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Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, Japan

Ishigaki is the most populous island in the chain features the country’s southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround. Ishigaki is one of Japan’s most southern islands located 1,950 km from Tokyo. It is actually closer to Taiwan (270 km). Since the new airport opened in 2013 there are more flights than ever to the island, both domestic and international. The famous tourist spot is the beautiful beach and both snorkeling with coral reefs and scuba dive along the coral reef which can be purchased for tours from companies near the beach.

There is also a river on the island as well. You can rent a kayak and explore nature like Iriomote Island but not as thick as the forest.

On Ishigaki Island with both sandy beaches and a rocky beach full of small pieces of coral. At the beach, you can swim during high tide, snorkeling and scuba diving or maybe sunbathing too. The best time to visit is from April to November and temperature is around 25 degrees Celsius with has facilities as showers, bathrooms and equipment rental shops but without a lifeguard and various shops will be closed during the off-summer season.

Note: you should be aware of poisonous marine animals. Especially Habu jellyfish which will be abundant during June – October. If get poisoned by jellyfish must be quickly use vinegar before being taken to the hospital.

This is beach list around this island such as:

1. Yonehara Beach – Free parking fee

One of the area that is suitable for snorkeling on this island. Which is full of pure white coral And beautiful coral reefs Near the beach there are facilities for tourists such as showers, bathrooms, changing rooms. And shop for diving equipment etc.

2. Sukuji Beach – Free parking fee

This beach is 1 kilometer long, located near the Kabira Bay, the island’s whiteest sandy beach. Can swim or snorkel. (Be careful of jellyfish, Habu). The parking lot of the beach has facilities for tourists such as showers, toilets and changing rooms, and at the end of the beach. Is the location of Club Med Resort.

3. Sunset Beach – Parking fee 300 yen and facilities 300 yen

The beach located in the bay on the western tip of the northeastern cape of Ishigaki Island In which the sea is not far from the parking lot Suitable for swimming And snorkeling (even during low tide). In addition, Habu is well protected by stretching the net Next to the parking lot is a picnic area, shower and toilet.

Natural attractions that you can visit in this island as:

1. Kabira Bay

The water in Kabira Bay is blue and green. It is considered the most beautiful view of Ishigaki Island. But tourists are not allowed to swim or snorkel Only available on a glass bottom boat to admire the beautiful nature under the sea. The tour takes 30 minutes.

Fee: Boat 1,030 yen
Departure time: 9:00 – 17:00

2. River Kyak Tours

You can rent a kayak to paddle the nature around the mangrove forest on the Miyara River, not far from the city. Or on the Fukido River near the Yonehara Beach. The tour takes 90 minutes.

Fee: Boat 6,500 yen / 3 hours
Departure Time: Morning and Afternoon

3. Tamatorizaki Observation Point

From this viewpoint, you can see the beautiful view of Cape Tamatori, Ibaruma Bay, the peninsula hills north of Ishigaki Island. The blue-green sea combined with clean white coral.

Fee: Free
Opening hours: 24 hours a day

4. Yonehara Palm Tree Groves

The garden consists of over 12 palm species, including tall palms. Native palm of Yaeyama Island, etc.

Fee: Free
Opening hours: 24 hours a day

Historical sites that you can visit around this island as:

1. Yaeyama Museum

Inside the exhibition about history. And culture of the Yaeyama Islands, such as wooden canoes, pottery Traditional clothing And various household appliances, etc.

Fee: 200 yen
Opening hours: 9: 00-17: 00 (last entry 16:30)
Closed: Mondays and December 29 – January 3

2. Tojinbaka Tomb

The beautifully decorated cemeteries of over 300 Chinese miners were supposed to be sent as miners in America in the mid-1800s, but because of the rebellion they were killed on Ishigaki Island.

Fee: Free
Opening hours: 24 hours a day

3. Miyara Dunchi guesthouse

Is the home of samurai Built by a local aristocrat in 1819, it is the building that survived the destruction during the war. Visitors are allowed to visit the outside of the house and gardens only.

Fee: 200 yen
Opening hours: 9: 00-17: 00
Closed: Every Tuesday and January 1-3

How to get there:

Ishigaki Island is the transportation hub of the Yaeyama Island. Passenger can fly by plane in direct flight to island.

  • There are 2 direct flight airlines, ANA and JTA, between Haneda Airport (Tokyo) to New Ishigaki Airport (Ishigaki Island), costing around 70,000 yen (during the promotional period around 20,000-40,000 yen)

Or take a plane by stopping at Naha Airport

  • It is a cheaper flight from Tokyo to Naha and then connecting to Ishigaki.

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