The Ryukyu Islands (琉球諸島) are a chain of volcanic Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands (further divided into the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands), with Yonaguni Island being the southernmost. The largest of the islands is Okinawa.
The islands have a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot summers. Precipitation is very high, and is affected by the rainy season and typhoons. Except the outlying Daitō Islands, the island chain has two major geologic boundaries, the Tokara Strait between the Tokara and Amami Islands, and the Kerama Gap between the Okinawa and Miyako Islands. The islands beyond the Tokara Strait are characterized by their coral reefs.