Okinawa Islands, Japan's Southernmost Resort
7 Days/6 Nights
What is known as “Okinawa” is actually a collection of tropical islands in southern Japan.
Okinawa-Honto is the largest island of Okinawa Prefecture and is the historical seat of the Ryukyu Dynasty‘s power.
Okinawa was not always part of Japan, and it’s relatively far-flung location ensured that it evolved with a very distinct culture of its own. Okinawa is not only home to a unique culinary environment influenced by its tropical surroundings and a place of rich artistic and musical tradition, but also a transportation hub for the prefecture’s further flung islands.
Ishigaki is another prominent island in the prefecture, and serves as the transportation hub for the Yaeyama Islands, primarily accessed by boat from the Ishigaki Boat Terminal.
On this tour, you will visit Ishigaki-jima Island, Taketomi-jima Island, Kuro-shima Island, and also Iriomote-jima Island.
Day 1: Okinawa-Honto (Main Island)
Your English speaking guide will be waiting for you at Okinawa’s Naha Airport. Once in Naha, you will be taken via private transport to your luxury hotel in Naha City.
This afternoon, you will visit three areas; Shuri, Naha City, and the Southern district of Okinawa-Honto.
The Shuri district represents the original capital of Okinawa. Shuri’s temples, shrines, tombs and castle were sadly all destroyed in WWII, but the castle and surrounding structures were rebuilt in 1992.
Next, you will stop at Daiichi Makishi Kosetsu Ichiba, Naha’s well-known food market. Your eyes will dance as you take in the spectacle, with great varieties of colorful fresh fish, Ise spiny lobsters, and other treasures from the sea. Better yet, upstairs you can order seafood dishes to be prepared using the fresh fish and lobsters you selected downstairs!
After the market, you will head to the Southern district for a bit of wartime history. During the closing days of the war, specifically during the battle of Okinawa, the southern part of Okinawa-Honto acted as one of the last hold-outs of the Japanese military, and as a final evacuation point for wounded Japanese soldiers at the end of the war. You’ll also visit the former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters, which is a fascinating look at an underground world created to evade enemy bombing.
Suggested hotel: Naha Terrace
Day 2: Okinawa Honto to Ishigaki-jima Island
You’ll take an early morning flight to Ishigaki Airport and check-in your selected hotel.
Your fist day on Ishigaki island, you will take a stroll along a beach by the hotel and then explore around Ishigaki’s downtown until dark.
Jusandi, ANA Intercontinental Ishigaki Resort, Club Method Ishigaki Island, Yugafu-Yamabare
Day 3: Ishigaki-jima Island
Day 4: Taketomi-jima Island
Today, you will explore Taketomi Island, a small island about 9 km in circumference, and about ten minutes by high speed ferry from Ishigaki-jima.
You will see brightly colored flowers along a road that parallels white coral sands. The sight of slowly moving buffalo-drawn carriages accompanied by the sounds of the Okinawa sanshin (an instrument that’s a predecessor to the sanshin most of us know today) creates a melodic soundtrack which completes the scene perfectly.
Taketomi-jima is still pure, beautiful, and unadulterated Okinawa, a place which has to be seen to be believed.
Suggested Lunch: Soki Soba (Okinawa noodle) in Taketomi Island.
Suggested dinner: Sushi restaurant in Ishigaki-jima.
Day 5: Kuroshima Island
Kuroshima Island is also a charming little island. It is known for beautiful coral reefs and beaches, which are habitual egg-laying grounds for various species of Sea Turtles.
Also famous is the island’s population…of cows. Comparing the human population of 220, over 3,000 beef cows are raised here.
You’ll explore around beautiful Kuroshima Island by bicycle with your guide and visit Nakamoto beach at the west coast and you can do some snorkeling. There is Nishinohama Beach to visit also.
Suggested Dinner: Okinawa traditional island cuisine
Day 6: Iriomote-jima Island
Iriomote-jima is the second largest island (after Okinawa-Honto) in the prefecture, and over 90% of its surface is covered with tropical and subtropical virgin forest.
Deep in the vast jungles grow Iriomote’s wild cats and other rare and cherished wildlife, as well as uncountable rivers supporting large mangrove stands, grand vistas punctuated by vigorous waterfalls, and so much more. This degree of big nature is naturally conducive to eco tourism activities such as canoeing and trekking.
The breathtaking sights to behold here on Iriomote-jima just may challenge your preconceptions about what Japan is!
You’ll also make a quick jaunt to nearby Yubu-jima, a small island next to Iriomote-jima, which is only 15m above sea level and 2.15km around. Buffalo carriages are used for sightseeing, which is the perfect pace to take in the slow life here. You will return Iriomote-jima for tonight’s lodging.
Day 7: Departure
Travel With Kids
We offer exciting tours that can be enjoyed along with your children.
We can also arrange for child care, as well as a doctor or nurse should the unfortunate need arise.
The total tour cost will be based on the hotel rooms you have selected, and include transfers, a private vehicle with driver, an English-speaking private tour escort, specialized field guides, travel insurance, activities and entrance fees, and breakfast at the hotel. (Room prices at ryokans typically include breakfast and dinner in the room, or in some cases in the hotel’s dining room.)
Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately.
Some personal expenses, including lunches, dinners, alcoholic beverages, and spa treatments will need to be directly paid at the time of consumption.
Prices may vary depending on the season and chosen level of accommodation.
The approximate price of this tour: JPY 800,000 (USD 7,355) and up for two people.
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