Look out! A new beach king is about to be crowned, and it is Okinawa, Japan. The islands of Okinawa registered 8.77 million travelers in the year ended March 31, 2017. That’s up 10.5 percent from last year. In comparison, Hawaii recorded 8.93 million tourists in 2016, just 2.9 percent more. At this rate, Okinawa prefecture will see more travelers than Hawaii, taking over the mantle as the better island destination for travelers. And once you see these pictures, you’ll see why more people are traveling to the Okinawa islands. ALSO READ: Photos of Valencia That Will Tempt You to Visit the City of Oranges Also Read - COVID-19 pandemic: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Lifts State of Emergency

The clear turquoise waters of Miyako Island in Okinawa

Japan Miyako Island in Okinawa Also Read - Japan Lifts COVID-19 State of Emergency For 3 Prefectures



The colorful downtown skyline of Naha, Okinawa, at night

Naha, Okinawa, Japan downtown skyline at night Also Read - Gamer Grandma: Meet Hamako Mari, 90-Year-Old Japanese Woman With Guinness Record For Being Oldest Gaming YouTuber

Sunset at Okinawa’s famed Manzamo Cape, a scenic rock formation near Onna Village

Okinawa, Japan at Manzamo Cape during sunset



A peak into the underwater treasures off the coast of the Okinawa islands

underwater scape of okinawa

The Gyokusendo Stalactite cave in Okinawa island, formed approximately 300,000 years ago

Gyokusendo Stalactite cave in Okinawa island, Japan. The cave was formed approximately 300,000 years ago

Naha’s Mihama American Village street, an entertainment and shopping destination, at twilight

Okinawa, Japan at American Village streets at twilight

A dolphin show at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium dolphin show in Okinawa

The huge tail of a humpback whale seen off the coast of in Keramashoto, Okinawa

Huge tail of humpback whale in Keramashoto Okinawa

The famous aquarium in Okinawa, where whale sharks live in one of the biggest water tank in the world

The famous aquarium in Okinawa. Whale sharks lives in one of the biggest water tank in the world

A lighthouse at Ishigaki island in Okinawa, framed with the sun setting behind it

Lighthouse Sunset at Ishigaki island of Okinawa

A distant view of the historic Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa at dusk

Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa, Japan at dusk

A closer look at the Shuri Castle, once the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom

Naha, Okinawa, Japan at Shuri Castle

Kabira Bay, located on the north coast of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa

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

Closeup of an Okinawa Ryukyu style roof with a sculpture of Shasa or Shisha, the mythical lion dog

Okinawa Ryukyu style roof with a sculpture of Shasa mythical lion dog

Okinawa has been consistently seeing more growth than Hawaii in the past five years: 10 percent on average versus Hawaii’s 3 percent, according to Japanese developer Mori Trust Co. Hawaii has far more hotels, but they are costlier than Okinawa. For the Japanese prefecture, accommodation sees to be a bottleneck at the moment. NOW READ: Photos of Osaka That Will Make You Want to Visit the Warm Port City

Okinawa, which translates to ‘rope in the sea’, is exactly what it means. It is a stretch of islands that lie across the open sea, between Taiwan and Japan. Of these islands, 111 are uninhabited and 49 are inhabited and well-connected to the main island of Japan. Despite the fact that it gets far fewer tourists than mainland Japan, it remains a massive draw, bringing in several travelers, from within Japan and from other countries.