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Rito (Outer Islands)

Further afield from Okinawa are several islands which really capture the feel of the Ryukyu Islands and their way of life.

Untouched until very recently, the visitor will find unspoilt fishing villages with the culture of Okinawa preserved in folk songs, dances and festivals. The rito (outlying islands) are also a diver's paradise -some of the best scuba-diving in Japan can be experienced here with an abundance of coral reefs, sandy beeches and, its said, some of the friendliest people in Japan.

Among the islands are Kerama - 35 km from Naha and offering the best scuba-diving in Japan. Zamami Island is usually taken as the base for further exploration. Close by is Kume-jima - a beautiful island of traditional homes and expanses of sugarcane. Water sports and beach actvities abound.

The Yaeyama-shoto Archipeligo, consisting of  Ishigaki, Taketomi, Iriomote, Kurojima and Kohama offers most variety for the tourist. Iriomote is a national park broadly consisting of little but rainforest but does offer some excellent diving opportunities. Taketomi  is a beautiful, peaceful  flower laden island famed for its star-shaped sand at Kondoi (below)

Yonaguni is Okinawa’s most westerly island - only 125km from Taiwan. It has some of the most spectacular snorkelling and diving available on the island chain and is accessible by plane.

 

 
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