Getting there & away
Okinawa and the Southwest Islands are easily accessible from mainland Japan.
While Naha is the hub, with direct flights to major mainland Japanese cities, Amami-Ōshima, Miyako-jima and Ishigaki-jima also have daily direct flights to Tokyo and Osaka. Other outer islands such as Yonaguni-jima, Kume-jima and Zamami-jima can be reached by air with a change of flight in Naha.
If you’re heading for the northern islands, it may be best to fly into Kagoshima on Kyūshū, then change to ferries or flights to the islands. There are daily direct flights from Kagoshima to Yakushima, Tanegashima, Amami-Ōshima, Tokunoshima, Yoron-tō and Okinoerabu-jima.
If you are arriving in Japan by air, it is worth noting that JAL and ANA both offer ‘visit Japan’-type airfares for domestic flights within Japan – as long as they are bought outside Japan in conjunction with a ticket to Japan. Such tickets, if used to Okinawa, are an incredible saving from standard domestic airfares bought within Japan.