All About Japan

Top 10 Islands Around Okinawa for Beach Lovers

| Beaches , Okinawa

Okinawa's home to 150 islands, some of which have the most beguiling beaches with cerulean blue waters and pristine white sands. Highlighted here are the best islands and attractions in the Ryukyu Archipelago to help you plan an island-hopping itinerary, or a day-trip to a seaside getaway! Note: jima/shima both mean island in Japanese.

10. Saunter down the stellar shores - Yoron Jima

天国の海だよここ。絶対🤔 #与論島 #鹿児島 #yoron #yoronisland #kagoshima

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Yoron Jima is part of Amami islands of Kagoshima prefecture.

Why visit?
- Admire the pretty corals on the beach.
- Beautiful ocean views.
- Star sands!

Yoron Island is part of the Amami Gunto Quasi-National Park and is perfect for a seaside vacation! The weather is always warm and suitable for water sports, such as kayaking, snorkelling and kayaking! The water is always a brilliant turquoise colour, and the shores are covered with star sand; which are tiny corals resembling stars washed up on the shore!

Head to the Southern Cross Center, where you can browse through 3000-year-old artifacts and be amazed by the origin of the island (it is made entirely out of coral reefs!). For stunning panoramas of neighbouring islands, go up to the observation deck at the highest floor!

Another great attraction is the Yurigahama island, a sandbar just off the east coast that only surfaces at low tide! Snorkelling and diving are popular activities here!

9. Float on emeralds - Ishigaki Jima

Why visit?
- Okinawa’s second-largest city.
- Hike at the tallest mountain in the Okinawa prefecture.
- Wildlife watching at the stunning Kabira Bay.

Ishigaki Jima is the archipelago’s main island, and home to the area’s only urban city and the second-largest city in Okinawa! Ishigaki Jima has plenty of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops to spend time at! Moreover, you can hang out at the beaches or go snorkelling and diving. There are plenty of activities further inland too! Kayak along the rivers, or go hiking at the tallest mountain in Okinawa!

The most picturesque place in Ishigaki Island is, without a doubt, Kabira Bay. It is famous for its crystal clear, emerald waters where you can take a glass bottom boat ride around! Though diving and snorkelling are not allowed here, you can go diving at Manta Scramble near Kabira Bay. As its name suggests, the area is teeming with manta rays!

8. Explore the wild side - Iriomote Jima

Why visit?
- Get back to nature!
- Explore the jungles.
- Go on a river cruise.

Part of the Iriomote National Park, Iriomote Island is a gorgeous island covered with lush jungles and mangrove forests. The island is perfect for getting back to nature by going kayaking along the Urauchi river, fishing, sailing, snorkelling and diving. The best place to dive here is at Manta Way, where manta rays flock to! There are plenty of activities to do on the island itself, such as hiking and trekking. Look out for the Yamaneko wildcat, a species you can find only on Iriomote Island!

The best way to tour around the island is to take a river cruise along the Urauchi river, where you can admire the mangrove forests and jungles. After an hour long cruise, you will be guided through the jungle to astonishing natural sights, including 2 waterfalls!

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