With deserted, white sandy beaches framing clear, warm sea waters teeming with tropical fish of all shapes, sizes and colours, the Okinawan Islands are an idyllic haven; a place to go and unwind while you tune into a slower pace of life.
There are hundreds of islands here, some inhabited, others little more than a rocky outcrop in the ocean. Ishigaki, to the south of the main island, is the perfect island break - great beaches, snorkelling, diving, accommodation to suit all budgets and a wide range of day trips.
On nearby Taketomi, water buffalo pull carts of farm produce; on Iriomote you can canoe through the mangroves, hike to the top of waterfalls and keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the elusive Iriomote wildcat.
Watching the sun rise over Kabira Bay on Iriomote Island, then swimming with Manta rays amongst the coral reefs was an amazing experience.Toby Gallagher - Senior Travel Consultant
Home to beautiful secluded beaches, extensive limestone caves, forested mountains with great vistas, fantastic scuba diving and one of Japan's top three views at Kabira Bay, Ishigaki is definitely a place worth visiting.
Naha is the capital city of Okinawa and is located on the Southwest coast of the subtropical island.The port, located just outside the city, has long been an point of international trade which has resulted in Naha having a true international flavour.
Iriomote is part of the subtropical Yaeyama island chain. It is the second biggest island in Okinawa but has a population of only 2000. Access is only by sea and the main reason for its small population is the dense protected jungle and mangrove that covers most of the island's surface.
A short boat ride from Ishigaki will bring you to the small island of Taketomi. The island is populated by approximately 300 over an area of just 5.4 sqkm.