Kyushu & Okinawa
Kyushu (九州) is the southernmost of the four main islands of Japan. The climate is slightly warmer and more tropical than Honshu, and the southern and eastern coasts are regularly battered by typhoons each year.
The terrain is generally mountainous with very fertile valleys, much like the rest of Japan, except for the wide plain area at the top of the island – the location of the largest cities of Fukuoka and Kitakyushu.
Kyushu is also one of the most geologically active areas in the world, with several live volcanoes and known as a hot spring Mecca, with every prefecture having some areas for an onsen bath; several of them are among the most popular and best in Japan.
The name Okinawa means “rope in the open sea”, a fairly apt description of this long stretch of islands between the four main islands of Japan and Taiwan. Consisting of 49 inhabited islands and 111 uninhabited islands, Okinawa has a subtropical/tropical climate.
Dancing with Manta Rays in Ishigaki, Okinawa.