8 Most Attractive Southern Islands in Japan
Ishigaki Island is Okinawa’s third largest island, featuring many great highlights to be enjoyed. The island offers many spots with beautiful scenery such as the Hirakubozaki Lighthouse, from where you can enjoy stunning views of Kabira Bay —selected as one of the 100 Landscapes of Japan— as well as the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea.
The water around Ishigaki is pure blue, with white sandy beaches to soothe your senses. But don’t just stand on the beach and stare. travellers recommend a ride in a glass-bottomed boat to gaze at the coral reefs and tropical fish from above.
The roads throughout the island allow you to drive around as you enjoy superb views of the sea
Yaeyama Islands (Includes Taketomi Island, Iriomote Islands, Hateruma Island, and Yonaguni Monument)
The Yaeyama Islands have long been a refuge for surfers, divers, back-to-the-landers, and anyone who wishes to escape Japan without actually leaving it.
With stunning landscapes, new Bali-style lodges and a beach made of stars, the secret of Japan’s tropical Yaeyama islands is spreading beyond the diving community.
Beaches are Miyako’s most famous attraction. There are picturesque sand beaches for swimming and relaxing and coral reefs that provide excellent snorkelling. While the beaches are open year round, they are best enjoyed from April to November when the air temperature consistently tops 25 degrees and the water is very warm.
Like elsewhere in Okinawa, the beaches of Kumejima, snorkelling and diving are among the principal attractions for visitors. Hatenohama Beach, an approximately seven-kilometre long sandbar surrounded by water just east of the island, is Kumejima’s most famous attraction.
The beach is highly regarded for its white sand, but can only be accessed by joining a tour. The other beaches of Kumejima are also quite attractive and are generally less busy than the beaches found on Okinawa Honto
Yakushima is a subtropical island off the southern coast of Kyushu and part of Kagoshima Prefecture. It is covered by an extensive cedar forest that contains some of Japan’s oldest living trees.
Trees more than 1000 years old are affectionately called yakusugi (a combination of Yakushima and Sugi, the Japanese word for cedar), the most ancient of which may be over 7000 years old.
One of the most fascinating dive sites in Okinawa, the Kerama Islands prompt many a diver from around the world to keep coming back to see its extraordinarily beautiful waters and incredible underwater sights. There are numerous places of accommodation and dive shops where English is spoken.
The Kerama Islands are a great place to refresh the mind and body by getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Amami Oshima Island
Amami Oshima has a rich human history and a unique cuisine. The island is additionally known for its revered Oshima Tsumugi silk that has for centuries been used to make high-quality kimono.
As with Okinawa, the best weather is usually experienced on Amami Oshima from late June through August.
The Ogasawara Islands, also known in English as the Bonin Islands, are a chain of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, about 1000 kilometers south and administratively part of Tokyo.
The sole way to reach the islands is by a weekly 24 hour ferry ride from Tokyo. Only the two largest islands, Chichijima (Father Island) and Hahajima (Mother Island) are inhabited.
source: visitokinawa, japan-guide, Okinawa Travel Info