Toba is a coastal city in the prefecture of Mie, located approximately two and a half hours from Osaka. It has a population south of 20,000, and an area of 107.3 km² so it’s less than half the size of Osaka with a fraction of the people, but it does have that Japanese seaside charm.
Sado is a peaceful island situated off the coast of Niigata Prefecture. It is accessible by ferries running every hour or so between Niigata and Ryotsu Ports. If you are not worried about missing the only ferry of the day, you can also jump on in Naoetsu and get off in the little town of Ogi.
Awaji Island, located just south of Kobe in Hyogo prefecture is worth putting on your itinerary if you visit Kansai. It’s connected to Honshu—Japan’s main island—by the nearly 4km long Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge.
While popular attractions have their respective appeal, more esoteric destinations in Japan can whet the appetites of more seasoned adventurers. One such place is Enoshima, a quiet island off the Kamakura coast.
Niemonjima. Have you heard of it? If you're not a history buff, then perhaps you haven't. Located off the coast of southwest Chiba, this tiny landmass was the secret hideaway of one of the greatest generals in Japanese history. Minamoto-no-Yoritomo was one of the founders of the Kamakura Shogunate, and after a battle with a rivaling faction, he fled for safety behind the shoreline rocks of Niemonjima.
Tomogashima Island in Wakayama Prefecture is a natural and historical treasure that combines the allure of crumbling architecture with lush natural greenery and impressive rock formations.
Due to its position in the far south east of Japan, Miyazaki was largely undeveloped for most of Japan's history and as such is home to some beautiful untouched landscapes and national parks, as well as natural locations that tie into Japan's earliest mythology. Miyazaki City, the prefecture's capital, tends to be a little overlooked when considering what Miyazaki as a whole has to offer.
Visiting Okinawa? Here are my 5 tips for an awesome snorkeling and beach adventure on Ikei Island.
Sado, the largest island in Japan, is usually a quiet, peaceful island. But every year for the three-day Earth Celebration (EC) in August, the island transforms into a lively, international hub. Presented by world-renowned taiko drumming ensemble Kodo, EC is a music festival that brings performing art talents together from within and outside of Japan.
I have lived in Okinawa for years and I can say that the beaches are really beautiful during summer. A great spot for a weekend getaway at the beach would be Miyako Island, a small island located in the south of Okinawa. You can reach there from Naha by plane in about 1 hour.
Fifteen minutes from the Okinawa mainland by ferry, the 8km long island of Kudakajima is pure paradise, where island nature embraces ancient folklore and restful living.
Taketomi Island is easily reachable from Ishigaki Island, at only ten minutes by ferry from Ishigaki Port. You can reach Taketomi with one of the two ferry companies, Ishigaki Dream Tours and Yaeyama Kanko Ferry. At Ishigaki Port, you can also get package tours to make the most of your time on this beautiful island.