With its bustling and futuristic capital, supremely Instagrammable cherry blossom season and undeniably delicious cuisine, Japan has long been one of our must-visit destinations. Yet it’s not Tokyo, Kyoto or even the winter resort of Hokkaido that was named as Trip Advisor’s ‘top trending travel destination’ for 2018, but the humble and little known island of Ishigaki.
With our current penchant for discovering the path less trodden and our fiercely competitive holidaying thanks to Instagram, it’s hardly surprising that a small island with a population of 48,000 has scored highest on Trip Advisor’s list. After all, it is calculated based on the increase in positive ratings and booking interest year-to-year.
Located in the Okinawa Prefecture in southwestern Japan, the beautifully lush island, with its surrounding turquoise waters, coral reefs, mangrove forests and white-sand beaches, looks like it belongs in the Indian Ocean rather than the East China Sea. Thankfully for any wanderlusters though, one night’s accommodation will only set you back £114, rather than the Maldives’ more exclusive prices. You can also tag it on to a more traditional trip to Tokyo, which is a mere three-hour flight away.
Other destinations that made Trip Advisor’s list include Kapaa in Hawaii, Nairobi in Kenya, Halifax in Canada and San Jose in Costa Rica, but those looking to stay closer to home will be happy to hear that Gdansk in Poland, Riga in Lativa, Nerja in Spain, Casablanca in Morocoo and Rovinj in Croatia also made the cut.