Why Okinawa Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List

South Japan's coral-fringed Okinawa Islands offer the ultimate getaway

South Japan's coral-fringed Okinawa Islands offer the ultimate getaway

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Why go? If you're looking for somewhere tropical to holiday that's rich in history, boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, home to friendly welcoming locals, with delicious fresh seafood dishes on offer - the Okinawa Islands in the East China Sea could be your next big trip. It's the place to discover the Nakagusuku castle ruins, incredible limestone caves and some of the world's most colourful coral reefs.

Stay at: There are plenty of cool hotels to choose from but Okinawa Kariyushi Beach Resort Ocean Spa, one-hour drive from Naha Airport, offers the ultimate sanctuary. Take your pick from the private beach, swimming pools, stunning open-jacuzzi and sauna, plus a host of incredible spa treatments. The feel is distinctly luxurious, offering rooms with sea-facing or mountain views and spacious balconies where you can savour the sunset with a glass, or two, of fizz.

You really must: Get up bright and early to catch the sunrise and discover the treasure trove of natural greenery at Yanbaru. Go canoeing at nearby Gesashi Bay or forest trekking and sea kayaking around the Hiji and Makiya Falls. You'll find even more awe-inspiring landscapes and get the chance to watch the ocean change from cobalt blue to emerald green at Okinawa's Garden of Eden - Kouri Island. Don't miss Shuri Castle and the shark-infested Churaumi Aquarium, too.

It's a great place for families, too. Lucy, from Shanghai, travelled to the magical islands with her husband and their daughter. Find out what made her trip so special here.

Sound like your kind of trip? Meet Mara, from Berlin, and her boyfriend who visited Okinawa recently….

Book now: British Airways (ba.com) flies indirect from Gatwick and Glasgow to Okinawa Naha. For more info, visit beokinawa.com and watch.