Okinawa & Japan’s Southern Islands
Publication Date: 09th Aug 2024
Travel guide to Okinawa and Japan’s Southwest Islands. Holiday advice and travel information about the Satsunan Islands (the Osumi and Amami islands) and the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa, Kerama and Miyako). Covers the archipelago’s sites, activities, history, culture, languages and practical information. Includes beaches, snorkelling, hiking and cycling.
About this book
Brand new from Bradt is Okinawa and Japan’s Southwest Islands, the sole travel guidebook dedicated to the archipelago stretching from the southern tip of mainland Japan to Taiwan, whose landscapes include award-winning beaches, coral reefs, tropical jungles and ancient forests. This guide contains all the detailed information that travellers need to get the most out of their visit, from accommodation and restaurants to transport and sights. Japan expert Jo Davey complements this with rich context and entertaining insights to help readers understand this fascinating region, covering culture, recipes, architectural highlights, historical episodes and traditional folktales.
Japan’s Southwest Islands are a remote but rewarding and geographically diverse area that comprises the Satsunan Islands (formed of the Osumi and Amami islands) and the Ryukyu Islands (consisting of the Okinawa, Kerama, Miyako and Yaeyama islands). The capital city of Naha on Okinawa-honto is a bright and busy hub of history, art, karate and food. Thanks to its many US military bases and post-war occupation by the US, Naha is a fusion of Japanese and American culture. In contrast, the more remote islands preserve traditional Ryukyuan life with festivals, architecture, traditional accommodation and religious sites.
Depending where you travel, you can dive with manta rays off Iriomote or kayak along its jungle rivers, hike through Yakushima’s ancient forest, search for star sand on Taketomi, pay tribute to the fallen of World War II at museums and monuments on Okinawa-honto, cycle between Miyako’s award-winning beaches, take home a chunk of rope from the world’s largest tug-of-war (in Naha) or go whalewatching off the Kerama Islands. Wherever you go, the islands’ amazing food is found throughout the archipelago and is known for being the world’s healthiest cuisine.
As well as dedicated chapters covering each island group, the book also provides a glimpse into the ‘gateway cities’ of Kagoshima, Tokyo and Osaka, with coverage that highlights little-known areas, activities, accommodation and restaurants. Throughout, extensive practical information includes transport, seasonality, itineraries, visas and budgeting. Whether you come for culture or cuisine, karate or nature, diving or trekking, let Bradt’s Okinawa and Japan’s Southwest Islands be your guide.
About the Author
Jo Davey is a freelance writer, photographer and former chef who fell in love with Japan aged 17 and hasn’t stopped exploring it since. On her first trip to its Southwest Islands, she realised she was somewhere special while fishing for squid and watching shooting stars on Geruma, a tiny island. Later she found herself singing at a local restaurant, accompanied by a friend and the chef on guitars. This was when she understood that, on these islands, you aren’t just another tourist. Once the day-trippers disappear, a rare local world opens up. What Davey particularly loves the diversity of this delightfully remote archipelago. Here she can indulge her every interest: food, diving, hiking, nature, culture, language or history. Her ideal day on Japan’s Southwest Islands would involve trekking in Iriomote’s warm jungles or Yakushima’s ancient forests of Yakushima before evening of world-famous cuisine in the company of welcoming locals.
Additional InformationTable of Contents
PART 1 GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Chapter 2 Practical Information
PART 2: GATEWAY CITIES
Chapter 3 Kagoshima
Chapter 4 Tokyo
Chapter 5 Osaka
PART 3 THE SATSUNAN ISLANDS
Chapter 6 The Osumi Islands
Chapter 7 The Amami Islands
PART 4 THE RYUKYU ISLANDS
Chapter 8 The Okinawa Islands
Chapter 9 The Kerama Islands
Chapter 10 The Miyako Islands
Chapter 11 The Yaeyama Islands