Tokyo – Ishigaki – Taketomi – Iriomote – Naha – Zamami – Tokyo
Our Island Hopping itinerary begins and ends in Tokyo, which should provide a striking contrast to the rest of your Japanese island adventure!
Flying three and a half hours south of the capital, you will arrive on Ishigaki Island, in the Yaeyama island chain. With some of Japan's most beautiful beaches to relax on, a forested and mountainous interior to discover, and spectacularly diverse coral and marine life including huge Manta rays - Ishigaki is a world away from the distant capital city.
Just 20 minutes on a ferry will transport you back in time as you visit the tiny island of Taketomi, where the main form of transport is water buffalo-drawn cart. Traditional Ryukyu buildings with their distinctive red-tiled roofs have been preserved throughout the island. See if you can spot the lionesque shisa guardian statues protecting the houses from evil spirits: a ubiquitous sight across the Okinawa region.
The largest but least developed island in the Yaeyama chain is Iriomote, covered in wild jungle and mangrove forests. Kayaking up the rivers into the dense jungle and trekking to the top of waterfalls for views across this stunning national park are the perfect ways to appreciate this subtropical gem.
A night in Naha, the capital of Okinawa's main island, will bring you back to the modern world. Formerly the centre of the ancient Ryukyu Kingdom, Naha is now a city of 70 thousand people and has everything that comes with it - thronged markets, a proliferation of restaurants, an exuberant nightlife scene and a booming line in fabulously tacky souvenirs.
The Kerama Islands, the final stop on your island-hopping adventure, offer some of the best snorkelling in the world. You will be amazed by the sheer variety of marine life, the untouched coral and the incredible visibility - often exceeding 30 metres!
If you visit between January and April you may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of migrating Humpback Whales. With a cold glass of Okinawa's awamori in hand and a plate of fresh sashimi, you couldn't ask for a better end to your trip.
This is our "Classic" grade Island Hopping trip - but if you fancy something a little more swanky we also offer a "Superior" grade version of the same itinerary. Just check our website for details of the hotels, experiences and inclusions on each - or contact us to tailor your itinerary exactly to suit your needs!
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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