- The easiest way to extend this trip is to go to the many other Ryukyu islands, traveling by ferry rather than airplane. You could go by ferry from Naha to explore the islands to the west, then travel by ferry to Amami-Oshima and whatever other islands your time would allow before the last ferry finally deposits you at Kagoshima on the southernmost major Japanese island of Kyushu. From there, you could plane or take sleeper trains back; there's also a sleeper-seat train (with comfortable chairs that tilt back) that's significantly cheaper than a sleeper train. (See the Nuts & Bolts section for the Kyushu route, under "Getting Away.") If you choose to take ferries, plan carefully, and be sure to check not only what days they run but what time the ferry arrives. (For example: the ferry from Okinawa to Amami Oshima docks at three in the morning!) Note also that many of these islands (Amami Oshima in particular) are supposedly very rugged and will take time to cycle.

- Kagoshima naturally offers the opportunity to cycle Kyushu as well. See the Kyushu route and follow the route in reverse, starting with Kagoshima and the volcanic island of Sakurajima (shown below).

- Lastly, if you're REALLY ambitious, note that the Ryukyu Islands extend virtually all the way to Taiwan, and it appears to be about a five-hour ferry ride from Ishigaki to Keelung on the northern tip of Taiwan near Taipei. I haven't researched the current visa situation, but many nationalities can visit for two weeks with no visa. There is a Taiwanese Consulate in Naha at (098) 862-7008 and information can be found among other places at:

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Nuts & BoltsOkinawa_Nuts_%26_Bolts.htmlOkinawa_Nuts_%26_Bolts.htmlshapeimage_14_link_0