How to Enjoy Ishigaki, Okinawa, a Remote Island with a Beautiful Sea
Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, is where you can enjoy the beauty of the sea unique to this isolated island. Ishigaki is a famous tourist spot, easily accessible from Haneda and Kansai International Airports. Here are some ways to enjoy the island!
What kind of place is Ishigaki Island?
The islands of Yaeyama are located at the southwesternmost part of Japan 2,000km from Tokyo and 400km from Okinawa. Among these islands is Ishigaki, which enjoys a predominantly warm subtropical climate throughout the year. Here you may not only enjoy the view of the coral reefs before you, but also try other activities such as snorkeling and diving. You may also engage in trekking and riding a canoe among the mangroves within the rich forests. The main mode of transport to the island would be by plane. You may access the island not just from Naha, Okinawa, but also directly from Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka, Fukuoka, Beijing, and Hong Kong.
Enjoy the View at Kabira Bay
Kabira Bay is counted among the One Hundred Views of Japan, known for its beautiful, extremely clear waters with its blue gradation and nature filled islands. It is prohibited to play in the waters as the waves crash very quickly, but you may avail of the glass boats if you wish to view what lies underwater. This glass boat submarine enables you to see the colorful coral reefs and tropical fish. The glass boat encases a number of shops. Entry to the boat is about 1,000 JPY for adults and 500 JPY for children.
Swim at Shiraho Beach
Shiraho Beach would be a good option if you are looking for somewhere to snorkel. Here you may find more than 120 finds of corals here out of the 400 that exist in Japan. Among these, the most popular one would be the stone coral, which is also known as the biggest one in the northern hemisphere. You may also come across a huge variety of fish. The marine shop called "Blue Coral," includes a guide, knowledgeable on the sea, who gives lectures for the snorkeling tours. This guide will give you points such as where to find spots with the least waves. You may rent all snorkeling equipment here. The snorkeling tour with equipment costs 5,000 JPY for adults and 4,000 JPY for children (incl. tax).
View the Mangroves by the Fukido River
Fukido River is large even by island standards and is a spot known for its mangroves on either side of the bank. Mangroves refer to tropical and subtropical plants that grow near the sea and riverbanks. The type of mangrove you would see here would be Hilugi or Rhizophoraceae and is designated as a natural monument of the city. You may take a walk here while viewing the roots of the Hilugi during low rides or other living creatures such as the crabs at the tidelands. You may also find a number of shops that offer kayak tours within the area. "Marine Mate" about 200m from the river offers tours from 3,240 JPY (incl. tax).
Misakicho located at the center of the island is a downtown area at the southernmost part of Japan. This can be found at the departure and arrival area at the southern part of the island, where boats headed to the islands of Yaeyama rest. One spot where people usually take photos would be the "730 Sea Sea Park." Here you may find a stone monument that commemorates the 30th of July, where the parts of Okinawa that were under the President of the United States made its way back to being territory of Japan, and where the cars went from being on the right side of the road to the left. Please also try to visit the Euglena Mall, where you may find souvenir shops, restaurants and other official stores.
Check Out Other Tourist Areas
This area is filled with other tourist spots! Hirakubozaki, located at the northernmost cape of the island, is impressionable for its blue waters and white light tower. Here you can enjoy the view of the horizon stretching out before you.
At the western side of the island by the Yonehara area, you may find the Yaeyama Palm Grove, which is designated as a natural monument. This grove is different from the spacious view of the sea. It is more similar to a jungle due to its dense trees. You may also find other living things here aside from the groves.
Please use this article as reference when you visit Ishigaki Island and enjoy what it has to offer.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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