Hidden paradise of Japan: The beauty of Ishigaki Island

Ishigaki-jima belongs to the Yaeyama Islands of Okinawa, and its beaches and tourist sites delights visitors. See photos!

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&nbspHidden paradise of Japan: The beauty of Ishigaki Island
The beautiful Baia de Kabira

Ishigaki-jima is the main of the Yaeyama Islands, which belong to Okinawa, and the transportation hub of the region.

The city of Ishigaki is the only urban center of the Yayeama Islands and the location of the main airport and ferry terminal in the region, as well as various hotels, shops, restaurants and bars.

Facade of Ishigaki Airport

Ishigaki offers several beautiful beaches for snorkeling and diving on the surrounding coral reefs.

The snorkelling can be enjoyed by almost all the beaches on the island, while the diving is offered by various establishments in the business with tours available for all levels of experience.

The Ishigaki rivers also offer a forest backdrop and are good for exploring on board kayaks.

Ishigaki also has the highest mountain in Okinawa province, as well as several hiking trails in the mountainous terrain of the island.

Cape of Hirakubo

Ishigaki has sandy and rocky beaches that are covered by small corals.

At the beaches you can swim, snorkel and dive, or just sunbathe. While the beaches are open year-round, the best season is from April to November when the temperature consistently reaches 25 degrees Celsius.

The beaches usually have public facilities such as showers, locker rooms and shops for equipment rentals, however there are no lifeguards and may be closed outside the summer season.

When entering the water always beware of the strong currents that can pull you into the open sea and poisonous creatures like the Habu jellyfish, a kind of cubozoa, which are most prevalent from June to October. There are signs in English about hazards while some beaches have areas enclosed with nets.

Area of ​​Ishigaki port from where you can go to other islands by boat

While Ishigaki-jima is the most populous of the Yayeyama Islands, there is plenty of nature area to be explored.

In addition to snorkeling and scuba diving, along with the beaches and coral reefs of the island, the hinterland of Ishigaki has palm forests, mangrove-lined rivers and mountainous areas that offer hiking and camping opportunities.

The Kabira Bay enchants and is one of the most photographed places of Ishigaki

The Kabira Bay – Kabirawan – of emerald waters is considered the most scenic view of Ishigaki-jima.

However, swimming, snorkeling in the bay are not allowed, but a 30-minute ride aboard a tourist boat offers a beautiful view of the place and its underwater world.

Kabira, along with Iriomote, which is another of the Yaeyama Islands, are the only two sites for growing black pearls in Japan.

Swimming is not allowed  in the waters of Kabira Bay or any other activity, only trips on board boats. 

The Yaeyama Islands have a history and rich cultures dating back before their incorporation to Japan when they were part of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

The Tojinbaka, for example, is a luxuriously decorated tomb dedicated to more than 300 Chinese workers who died in a riot in 1852.

The luxuriously decorated monument

Car rental is the most recommended way to explore Ishigaki. Several large Japanese companies that rent vehicles have shops on the island. Tap here to open the site of one of them.

Most attractions in Ishigaki-jima are within 30 to 45 minutes drive from the city center.

For a low cost airline, click here to open the site, offers direct flights to Ishigaki daily from Kansai Airport (Osaka) and the journey takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Other airlines offer flights to Ishigaki-jima, but a connection is needed on the main island of Okinawa.

For more information:  visitokinawa  (touch to open)

touch here  to open the map.

Images: Portal Mie



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