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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

DESTINATION Okinawa Sun-soaked beaches, captivating coral and sub-tropical jungle

Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Okinawa is a Japanese prefecture, but also an island chain with its own history as an independent kingdom, as well as a distinctly subtropical climate. Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches, and there is an amazing array of coral and undersea life. Discover an archipelago of islands each having its own character and landscape, from white-sand beaches and coral gardens to mangrove jungle trails. Come for whale watching and dragon boat races, rare flora and fauna, and the kind of island mindset that makes you forget the clock and just follow the sun.

How to Get There

Unless you’re starting out from China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Hong Kong, you’ll have to fly to Okinawa from mainland Japan. Most flights to Naha Airport leave from Haneda Airport in Tokyo.

There are frequent flights from Haneda to Naha every day, and a few from other major airports in Japan. Flights from Haneda take about three hours. As for getting around in Okinawa, there is a monorail running from Naha Airport through Naha to the old capital of Shuri, but no other rail transportation. There is also a comprehensive bus service on the main island, but it is unreliable and hard to navigate. The best way to explore Okinawa is by rental car, or bicycle. You can drive the length of the main island in less than three hours.

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Don't Miss

    The whale sharks and other creatures at the spectacular Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
    Diving with manta rays or hammerhead sharks, kayaking through a mangrove jungle, or just lazing on the sunbaked sand
    The re-created splendor of Shuri Castle, and the evocative ruins of Tamagusuku and Chinen, Okinawa’s two oldest castles

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Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    Spring comes early in Okinawa. Cherry blossoms bloom in late January and February while the rest of Japan is still gripped by winter. Azaleas, irises, lilies and hydrangeas follow in April and May.

  • Summer

    Okinawa’s subtropical summer stretches from June to October, an open invitation to go waterfall trekking and explore the beaches, coral wonderlands and mangrove glades of these islands. Fishing and ocean adventure sports are also on the menu.

  • Autumn

    The humidity drops after the early fall typhoons, making this a great time to explore the islands while it's still warm enough to enjoy sand and sea. The Naha Giant Tug-of-War Festival and Shuri Castle Festival are true fall spectacles that you won't want to miss.

  • Winter

    Deep winter in Okinawa is a comfortable 15°C. Divers can still explore the coral in December, while January brings the whale-watching season. On land, Cape Manza is a nice scenic hike, and there are plenty of illumination festivals around the holidays.

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