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.
On Aka Jima (Aka Island), all roads lead to the ocean. That is, if you can call them roads. Barely wide enough to accommodate one car, the three tiny lanes in the village of Aka all run parallel to the sea, and from every corner you can catch glimpses of that absolutely perfect ocean, with a color so distinct they had to give it a name — 'Kerama Blue'.
Kagoshima prefecture is located in the Kyushu region, down south in a lovely, peaceful part of Japan. It brings a strong sense of home and serenity upon arrival at this beautiful scenic spot. It is warmer than most parts of Japan during winter season and is a great travel sightseeing spot with lots of charming scenery. Driving around is highly recommended, as you breathe in the beautiful natural sights that Kagoshima has to offer.
Nagasaki is a fascinating prefecture with a long and colourful history. It was the first part of Japan where foreign explorers were allowed to trade with and has thus been a testing ground for the future of the country.
If you’re looking for something completely different — something remote, wild, and unspoiled — look to the cluster of islands on Honshu’s west coast, the Oki Islands, and let Japan surprise you. There are four main islands — the biggest, called Dōgo (Okinoshima), and three Dōzen islands (Nishinoshima, Chiburijima, and Ama).
Thanks to the registration of UNESCO World Heritage sites along with other historic sites in Kyusyu, the uninhabited island is drawing more attention and becoming one of the most popular destinations for tourists. Let me share the amazing experience with you.
In addition to Chichijima, Hahajima is the only other Ogasawara island that is inhabited. Mount Kofuji is one of the hikes that can be done without a guide and at any time of the year. I would recommend you reserve 4-5 hour for this, as there are some beaches on the way that you can also visit.
Chichijima (Ogasawara) by Night: Stargazing, the Legendary Green Pepe and Releasing Baby Turtles Into the Sea
Because they are so far from any other land mass, local species have evolved separately from their mainland cousins and developed unique adaptations to their environment. I had two nights at Chichijima, so I booked two night tours: one for stargazing and one to see the island’s nocturnal wildlife.
After living in Ishinomaki for 5 months, I finally got up early enough to catch the 9:00am ferry to Tashirojima, aka Cat Island. This is not to be confused with the Aoshima Cat Island.
Cycle the island of Hachijojima south of Tokyo for an amazing experience off the beaten path.