3 new destinations in Okinawa

05 Dec 2019 in In immersion

An idyllic beachside villa, a subtropical jungle experience or an island retreat with manta rays. The choice is yours!

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Okinawa is unlike anywhere else in Japan. The country’s southernmost Prefecture is a collection of small islands with picture-perfect beaches, and a warm, subtropical climate all year round. And every island offers a different experience.

How about a luxury beachside villa surrounded by a coral reef on the main island? A stay in the heart of mangrove jungle populated by an endangered species? Or getting away from it all on a small island where giant manta rays swim in the cobalt-blue sea?

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From spring 2020, you’ll be able to experience all this and more thanks to 3 new properties from Hoshino Resorts. And that’s not to mention the existing HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island, where guests are immersed in the culture of a tiny coral landmass in the Yaeyama islands.

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The jungle of Iriomote Island

Opened on October 1, 2019, Hoshino Resorts Iriomote Hotel is situated in the heart of the Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park.

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Known as Japan’s “last unexplored region”, the island is 90% jungle and boasts a unique ecosystem populated by crested serpent eagles, yellow-margined box turtles and the endangered Iriomote cat.

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It is also the only place to house all seven species of mangrove native to Japan.

The newly-opened hotel is set along a white-sand beach at the edge of the jungle and makes an ideal base for exploring the extraordinary local flora and fauna. Rooms are spacious with terraces and luxurious daybed couches.

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The restaurant serves creative local food such as wild boar brown sugar sukiyaki and Japanese blue crab. And the pool and spa are ideal for relaxing post-exploration.

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Best of all, you have a bountiful wilderness on your doorstep. How about snorkelling among turtles and clownfish in one of the world’s largest coral reefs?

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Taking a tour to observe the legendary power-puff flowers that bloom at night and wither the next morning?

Barringtonia Racemosa

Heading into a forest illuminated by fireflies? Or watching the sun set as your kayak past mangroves? Equipment is provided by the hotel.

All your need is an adventurous spirit.

Oceanside Okinawa

HOSHINOYA Okinawa offers waterfront views and access to a pristine beach from every room.

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Located on Okinawa Island, the Prefecture’s biggest, the resort is surrounded by a stylish wall, a modernist take of the gusuku walls typical of the region. Its grand opening is scheduled for May 20, 2020.

The setting is a natural coastline virtually untouched by man with a shallow sea surrounded by a coral reef. Within the resort’s large complex, fields are filled with fruit trees bearing acerola and papaya, as well as tropical flowers and plants. This is quintessential Okinawa.

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All rooms feature balconies and terraces opening onto the sea, plus an indoor patio with a long table where you can hold a private dinner party prepared by the resort’s chef.

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The most luxurious villas even have a 20-metre private pool. And everyone has access to a generous infinity pool overlooking the ocean.

During your stay, you’ll get to sample the exemplary cuisine of chef Tomoko Matsunashi, who fuses Okinawan ingredients with Sicilian traditions.

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The rest of the time you can choose between relaxing on the beach and at the spa – or experiencing authentic Okinawan activities such as martial arts in the resort’s dojo.

Coral reef retreat

Located in the Yaeyama Islands, Kohamajima is a short boat ride from Ishigaki airport – and a world apart in terms of atmosphere. This small island is a beach-lover’s paradise, set among the largest coral reef in the northern hemisphere.

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From April 20, 2020, Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Kohamajima will open here, built around a pristine lagoon just a stone’s throw from expansive sand beaches.

Rooms are modern and spacious, with many overlooking the water. If you want to treat yourself, opt for the Royal Suite with your own private pool and jacuzzi on the terrace.

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Alternatively, you can swim in the large public pool.

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A short path leads from the resort to the beach, one of the largest in Okinawa. Lined with blooming bougainvillea and allamanda, the sandy shoreline includes a space where hammocks hang from trees – ideal for reading a book in the day or star-gazing by night.

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And if you’re looking for adventure, you can snorkel or dive with the local manta rays. Alternatively, how about a short cruise to the ephemeral Mythical Island (Hamajima), which only appears at low tide? There’s even a golf course on the resort.

And, this being Okinawa, you can make the most of the ocean and the outdoors all year round under reliably warm skies.

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