When you think of Japan, images of cherry blossoms, snow monkeys and neon-lit cities will likely come to mind – not necessarily sandy beaches and coral reefs. But this is set to change in the coming years as visitors return to the southern island of Ishigaki.
Before Covid-19 put a pause on international travel, the Okinawa islands of Japan were enjoying a huge surge in popularity. Back in 2018, Ishigaki was named TripAdvisor’s “most trending travel spot” based on the amount of positive reviews the destination received from travellers.
Here are a few things you may not have known about this subtropical “off the beaten track” region of Japan:
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For those interested in exploring this striking region, the upcoming 2023 Princess cruise season offers an easy opportunity, with Ishigaki and Okinawa confirmed as ports on many roundtrips from Tokyo. However, Australian travellers are advised to get in quickly; with the northern hemisphere already cruising and booking again, those who wait may face disappointment once borders reopen.
Thankfully, those on the fence can hold a place with a small up-front deposit, which remains fully refundable until 181 days before departure. Those who book through Travel at 60 before Tuesday 7 September 2021 can even halve this up-front amount!