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The Ryukyu Islands are a chain of islands in the southwest of Japan, southwest of the island of Kyushu, the region it is in.
The islands consist of the Satsunan Islands to the north, belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture, and Ryūkyū Shotō to the south, belonging to Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Yoron Island is the southernmost island of the Satsunan Islands, and Yonaguni is the southernmost of the Ryukyu Islands. The largest of the islands is Okinawa Island.
Naha Airport (OKA) is the main gateway to Okinawa and thus the Ryukyu Islands. Destinations include all of the major Japanese cities and international destinations include Seoul Incheon International Airport, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Taipei, Hong Kong International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
To/from the airport
The weekly ferries between Keelung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan and Ishigaki and Miyako in the Okinawa Prefecture have been suspended since 2008. The trip took about 18 hours and boats left Taiwan on Mondays and Okinawa on Thursdays or Fridays. There is talk of new ferries between Japan (either Okinawa or 'mainland' Japan) and Taiwan, but up until now (October 2009) there is no ferry.
Ferries connect Naha with a number of ports on Kyushu and Honshu, including Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Kobe, Osaka and Kagoshima. A one way trip from Tokyo to Naha takes around 44 hours and is only one ferry per week. From Kagoshima on the southern tip of Kyushu, ferries depart for Naha every day though and this is probably the better option if you want to go to Okinawa by ferry as it takes about 25 hours.
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