The Gorgeous Japanese Island You Need to Visit in 2018

It’s the dream vacation you never knew you needed—until today.

Tropical Japanese beach with clear turquoise lagoon water, Ishigaki Island National Park of the Yaeyama Islands, Okinawatororo reaction/Shutterstock

Now that winter is in full swing, we bet the sound of a warm, tropical paradise sounds pretty nice right now. But before you settle for a typical trip to Hawaii or Cozumel, consider something a bit more off the beaten path. Our recommendation: Ishigaki, a gorgeous island in Japan’s Okinawa archipelago.

Never heard of it? We don’t blame you. But this little-known Japanese island was just named the top trending travel destination for 2018 by TripAdvisor—and for good reason.

OkinawaTAKAHIRO KUBO/Shutterstock

To discover the year’s trending destinations, data crunchers created an algorithm that measured the yearly increase in positive traveler feedback regarding accommodation, restaurants, and attractions, as well as increased booking interest on the site. Then, they ranked the top 10 “Destinations on the Rise,” which TripAdvisor revealed in its sixth annual Travelers’ Choice awards.

Leading the list is Japan’s Ishigaki, the largest of the Yaeyama Islands in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. A popular spot for snorkelers and foodies alike, this destination offers incredible views of white sand beaches, colorful coral reefs, and gorgeous mountains and forests.

Kabira Bay which is located on the north coast of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, Japanshikema/Shutterstock

While you’re there, make sure to get a taste of the island’s specialty: Yaeyama soba noodles, which are made with flour rather than the traditional buckwheat.

Looking for something a little closer to home? Book a ticket to Kapaa, Hawaii, or Halifax, Canada; both locations made TripAdvisor’s trending destinations list, too. Want more recommendations? Here are 10 more places you need to go in 2018, according to travel experts.

[Source: Business Insider]

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