Japan's Tropical Paradise
After experiencing the modern pace of Tokyo or Kyoto, unwind in Okinawa -- a laid-back slice of Japan where people often live beyond the age of 100.
The 160 tropical islands that make up the Okinawa Prefecture (also known as the Ryukyu Islands) look and feel very different from the rest of Japan, with their own language, cuisine and customs. Locals have long been aware of their charms, but the area remains something of an unknown to Australian visitors.
There are plenty of reasons to go, one being the islands and beaches, many of which are plentiful and untouched. It is perpetually warm and all just a 2.5-hour flight from Tokyo.
The main town, Naha, is home to one of the world's most impressive aquariums, the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. The large central tank here is one of only a couple to have several whale sharks and you can also see world's first successfully bred-in-captivity manta.