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Japan travel guide

Japan - Okinawa & the Southwest Islands (Chapter)

14th Edition Sep 2015

This is the Okinawa & the Southwest Islands chapter from Lonely Planet’s Japan guidebook.

Japan’s Southwest Islands are a Japan you may not know exists: a chain of semitropical, coral-fringed islands evocative of Hawaii or Southeast Asia. They’re a nature lover’s paradise: lush primeval forests, killer beaches, crystal-clear waters, Japan’s best coral reefs, subtropical jungles and mangrove swamps can be found hidden here. But spectacular nature is only part of it - the Southwest Islands exude a peculiarly ‘un-Japanese’ culture and the Ryūkyū cultural heart still beats strongly here.

  • exploring the mangrove swamps, jungles and coral reefs of Iriomote-jima
  • maps
  • chilling out on peaceful Yoron-tō, with its blissful scenery of beaches and sugarcane
  • transport
  • diving the mysterious underwater rock formations of Yonagumi-jima, Japan’s westernmost island
  • restaurants & accommodation

Coverage includes: Kagoshima Prefecture, Ōsumi Islands, Amami Islands, Okinawa Prefecture, Okinawa-hontō, Islands Near Okinawa-hontō, Miyako Islands, and Yaeyama Islands.

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