With its semi-tropical climate, warm surrounding ocean and extensive, rare and protected coral reefs, Ishigaki is probably the best location for snorkelling in the whole of Japan. Indeed, many would argue there is little else to do there, but the year-round warmth and relaxed pace the island offers makes it equally ideal for those simply seeking respite from the hubbub of city living.
This one-day itinerary relies on the monorail, starts from the furthest point, and ends in the heart of downtown, so that after a long day of sightseeing, you can kick back, watch the sunset at the beach, and maybe even take a dip before going out to enjoy some nightlife.
Thanks to Okinawa's southern location and warm climate, it enjoys the country's earliest hanami season, usually starting by the end of January and going into the first two weeks of February.
The fortress was built in a style unique to the island known as Gusuku, incorporating Chinese design with local characteristics and materials. These Gusuku were built across the island between the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 14th, in response to both internal island conflict and threats from across the seas.
The Peace Memorial Park Itoman is a must visit when you come to this beautiful island and it will not disappoint.
Kawaii is a measure of cute, and Nago Pineapple Park has it in spades.
Kakazu is such a famous historic battle ground, that regularly tour groups visit and explore the area. The extremely steep hills of the area were defended by the Japanese troops during the war.
My life here in Okinawa has improved so much since. Every Saturday I join their free conversational Japanese class that is held at the local Oki-koku-dai College.
And when it is time to leave, you realize that you didn't really have time to relax or took advantage of the hotel pool.
Here, the legend claims, a goddess, in some versions she is called an angel, came down from the heavens to bathe. She took off her celestial robe, (hagoromo) and...