OCT 16 - OCT 29 2024
NAHA IN / AMAMI OUT
Island Hopper, a relaxing journey on island time
Japan is made up of a whopping 6,852 islands. The Island Hopper Tour takes in seven of its very best! Join us in exploring the diverse Okinawa Main Island, the Unesco World Heritage listed Amami Oshima Island, as well as five of the most beautiful islands that the tropical paradise of southern Japan has to offer - Tokashiki Island, Yoron Island, Okinoerabu Island, Tokunoshima Island and Kakeroma Island. Each island has its own unique history, culture, and dialect.
Coral reefs, crystal-clear blue seas, white sandy beaches, and beautiful natural scenery combine to form different images on each island. The Island Hopper Tour has been scheduled at this time of the year to avoid the extreme heat of mid summer and the typhoon season. It is also the perfect tour to join if you have visited Japan before and would like to experience something a little different this time. Join us on this fully escorted small group tour and experience a relaxing tropical island holiday with a Japanese twist!
・Visit seven uniquely different islands on the one tour
・Explore the length and breadth of Okinawa Main Island
・See whale sharks at the world famous Churaumi Aquarium
・Visit Ryukyu Village and learn all about traditional Okinawa
・Enjoy fresh local seafood and traditional island cuisine
・Swim in the crystal clear waters of Yurigahama Beach
・Stay 4 nights on World Heritage listed Amami Oshima
・Enjoy day trips to Tokashiki Island & Kakeroma Island
Airport-hotel transfers in Japan
Transport and entry to all places described in the itinerary
13 nights accommodation
2 dinners (welcome dinner and farewell dinner)
The services of Craig Campbell (tour guide/driver/interpreter)
*Please note that tour prices do not include airfares to and from Japan
DATE: Oct 16th, 2024 Naha (Okinawa)
Travel to Naha by Wednesday October 16th, 2024.
Arrive at Naha Airport (OKA) by own arrangements.
Craig will meet you at the airport (flights arriving between 08:00 and 19:00) and assist you with the transfer to your hotel in central Naha.
Once you have checked in to your hotel you will have free time to relax, or enjoy some local sightseeing, shopping, dinner, etc.
DATE: Oct 17th, 2024 Naha (Okinawa)
We will spend our first full day in Okinawa exploring the historic southern region by private vehicle.
Southern Okinawa is home to some of the most important remnants of the Ryukyu Kingdom. We will explore the royal palace of the Ryukyu Kindom, Shuri Castle, the sacred site of Sefa-Utaki and the historic Tamagusukujo Castle Ruins.
Southern Okinawa is also the location of the Battle of Okinawa, a major battle that was fought during the Pacific War. We will visit several memorials and other reminders of the battle during the day, including the Himeyuri Peace Museum and the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park.
In addition to these amazing historic sites, we will also visit beautiful Mibaru Beach, where you will have ample time to enjoy the white sandy beach and crystal clear water in your own way.
We will end the day with a stroll through the streets of the bustling Kokusai-dori district in downtown Naha, and then enjoy a delicious welcome dinner together at a local izakaya (Japanese-style restaurant/bar).
DATE: Oct 18th, 2024 Naha (Okinawa)
Enjoy a leisurely day trip to Tokashiki Island by ferry.
Tokashiki Island is the largest of the Kerama Islands and is a popular day trip from Okinawa Main Island due to its pristine beaches and close proximity.
It has several beautiful beaches while its interior is mostly covered by forested hills. There are also a few hiking trails and observation decks with amazing views of the crystal clear ocean and surrounding islands.
In addition to exploring the island together, you will also have ample free time to relax and enjoy this tropical paradise in your own way.
DATE: Oct 19th, 2024 Motobu (Okinawa)
Today we will travel north from Naha to Motobu by private vehicle.
After arriving in Motobu we will spend some time at beautiful Sesoko Beach on Sesoko Island. On its day this breathtaking beach is widely considered to be the best beach in northern Okinawa. You will have ample time to enjoy the white sandy beach and crystal clear water in your own way.
Next we will visit the world famous Churaumi Aquarium. This aquarium is widely considered to be the best in Japan. It is one of only a few aquariums in the world that keeps whale sharks in captivity. In addition to the magestic whale sharks, you can also see a wide variety of other local sea life, including manatees, sea turtles, sharks, and dolphins.
Our final stop for the day is the quaint little seaside village of Bise. Enjoy a stroll through the narrow streets and see authentic old Okinawan homes complete with traditional paper doors and tatami matted flooring. Take a trip back in time and see what Okinawan villages used to look like.
DATE: Oct 20th, 2024 Motobu (Okinawa)
Enjoy a day trip to the northernmost point of Okinawa Main Island by private vehicle.
Our destination today is rugged Cape Hedo. Here you will enjoy some of the most spectacular views on the island, as well as being able to see both the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea at the same time from atop the 70 meter high cliff.
On the way to Cape Hedo we will visit Kouri Island, where we will enjoy panoramic views of the island and the surrounding ocean from the top of the Kouri Ocean Tower. To get to the island we will cross the Kouri Bridge, Japan's longest toll free bridge (1.9 km).
Any day trip to the northern region of Okinawa would not be complete without visiting some if its beautiful waterfalls. Today we will make stops at two of the areas most famous waterfalls, Hiji Waterfall & the Seven Falls of Kijoka.
DATE: Oct 21st, 2024 Onna Village (Okinawa)
Today we will travel south from Motobu to the small seaside village of Onna.
After arriving in Onna we will visit Ryukyu Village, a small theme park which introduces traditional Okinawan culture in the form of a recreated village from the times of the Ryukyu Kingdom, traditional dances and music, and traditional arts and crafts. Ryukyu Village is also a great place to purchase local handmade sculptures and artwork.
Located on the western side of the island, Onna is famous for its spectacular ocean sunsets. Spend your evening enjoying this piece of paradise in your own way.
DATE: Oct 22nd, 2024 Yoron Island
Fly from Okinawa Main Island to Yoron Island (40 minutes).
Once we arrive on beautiful Yoron Island we will travel around the entire island by private vehicle making stops at various places of interest, such as breathtaking Yurigahama Beach, the Southern Cross Center (museum) and the Yoron Folk Village.
Yurigahama Beach offers a pristine white sandy beach, crystal clear water, amazing coral reefs and an abundance of sea life. If you are lucky you might even be able to swim with some of the local sea turtles!
At the Southern Cross Center and Yoron Folk Village you will learn all about the history, culture and heritage of this fascinating little island. Yoron Island is only 20.8 km² in area with a population of around 6000 people. It is located just 23 km north of Okinawa Main Island (Cape Hedo), but is actually part of Kagoshima Prefecture, the southernmost prefecture in Kyushu.
DATE: Oct 23rd, 2024 Okinoerabu Island
Travel from Yoron Island to Okinoerabu Island by cruise ship.
Once we arrive on Okinoerabu Island we will travel around the entire island by private vehicle making stops at various places of interest, such as beautiful Okidomari Seaside Park, rugged Cape Tamina, and breathtaking "Fucha" (Sea Spray Cave).
Fucha is a spray cave formed by thousands of years of erosion from the waves crashing against the cliffs. During typhoons and rough weather the spray has been known to reach up to heights of 70 meters!
DATE: Oct 24th, 2024 Tokunoshima Island
Okinoerabu Island is home to more than 300 limestone caves. This morning we will visit the most spectacular of them, the Shoryudo Cavern. This huge limestone cave is 3.5 km long, with approximately 600 meters of it now open to the public. It was only discovered in 1936, and has now been designated as a natural monument.
In the afternoon we will travel from Okinoerabu Island to Tokunoshima Island by cruise ship.
Once we arrive on Tokunoshima Island we will transfer to our hotel by private vehicle and enjoy some free time to relax.
DATE: Oct 25th, 2024 Amami Oshima Island
Today we will enjoy a half day tour of Tokunoshima Island by private vehicle before traveling to our next destination (Amami Oshima) in the afternoon.
Tokunoshima Island is also known as "the island of longevity", due to the unusually high number of supercentenarians who have been born and raised on the island. As you explore this piece of paradise it becomes clear that the slow-paced, laidback lifestyle of the locals, and the unspoiled natural environment in which they live is the reason why.
Today we will visit some of the islands most beautiful nature spots, including Mushiroze Park, Unbuki Underwater Cave Entrance, Innojofuta Park, Cape Inutabu (Yamato Memorial Monument), and the Kanamizaki Sotetsu Palm Tree Tunnel.
In the afternoon we will travel from Tokunoshima Island to Amami Oshima Island by cruise ship.
Once we arrive on Amami Oshima Island we will transfer to our hotel and enjoy some free time to relax.
DATE: Oct 26th, 2024 Amami Oshima Island
Enjoy a full day tour of northern Amami Oshima Island by private vehicle.
Amami Oshima is the largest island in the Satsunan island chain that runs between Kyushu and Okinawa. In July, 2021 it, along with Tokunoshima Island, were registered as UNESCO World Heritage Natural Sites.
Amami Oshima is also home to the 1300-year old technique of dorozome, or mud dyeing. We will start our day by joining a mud dyeing workshop and enjoying the unique hands-on experience of creating your very own original mud dyed garment.
In the afternoon we will explore the northern end of the island, where you will see sprawling sugar cane fields, rugged coastlines, white sandy beaches and crystal clear water.
A few of the places on the itinerary today include Cape Ayamaru, Tomori Beach, Myojinzaki Observation Deck, Sakibaru Beach, Heart Rock, and Ohama Seaside Park.
As usual, you will have plenty of time to enjoy each place in your own way.
DATE: Oct 27th, 2024 Amami Oshima Island
Enjoy a day trip to Kakeroma Island by private vehicle and ferry.
Kakeroma Island is so beautiful, so amazing, so spectacular, that we actually bought a house on the island in September, 2022.
So when we sat down to create this new Island Hopper Tour itinerary we just had to inlcude the island that we consider to be the best in Japan!
Today we will visit the two best beaches on the island (Saneku Beach and Surihama Beach), the two largest villages on the island (Nishi-Amuro Village and Shodon Village), and the two best nature spots on the island (Kanyu Waterfall and Ankyaba). In our humble opinion, today you will really get to see the best of the best!
DATE: Oct 28th, 2024 Amami Oshima Island
Enjoy a full day tour of southern Amami Oshima Island by private vehicle.
Amami Oshima is home to the second largest mangrove forest in Japan (Amami Mangrove Primeval Forest). Today you will not only have the chance to walk through this majestic forest, but also enjoy kayaking through it.
Different to the sprawling open areas of northern Amami Oshima, the sothern end of the island is mountainous and covered with lush subtropical rainforest. Today we will enjoy this ancient natrual environment to the fullest, visiting Arangachi Waterfall, the Yuwandake Observatory, Materiya Waterfalls, Dokubama Cliff, and beautiful Kuninao Beach.
At night we will enjoy a delicious farewell dinner together at a local izakaya (Japanese-style restaurant/bar).
DATE: Oct 29th, 2024
Relax in Naze before transferring to Amami Airport (ASJ) for your return flight. Depending on your flight time you may be able to enjoy some last minute local sightseeing or shopping in Naze.