Japan's best islands to visit, from Okinawa to cat sanctuary Aoshima

Perhaps surprisingly, fewer than 10% of the 6,852 islands making up the Japanese archipelago are inhabited. But among those 400 or so, travelers are treated to a rich tapestry of natural treasures, deep-seated mysticism, thriving cultural assets and stretches of sprawling urbanity.

Japan's best islands to visit, from Okinawa to cat sanctuary Aoshima
Perhaps surprisingly, fewer than 10% of the 6,852 islands making up the Japanese archipelago are inhabited. But among those 400 or so, travelers are treated to a rich tapestry of natural treasures, deep-seated mysticism, thriving cultural assets and stretches of sprawling urbanity.