TripAdvisor recently listed out its top destinations on the rise in 2018, and the entry coming in at number one was a surprise. Ishigaki Island is the most populated and second-largest of the Yaeyama Islands, part of the Okinawa island group of Japan. But it hasn’t really figured in the travel itineraries of a lot of tourists coming to Japan. Perhaps it is the island’s distance from the mainland; Ishigaki is actually closer to Taiwan than it is to the main island of Japan, Honshu. But it is fast rising in popularity, as evidenced by its ranking by TripAdvisor users. These pictures of Ishigaki island show you just why. ALSO READ: Top 10 Trending Destinations in the World for 2018, According to TripAdvisor Also Read - Yoshihide Suga Elected Japan’s New Prime Minister Succeeding Shinzo Abe, PM Modi Congratulates Him

An aerial view of Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, Japan

Aerial view of Ishigaki Island (neighbor of Kabira Bay) in Okinawa, Japan Also Read - Japan PM Shinzo Abe, His Cabinet to Resign Today Paving Way For New Leadership

Kabira Bay, which is located on the north coast of Ishigaki

Kabira Bay which is located on the north coast of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, Japan Also Read - Yoshihide Suga Elected as Shinzo Abe's Successor, Set to Become Japan's Next Prime Minister

The pristine white sandy beach of Kawahira Bay

Ishigaki Island Kawahira Bay

A moored boat and a couple at Kabira Bay beach in the summer

Boat and a couple in the summer at Kabira bay beach, Ishigaki Island (Ishigakijima), Okinawa, Japan. A scenic spot representing Okinawa

Sukuji beach, another unspoiled stretch on the northwest coast of Ishigaki

sukuji beach in ishigaki island

Part of the Ishigaki coastline, stretching far into the blue horizon

okinawa ishigaki coast line

Snorkeling is a main attraction and a must-do in the tropical lagoon paradise of Ishigaki

Man snorkeling in Tropical lagoon paradise of Ishigaki island, Okinawa, Japan

Hirakubosaki lighthouse, a major landmark and point of attraction on Ishigaki island

Hirakubosaki lighthouse of Ishigaki island in okinawa.

Another view of the lighthouse with the sunset in the background

Lighthouse Sunset at Ishigaki island of Okinawa Japan

A traditional Okinawan house with large tiled roof and Shisa, a traditional Ryukyuan decoration seen often in pairs, resembling a cross between a lion and a dog

A traditional Okinawan house with large tiled roof,and shisa a traditional Ryukyuan decoration, often in pairs, resembling a cross between a lion and a dog.

Tamatorizaki observatory, another major attraction that offers an incredible view

okinawa ishigaki tamatorizaki observatory

A view of Ishigaki island’s terrain and coral sea from the Tamatorisaki Observation Deck

Coral sea Ishigaki island, Tamatorisaki Observation Deck

Sabani, a traditional Okinawan sailboat sailing along the waters off Ishigaki island

SABANITraditional Okinawan Sailboat Shot on Ishigaki Island Okinawa Japan

A couple of travelers walk down a beach during sunset; one of the best things to do in Ishigaki

okinawa ishigaki sunset beach

Of the around 50,000 inhabitants of the Yaeyama Islands, 45,000 live in Ishigaki, the transport and economic hub of the archipelago. Central Ishigaki, where most people live, is rather bluntly called Chushin (center in Japanese), Shigaichi (town area) or Machi (town). But the beauty of this island could pen a thousand poems. Hills, dense forests, long stretches of white sandy beaches, clear blue waters and an underwater world of corals and incredible marine life awaits you in Ishigaki.