.jp

Photography by Romeo A / Unsplash