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11 amazing places in Okinawa that you can’t miss!!

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There are 11 places in Okinawa that you can’t miss!



1. Scuba Dive in the mysterious Blue Cave
2. Experience snorkeling in the Blue Cave
3. Enjoy the blue ocean on sea kayak
4. Snorkel at night under the starry sky
5. Shop for star-shaped sands accessories
6. Visit the best Okinawa beef restaurant
7. Interact with buffaloes in Okinawa
8. Try the American and Okinawa style Blue Seal ice cream
9. Shop for limited edition souvenirs
10. Visit the famous steak house on Kokusai Dori Street
11. Have fun on the beautiful beach

11 amazing activities and spots in Okinawa



01. Scuba Dive in the mysterious Blue Cave
One of the most famous and hottest spot for divers to scuba dive is the Blue Cave which is located near Cape Maeda in Onna Village. Just 5 meters below the surface, you can see the beautiful emerald-like color under the sea!

For the scuba diving course, a certified professional coach will accompany you all the way, so even if you can't swim or you are not good at swimming, you can still experience scuba diving safely. We highly suggest all the beginners to take this course first.

Scuba Diving in Blue Cave
Reservation in advance: 12,000 yen
Walk-in: 13,000 yen
You can make reservation by phone or email. (Up to 3 days before your experience)
English speaking staff is available.
Inquiries Tel.: +81-80-2730-7076
Email: contact@bluecavemarintour.com



02. Experience snorkeling in the Blue Cave
Snorkeling is another good way to experience the Okinawa's ocean. Actually you just need a set of simple equipment, then you can enjoy playing with the fish and the underwater world up to 5 meters below the surface of water. Of course you don't need to know how to swim or scuba dive to try snorkeling.  You just need to put on your snorkel, life jacket and flippers, then you are ready to go!

Snorkeling in Blue Cave
Reservation in advance: 5,200 yen
Walk-in: 6,000 yen
You can make reservation by phone or email. (Up to 3 days before your experience)
English speaking staff is available.
Inquiries Tel.: +81-80-2730-7076
Email: contact@bluecavemarintour.com



03. Enjoy the blue ocean on sea kayak
If you don't want to get into the sea, there are still other ways that you can enjoy the Okinawa ocean. For example, getting into a sea kayak and enjoying the beautiful sea and sea creatures from the surface of water! You can also paddle with your friends and have some great time together!

ZANPA Sea Kayaking
Reservation in advance: 5,400 yen
Walk-in: 6,400 yen
You can make reservation by phone or email. (Up to 3 days before your experience)
English speaking staff is available.
Inquiries Tel.: +81-80-2730-7076
Email: contact@bluecavemarintour.com



04. Snorkel at night under the starry sky
Enjoy the red sky in sunset and the shining stars in the dark sky while floating in the sea.  Night Healing Snorkeling is actually a special night time program which starts at 7 pm every day, and it is only provided from March to October.

Night Healing Snorkeling
Reservation in advance: 5,400 yen
Walk-in: 6,000 yen
You can make reservation by phone or email. (Up to 3 days before your experience)
English speaking staff is available.
Inquiries Tel.: +81-80-2730-7076
Email: contact@bluecavemarintour.com



11. Have fun on the beautiful beach
In the north part of Okinawa, there is a beautiful island called Kouri Island which is famous for the blue ocean! Just 1.5 hours drive, you can reach this beautiful place!!

With the beautiful ocean and the interesting shaped rocks, Kouri Island is also famous among visitors, and it appears in many movies too!

Kouri Island
Map Code: 485 722 490 3
Homepage (Japanese): http://kourijima.info/



01. The beauty of Kouri Island
Just look at the blue ocean and the beautiful sky! You will never forget this amazing place once you visited!



02. Free Parking
There is a free parking area at the entrance of the Kouri Island. It is a photo spot where you can take some nice pictures of the ocean!



03. Water sports and activities
If the Blue Cave is good for water activities like scuba diving and snorkeling, then Kouri Island is good for other water activities like jet surfing and banana boat etc. Of course the most popular one is the Flyboard now!!



Flyboard
A Flyboard rider stands on a board connected by a long hose to a watercraft. Water is forced under pressure to a pair of boots with jet nozzles underneath which provide thrust for the rider to fly up. (Information from wikipedia)

This new sport is definitely the coolest for both the player and even the ones who are just watching it!!



Inflatable boat
Just get in the inflatable boat with 2 or 3 friends and enjoy another kind of surfing! The boat pulling you will not treat you too nicely! Hold the rope tightly or otherwise you will be thrown into the sea!! What an exciting game!!



Banana Boat
Of course the most popular banana boat can also be found here. Get on it with your friends and enjoy some great time in the sea together! Who will be thrown off the boat first?

07. Interact with buffaloes in Okinawa



Buffalo Carriage Ride
Here in Hills of Bios, you can get on the buffalo carriage ride to enjoy the park slowly.

Fees: 900 yen (Adults), 600 yen (From 4 years old to elementary school)
Entrance ticket is required
Time: About 25 minutes
Hours: 09:45 – 17:15
Location: Azumacho shop (10-mins walk and 200m from main entrance)

Reminder
Tickets can be purchased in Azumacho shop
Tickets are not required for children under 4 years old and do not occupy seat
Departs in every 30 minutes
Maximum 20 persons per ride



Tour Boat Ride
You can also get on the tour boat ride and enjoy the natural landscape and colorful orchids at Hill of Bios.

Fees: 800 yen (Adults), 500 yen (Children)
Entrance ticket is required
Time: About 25 minutes
Hours: 09:30 – 17:00
Location: Ayafune Square (Pier) (10-mins walk and 200m from main entrance)

Reminder
Tickets are not required for children under 4 years old and do not occupy seat
Departs in every 30 minutes
Reservation is required for group of 20 or above
Maximum 40 persons per ride
 



Play with the Animals
Under the beautiful Okinawa sky, enjoy your time with the cute animals like goats, pigs, or chicken. You can also try to feed them!

Hills of Bios
Address: 961-30 Ishikawakadekaru, Uruma-shi, Okinawa
Map Code: 206 005 263
Hours: 09:00 – 18:00 (Last admission at 17:00)
Holidays: none
Tel.: 098-965-3400
Homepage: http://www.bios-hill.co.jp.e.vr.hp.transer.com/

06. Visit the best Okinawa beef restaurant



Famous Restaurant
You can always find a long line outside this restaurant! It is not just famous among the Japanese, even many visitors know about this place!

Ryukyu no Ushi Onna
Address: 1F, 909-2 Maeganeku, Onna-son Okinawa
Tel.: 098-965-2233
Hours:
Lunch: 11:00 – 16:30 (L.O. 15:30) Reservation is accepted
Dinner: 17:00 – 23:30 (L.O. 23:00) No Reservation
Homepage: http://www.u-shi.net/english/index.html#



Special lunch set
At Ryukyu no Ushi, they only provide the finest Okinawa beef and expert-selected nameless Japanese beef. Even for the nameless beef, it is carefully selected by the expert, and the taste and quality are guaranteed just like the top grade beef! What's more? Prices of nameless beef are more reasonable! By the way, lunch menu is cheaper than the dinner menu, so you can visit them in the afternoon!

Lunch: 11:00 – 16:30 (L.O. 15:30)
Steak Set served with steak, pickles, soup, salad, and rice



Save your line up time
Since they don't take any reservation for dinner, if you want to avoid the long line, you can go to their shop 5 minutes before their dinner time starts!

10. Visit the famous steak house on Kokusai Dori Street



Let's visit the famous American style steak house in Okinawa, Steak House 88,  which has been running their business in Okinawa for 60 years!



At Steak House 88, you can find American style steaks made with Ishigaki beef and other kinds of Okinawa beef. Steak set comes with soup, salad, bread or rice too!

Hamburger steak (230 g) with deep fried prawns set – 2,400 yen + tax



How about ordering a glass of red wine too?

Steak House 88 Matsuo Shop
Address: 3-1-6 2F, Matsuo, Naha-shi, Okinawa 900-0013
Map Code: 331 572 83
Hours: 17:00 – 25:00 (L.O. 24:00)
Tel.: 098-866-3760
Homepage: http://s88.co.jp/en/matsuo



08. Try the American and Okinawa style Blue Seal ice cream

You can find this famous ice cream shop on Kokusai Dori, or even their products in smaller shops and convenient stores in Okinawa! But do you know that where did the original Blue Seal ice cream come from? Actually it came from the US military base!
In 1948, USA-based Foremost Ltd. established a factory in the Tengan Military Base, Gushikawa City (now Uruma City) to supply dairy products essential for US military personnel stationed in Okinawa. This was the beginning of Blue Seal’s history. Back in those days, Foremost’s products were valuable commodities, only available inside the base, and rarely encountered by the local people of Okinawa. (From Blue Seal official website) Blue Seal is still the most famous ice cream brand in Okinawa!



Over 100 kinds of original American recipes are used here, but in order to fit the hot and humid climate in Okinawa, they made some fine adjustment on the recipes. Not just the locals, even visitors love the Blue Seal ice cream a lot!



Summer limited edition fruit sundae
What can be better than having fruits and ice cream together in the hot summer! How about sharing this sundae with your friends!

Tropical Mountain Sundae 1,000 yen + tax
Limited time only! (June 9 to September 30)



Just follow national highway 58, you can find the big sign of Blue Seal outside the shop. Don't forget to take a picture outside the shop!!

Blue Seal

Address: 5-5-6 Makminato, Urazoe City, Okinawa Prefecture
Map Code: 333 415 3510
Hours: 09:00 – 24:00 (Sun to Thur), 09:00 – 25:00 (Fri & Sat)
Tel.: 098-877-8258
Homepage: http://en.blueseal.co.jp/



05. Shop for the star-shaped sands accessories
For those we want to get something more special and bring home your memories, why don't you order a special jewelry at Grace Anniversary Design Shop where the design and ideas are coming from designers who live in Okinawa!

Grace Anniversary Design (Onna Shop)
Address: Onna, Okinawa
(沖縄県国頭郡恩納村前兼久124)
Map Code: 206 096 202 4
Tel.: 098-964-3422
Hours: 10:00 – 20:00
(Closed on Wednesday on the 3rd week of every month)
Homepage (Japanese): http://www.grace-shop.jp/
 



09. Shop for limited edition souvenirs
Wanna get Okinawa souvenirs at one stop? We have a good suggestion for you! Just 15 minutes walk from the OMOROMACHI station where the biggest Duty Free Shop in Okinawa is, you can find this supermarket "Okinawa Takajima Apple Town Shop"!

Nagatanien Ochazuke – Okinawa Limited Edition
Bitter melon stir fried mixed flavor
AGU pork flavor
Mozuku Tea (seaweed tea) flavor
600 yen + tax
Homepage (Japanese): http://www.nagatanien.co.jp/product/detail/7/28/528/

Okinawa Takajima Apple Town Shop
Address: 2F, 3-3-1 Omoro-machi, Naha, Okinawa
Map Code: 331 888 77
Hours: 11:00 – 20:30
Tel.: 098-863-8305
Homepage (Japanese): http://www.feenu.co.jp/shop/shop08.php

Isn’t Okinawa a great place for diving, fine food, shopping, and sightseeing!

Do you think that Okinawa is the best place for your summer getaway in Japan? We will leave you to explore this beautiful subtropical land by yourself!

Wanna get more and share your Japanese stories with us? Please join us on Google+ !!
See you there! 🙂
 





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      Hokkaido (北海道) is the northernmost of the four main islands that make up Japan. The area is famous for Sapporo Beer, plus brewing and distilling in general, along with fantastic snow festivals and breathtaking national parks. Foodies should look for Hokkaido's famous potatoes, cantaloupe, dairy products, soup curry, and miso ramen!

    • Niki, in south-west Hokkaido, is about 30 minutes from Otaru. The small town is rich with natural resources, fresh water, and clean air, making it a thriving center for fruit farms. Cherries, tomatoes, and grapes are all cultivated in the area, and thanks to a growing local wine industry, it's quickly becoming a food and wine hotspot. Together with the neighboring town of Yoichi, it's a noted area for wine tourism.

    • Niseko is about two hours from New Chitose Airport, in the western part of Hokkaido. It's one of Japan's most noted winter resort areas, and a frequent destination for international visitors. That's all because of the super high-quality powder snow, which wins the hearts of beginners and experts alike, bringing them back for repeat visits. That's not all, though, it's also a great place to enjoy Hokkaido's culinary scene and some beautiful onsen (hot springs).

    • Otaru is in western Hokkaido, about 30 minutes from Sapporo Station. The city thrived around its busy harbor in the 19th and 20th centuries thanks to active trade and fishing, and the buildings remaining from that period are still popular attractions, centered around Otaru Canal. With its history as a center of fishing, it's no surprise that the area's fresh sushi is a must-try. Otaru has over 100 sushi shops, quite a few of which are lined up on Sushiya Dori (Sushi Street).

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      Sapporo, in the south-western part of Hokkaido, is the prefecture's political and economic capital. The local New Chitose Airport see arrivals from major cities like Tokyo and Osaka, alongside international flights. Every February, the Sapporo Snow Festival is held in Odori Park―one of the biggest events in Hokkaido. It's also a hotspot for great food, known as a culinary treasure chest, and Sapporo is a destination for ramen, grilled mutton, soup curry, and of course Hokkaido's beloved seafood.

    • Consisting of six prefectures, the Tohoku Region (東北地方) is up in the northeastern part of Japan's main island. It's the source of plenty of the nation's agriculture (which means great food), and packed with beautiful scenery. Explore the region's stunning mountains, lakes, and hot springs!

    • Akita Prefecture is on the Sea of Japan, in the northern reaches of Japan's northern Tohoku region. Akita has more officially registered important intangible culture assets than anywhere else in Japan, and to this day visitors can experience traditional culture throughout the prefecture, from the Oga Peninsula's Namahage (registered with UNESCO as a part of Japan's intangible cultural heritage), to the Tohoku top 3 Kanto Festival. Mysterious little spots like the Oyu Stone Circle Site and Ryu no Atama (Dragon's Head) are also worth a visit!

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      Fukushima Prefecture sits at the southern tip of Japan's northern Tohoku region, and is divided into three parts with their own different charms: the Coastal Area (Hama-dori), the Central Area (Naka-dori), and the Aizu Area. There's Aizu-Wakamatsu with its Edo-era history and medieval castles, Oze National Park, Kitakata ramen, and Bandai Ski Resort (with its famous powder snow). Fukushima is a beautiful place to enjoy the vivid colors and sightseeing of Japan's beloved four seasons.

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      Yamagata Prefecture is up against the Sea of Japan, in the southern part of the Tohoku region, and it's especially popular in winter, when travelers soak in the onsen (hot springs) and ski down snowy slopes. International skiiers are especially fond of Zao Onsen Ski Resort and Gassan Ski Resort, and in recent years visitors have been drawn to the area to see the mystical sight of local frost-covered trees. Some destinations are popular regardless of the season, like Risshakuji Temple, AKA Yamadera, Ginzan Onsen's nostalgic old-fashioned streets, and Zao's Okama Lake, all great for taking pictures. Yamagata is also the place to try Yonezawa beef, one of the top 3 varieties of wagyu beef.

    • Japan's most densely populated area, the Kanto Region (関東地方) includes 7 prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa, which means it also contains the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. In modern-day Japan, Kanto is the cultural, political, and economic heartland of the country, and each prefecture offers something a little different from its neighbors.

    • Gunma Prefecture is easily accessible from Tokyo, and in addition to the area's popular natural attractions like Oze Marshland and Fukiware Falls, Gunma also has a number of popular hot springs (Kusatsu, Ikaho, Minakami, Shima)―it's even called an Onsen Kingdom. The prefecture is popular with history buffs and train lovers, thanks to spots like world heritage site Tomioka Silk Mill, the historic Megane-bashi Bridge, and the Watarase Keikoku Sightseeing Railway.

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      Tochigi Prefecture's capital is Utsunomiya, known for famous gyoza, and just an hour from Tokyo. The prefecture is full of nature-related sightseeing opportunities year-round, from the blooming of spring flowers to color fall foliage. Tochigi also has plenty of extremely well-known sightseeing destinations, like World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Lake Chuzenji, and Ashikaga Flower Park―famous for expansive wisteria trellises. In recent years the mountain resort town of Nasu has also become a popular excursion, thanks in part to the local imperial villa. Tochigi is a beautiful place to enjoy the world around you.

    • Tokyo (東京) is Japan's busy capital, and the most populous metropolitan area in the world. While the city as a whole is quite modern, crowded with skyscrapers and bustling crowds, Tokyo also holds onto its traditional side in places like the Imperial Palace and Asakusa neighborhood. It's one of the world's top cities when it comes to culture, the arts, fashion, games, high-tech industries, transportation, and more.

    • The Chubu Region (中部地方) is located right in the center of Japan's main island, and consists of 9 prefectures: Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi. It's primarily famous for its mountains, as the region contains both Mt. Fuji and the Japanese Alps. The ski resorts in Niigata and Nagano also draw visitors from around the world, making it a popular winter destination.

    • Nagano Prefecture's popularity starts with a wealth of historic treasures, like Matsumoto Castle, Zenkoji Temple, and Togakushi Shrine, but the highlight might just be the prefecture's natural vistas surrounded by the "Japanese Alps." Nagano's fruit is famous, and there are plenty of places to pick it fresh, and the area is full of hot springs, including Jigokudani Monkey Park―where monkeys take baths as well! Thanks to the construction of the Hokuriku shinkansen line, Nagano is easily reachable from the Tokyo area, adding it to plenty of travel itineraries. And after the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, ski resorts like Hakuba and Shiga Kogen are known around the world.

    • Aichi Prefecture sits in the center of the Japanese islands, and its capital city, Nagoya, is a center of politics, commerce, and culture. While Aichi is home to major industry, and is even the birthplace of Toyota cars, it's proximity to the sea and the mountains means it's also a place with beautiful natural scenery, like Saku Island, Koijigahama Beach, Mt. Horaiji. Often used a stage for major battles in Japanese history, Sengoku era commanders like Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu left their own footprints on Aichi, and historic buildings like Nagoya Castle, Inuyama Castle, and those in Meiji Mura are still around to tell the tale.

    • NIIGATA

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      Niigata is a prefecture on Japan's main island of Honshu, situated right on the coast of the Sea of Japan, and abundant with the gifts of nature. It's known for popular ski resorts such as Echigo-Yuzawa, Japanese national parks, and natural hot spring baths, plus local products like fresh seafood, rice, and sake. Visitors often spend time in the prefectural capital, Niigata City, or venture across the water to Sado Island.

    • SHIZUOKA

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      Shizuoka Prefecture is sandwiched between eastern and western Japan, giving the prefecture easy access to both Tokyo and Osaka. Not only is it known for beautiful natural attractions, with everything from Mount Fuji to Suruga Bay, Lake Hamanako, and Sumata Pass―Shizuoka's Izu Peninsula is known as a go-to spot for hot springs lovers, with famous onsen like Atami, Ito, Shimoda, Shuzenji, and Dogashima. Shizuoka attracts all kinds of travelers thanks to historic connections with the Tokugawa clan, the Oigawa Railway, fresh eel cuisine, Hamamatsu gyoza, and famously high-quality green tea.

    • Kansai (関西) is a region that includes Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, and Shiga Prefectures. Kansai contained Japan's ancient capital for hundreds of years, and it's making a comeback as one of the most popular parts of Japan. Kyoto's temples and shrines, Osaka Castle, and the deer of Nara are all considered must-sees. Plus, the people of Kansai are especially friendly, making it a fun place to hang out.

    • Kyoto flourished as the capital of Japan between the years 794 and 1100, becoming a center for poilitics and culture, and to this day it's a great place for close encounters with Japanese history. The cobbled streets of Gion, the atmospheric road to Kiyomizudera Temple, Kinkakuji's golden walls and countless historic attractions, even Arashiyama's Togetsukyo Bridge―Kyoto is a place of many attractions. With new charms to experience throughout the seasons, travelers can't stop themselves from returning again and again.

    • Nara Prefecture's important history reaches back to 710, a time now called the Nara era, when it was once capital of Japan. Called "Heijo-kyo" during its time as a capital, it's said that nara was once the end of the silk road, leading it to flourish as a uniquely international region and produce important cultural properties of all kinds. To make the most of each season, travelers head to Nara Park, where the Nara deer who wander freely, or climb Mount Yoshino, a famous cherry blossom spot.

    • Osaka is known for friendly (and funny) people, but its history is nothing to laugh at, playing a major part in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's 16th century unification of Japan. Thanks to long years of economic activity, it's one of Japan's biggest cities, and Osaka's popular food culture earned it the nickname "The Kitchen of the Nation." To this day Osaka is the model of western Japan, and alongside historic structures like Osaka Castle, it also has major shopping malls like Umeda's Grand Front Osaka and Tennoji's Abeno Harukas. Osaka is a place to eat, eat, eat, with local specialties like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and kushi-katsu, and for extra fun, it's home to Universal Studios Japan.

    • CHUGOKU

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      The Chugoku Region (中国地方) consists of five prefectures: Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi. In Chugoku you’ll find the sand dunes of Tottori, and Hiroshima’s atomic bomb site, plus centers of ancient history like Grand Shrine of Izumo.

    • HIROSHIMA

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      Hiroshima Prefecture has everything, from world heritage sites to beautiful nature and delicious local cuisine, and it's either an hour and a half from Tokyo by plane, or four hours by train. Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island and the Atomic Bomb Dome, two Hiroshima UNESCO sites, are famous around the world, but in Japan it's also famous for food. Seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, especially oysters, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and Setouchi lemons are all popular, and the natural scenery alone is worth seeing.

    • SHIKOKU

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      On the other side of the Seto Inland Sea opposite Japan’s main island, Shikoku (四国) is a region made up of four prefectures: Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, and Tokushima. The area is famous for its udon (in Kagawa), and the beautiful Dogo Onsen hot springs (in Ehime).

    • Kagawa Prefecture is on the northern part of the island of Shikoku, facing Japan's main island and the Seto Inland Sea. It's known for being the smallest prefecture in Japan, by area, but at the same time Kagawa is called the "Udon Prefecture" thanks to its famous sanuki udon. Aside from Kotohiragu Shrine and Ritsurin Garden, the prefecture's small islands are popular, and Kagawa is full of unique destinations, like Angel Road. They say that if you lay eyes on Zenigata Sunae, a huge Kagawa sand painting, you'll never have money troubles ever again.

    • Located in the most southwestern part of Japan, Kyushu (九州) is an island of 7 prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima. The island's unique culture has been influenced by Chinese and Dutch trade, along with missionaries coming in through Nagasaki's port. Modern-day travelers love the lush natural scenery and fresh food, plus the natural hot springs found all throughout the area (thanks to volcanic activity)!

    • FUKUOKA

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      Fukuoka Prefecture has the highest population on the southern island of Kyushu, with two major cities: Fukuoka and Kitakyushu. Thanks to growing transportation networks, Fukuoka is more accessible than ever, and so are the many local attractions. On top of historical spots like Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, travelers shouldn't miss Fukuoka's food scene, with motsu nabe (offal hotpot), mentaiko (spicy cod roe), and famous Hakata ramen―best eaten from a food stall in the Nakasu area of Hakata. Plus, it's full of all sorts of destinations for travelers, like trendy shopping centers, and the beautiful nature of Itoshima and Yanagawa.

    • KAGOSHIMA

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      Kagoshima Prefecture played a major role in Japan's modernization as a backdrop for famous historical figures like samurais Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi, who pushed Japan out of the Edo era and into the Meiji. Because of that, Sengan-en Garden is just one of many historical destinations, and when it comes to attractions Kagoshima has plenty: the active volcano of Sakurajima, popular hot springs Ibusuki Onsen and Kirishima Onsen, World Heritage Site Yakushima Island, even what Japan calls the "island closest to heaven," Amami Oshima. Kagoshima might be found on the very southernmost tip of the southern island of Kyushu, but there's plenty to see.

    • OKINAWA

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      The island chain of Okinawa (沖縄) makes up the southernmost tip of Japan, which is why it's also the most tropical area in the country. Thanks to a history of independence and totally distinct political and cultural events, Okinawa has a unique culture, and remnants of the Ryukyu Kingdom are still visible all over the islands. Food, language, traditional dress, it's all a little different! It's also said to be the birthplace of karate.

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