Okinawa’s islands comprise one of Japan’s pretty little secrets – a side of Japan that differs from the mainland in culture and pace. They take a little more time and effort to access, but the rewards for getting there are gorgeous semi-tropical, white-sand beaches and clear turquoise water; often on tiny, rural islands that cultivate fields and fields of sugar cane.
If you’ve come as far as Okinawa-hontō (the prefecture’s main island), you’re merely a day trip away from uninhabited islands. If you’ve got more time to spare, Naha (the prefectural capital) is the jumping-off point for the island chain’s further flung destinations. Here are some of Okinawa’s secret beaches, travelling roughly from north to south.