GBA Lifestyle News
By Kate Springer | April 30th, 2016

Where to? Okinawa, Japan

Why you’ll love it: Okinawa is closer to Taiwan than it is to Tokyo — so it’s extra easy for Hongkongers to get there for a week or a weekend. Its distance from mainland Japan also means that Okinawa has its own unique character and charm, with laid-back beach town vibes and ample influence from US culture thanks to a naval base on the island.

Whether you’re there for the quirky food — think bitter melons, ‘taco rice’ and sea grapes — dynamic landscapes, or some history, Okinawa offers something for every traveler. Our favorite aspect is of course the untouched beaches! Easily accessible by ferry from Okinawa’s capital, Naha City, the outlying islands offer pristine coastlines, quiet villages and even a handful of completely deserted islands for intrepid travelers.

Ishigaki and Zamami boast some of the area’s best snorkeling and scuba-diving, while Iriomote offers Indiana Jones-like expeditions. Called “Japan’s Galapagos” thanks to its jungles and wildlife, this is the place to be for trekking and canoeing.

Fun fact: Okinawa is actually made up of some two dozen islands stretching from the southern tip of Japan’s Kyushu Island all the way to Taiwan.

Get there: Cathay Dragon flies direct to the Okinawan capital of Naha, and HK Express is launching direct flights to Ishigaki island in June.

Click here to return to The Loop’s 30 Days of Travel Inspiration series.