Located in the south of Japan, in the region of Ryukyu, the Okinawa archipelago could become the next tropical paradise for international tourists. Just a 2h 25m flight from Tokyo, the Okinawa archipelago offers a completely different side of Japan, far from the traditional images of the cherry trees and Mount Fuji. The countless beaches of immaculate white sand, sunny skies and crystal-clear water make Okinawa a preferred destination of the Japanese. However, a new breed of clientele might soon start frequenting its shores, as the climate and the lifestyle on this former U.S. military base is very similar to those of Hawaii. Not to mention that the construction of several 5-star resorts provide foreign tourists with a great reason to come visit this heavenly archipelago. However, there are plenty of reasons to come here. In addition to its splendid beaches, the archipelago has an interesting historical past, as can be seen with Naha Castle, Okinawa Senseki Quasi-National Park (battlefield), and the forts of Nakagusuku and Nakijin. The subtropical vegetation is home to species that are unique in the world and coral reefs that offer an ideal underwater environment for diving.
The Okinawa Islands are part of the Ryukyu archipelago. Because of their isolation, some of the islands possess a great amount of endemic flora and fauna.© Stefano Garau / 123RF
The Okinawa archipelago can be reached from the Tokyo airport in 2h 25m.© Liza5450 / 123RF
The main island of Okinawa is the most popular one in the archipelago due to its history, its coral reefs, and its emerald-green sea.© Leung Cho Pan / 123RF
Its countless beaches of immaculate white sand, sunny skies and subtropical vegetation make Okinawa a preferred destination for tourists.© SHOJIRO ISHIHARA
Part of the Sakishima archipelago and the Okinawa prefecture, Yonaguni is famous for its underwater formations and the 'yonaguni' horse.© Tagstock Japan / 123RF