Japan is not only about the island of Honshu. The country consists of a total number of 6852 islands and among them, only about 421 are inhabited. And more than 90 % are uninhabited. When you are in Japan, exploring the Japanese islands must be on your top priority list. The country is revered for many things and its spectacular islands are one of the most prominent factors among them. While Honshu is the central island with all the major cities and cultural sites, Japan has a few more incredibly beautiful islands that boast unique history, culture, and scenic beauty. They are hugely diverse and embrace everything from mountains, beaches to little picturesque villages.
So if you are planning to visit Japan anytime soon and want to explore the fascinating Japanese islands, these are the best ones you must consider checking out.
Top-rated And Most Beautiful Japanese Islands To Visit:
The second-largest and the most populous island of the Yaeyama Island group, Ishigaki must be on your bucket list if you are seeking nature. It is the country’s southernmost island with great beaches and great diving and snorkeling spots. Diving near Kabira Bay is a must if you are planning to check out the region’s famous manta rays. Beautiful rivers, experiencing kayaking there, and soaking in the greenery and the wild, and hiking the endless numbers of trails, Ishigaki is one of the most pristine Japanese islands to visit.
An island that receives an average rainfall of at least four meters on the coast, Yakushima is bestowed with mountains, subtropical rainforest, monumental trees, and ravishing beauty. The inspiration behind the lush backdrop for the noteworthy Ghibli film Princess Mononoke, this foresty and mossy island is famous for its old cedar trees that even precede the Roman Empire. A part of the Kagoshima Prefecture, Yakushima will woo those people who are seeking to visit an island that is less touristy and boasts idyllic scenery, countryside, and pretty beaches. This island also grows some really delicious fruits. And you must sample papaya, oranges, and mango once on Yakushima.
One of the Izu Seven Islands group of the seven northern islands of the Izu archipelago, Kozushima is revered for its sandy beaches, snow-white mountains, and awe-inspiring cobalt blue waters. The island located south of Tokyo is your final destination if delectable seafood, a relaxing bathing session in hot springs, and touring the mountains as well as witnessing the sea are on your mind. Disembark the boat and start drinking up the bedazzling beauty. A great spot to dive and snorkel and a top-class hiking destination where the peak-tops offer you stunning views – Kozushima is one of the most alluring Japanese islands you must visit.
Oshima is the biggest island of the Izu Islands group and is home to the 758 meters tall Mount Mihara which is an active volcano to date. And this volcano is responsible for the island, being home to a diverse array of hot springs. You get top-class beaches at the northern and western coasts of the island that are venues for snorkeling, sunbathing, and other great beach and marine activities. One of the most beautiful Japanese islands, Oshima is easy to access from the mainland and is a place that boasts delicious seafood, beautiful flowers, and exotic birds and animals. Hike Mt. Mihara, soak in the beauty of the camellia flowers, and if possible visit the island during the camellia matsuri festival which is an important festival celebrated on the island.
If you are just visiting Tokyo and don’t have enough time in your hands to explore the faraway islands, consider visiting Enoshima which can also be toured on a day trip from Tokyo. Full of coastal vibe and also having an assortment of several shrine buildings, Enoshima is one of the most diverse Japanese islands to visit.
The shrines and temples are basically located at Kamakura which is just a neighborhood of Enoshima. A destination to try some gourmet delights and enjoy the sea, Enoshima has some visit-worthy attractions. Apart from the temples and shrines, one must check out Enoshima Sea Candle, Enoshima Samuel Cooking Garden, Enoshima Aquarium, and of course the Ryuren Bell of Love which is a legendary bell.
Last but obviously not least, Honshu is the best island to visit in Japan as it is the main island of the island nation and houses almost all the major cities and cultural spots of the country. Honshu is home to Tokyo, the country’s capital city, and also Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kobe, and Ikeda.
Other than that, the island also contains Mount Fuji, the highest mountain of the country, and Lake Biwa, the largest lake of the same. Explore the cities, their unmissable neighborhoods, and go for restaurant and museum hopping. Apart from the cities and urban life, go visit Hakusan National Park, check out the onsens, visit the temples and shrines, and also try lip-smacking Honshu culinary specialties. Honshu is one of the top-rated Japanese islands to visit that has many flairs.