Everything most people associate with Japan are the hectic urban environments, mountain hot spring retreats, or traditional wooden architecture. Not often do people consider Japan as a tropical beach destination with wide sandy beaches for swimming and relaxation or tropical reefs that are perfect for scuba diving and other water sports. With crystal clear water, perfect white sandy beaches, warm weather year round and a unique culture of its own, the region of Okinawa is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Japanese people year round.
Trailing off for hundreds of kilometres into the East China Sea towards Taiwan, the islands of Okinawa are made up of hundreds of inhabited and uninhabited islands dotted in the tropical waters off the southwest coast of Japan. The main centre of Naha hosts the most developed urban area of the region. The shops in Naha sell goods from around the world alongside locally made goods, restaurants offer a range of local dishes and international cuisine and here you will also find a wide selection of accommodation that will give you somewhere to rest at the end of days spent enjoying everything on offer. The lively charm of the streets here are just an introduction to the relaxed atmosphere and holiday mood found in some of the more remote islands of the region.
Ishigaki, a further 450km southwest of Naha features views and experiences that travel guidebooks are made from. Covered with dense jungle and palm trees, and rimmed by pure white sands, Ishigaki hosts a range of accommodation options and provides a launching pad for visitors to snorkel, hike and explore the surrounding islands without the compromise of crowds. If you chose to visit one of the populated areas of the region, or seek somewhere more isolated, you will be able to enjoy the warm waters of Okinawa which are considered some of the best in the world for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Access to Ishigaki and Naha is easy by air. The adventure continues in this region when you set off for some of the more remote islands which are only accessible by sea. Whatever the purpose of your visit to the region, whether it be for relaxation, adventure, family holiday or a romantic getaway, Okinawa offers an experience that suits everyone.