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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
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 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
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare 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
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving 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
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
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 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

Nature

Tokashiki Island (Tokashikijima) 渡嘉敷島

Gateway to the Kerama Islands

Tokashiki is the largest of the Kerama Islands, which are about 30 kilometers west of Okinawa's main island. It's the perfect destination for a day trip, or an overnight stay if you want to do a bit of island hopping.

There are plenty of idyllic spots for snorkeling, diving and sunbathing in the summer, and it's a great place for whale watching in the winter.

Don't Miss

  • Two great beaches on the west coast
  • Hiking trails around an unspoiled island
  • Viewing the humpback whales in winter

How to Get There

Tokashiki Island is accessible by ferry.

High-speed ferries run from Tomari Port in Naha to Tokashiki three times a day, taking about 35 minutes. There is a car ferry that leaves once a day and takes about 70 minutes. It is also possible to island-hop to the other islands by ferry.

Snorkeling heaven

You'll arrive at Tokashiki Port on the northeast coast of the island, but the best beaches are farther south, on the west coast. Even though it's the biggest of the Kerama Islands, Tokashiki is still very compact, and it's just a 10-minute drive to the beaches and Aharen Port.

Transportation on the island

Bus services are infrequent, so the best way to get around on the island is by rental car, scooter, or bicycle. If you are staying the night on the island or taking one of the tours on offer, be sure to look out for included shuttle bus services operated by various companies.

A tale of two beaches

Aharen Beach is the larger of the two main beaches, and the bay offers excellent shelter from the waves and currents. The beach is divided into areas for swimming and snorkeling.

With fluorescent blue damselfish, butterflyfish, Moorish idols, and clownfish all swimming above coral, and giant clams nesting in the crevices, Aharen Beach is one of the best snorkeling spots in Okinawa.

Other activities

Tokashiku Beach also has an area reserved for snorkeling, but this beach is more suited to swimming and sunbathing. Both beaches have excellent facilities, with diving equipment rental and a range of available tours.

Winter visitors

The best time for swimming in the seas around Tokashiki is between May and October. That is if you're a human. For humpback whales, January and March are prime swimming time, when the humpback whales cross the ocean from Alaska and congregate in the waters off the Kerama Islands.

One of the best spots for whale watching in Japan, plan on three hours for a whale watching tour.

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