Enjoy Ishigaki Island's blue sea and sky to your heart's content!
The Yaeyama Islands consist of various islands, large and small. The islands are a great spot to leisurely experience both nature and culture, and feature their own unique atmosphere that differs from that of the main island of Okinawa. Today, we are going to introduce you to Ishigaki Island, the main island of the Yaeyama Islands and the region's transportation hub.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Ishigaki Island without a visit to the famous Kabira Bay. Situated on the northwest coast of the island, the bay is known for the constantly changing colour of its waters. Influenced by numerous factors, such as the tides and strength of the sunlight, the vibrant waters contrast the white sandy beaches phenomenally.
※Swimming is prohibited due to strong currents.
- Kabira, Ishigaki City
Next up is the sensational Yonehara Beach. Walk up to the shallow waters and feast your eyes on the plentiful tropical fish representing every colour of the rainbow. This popular summer spot even has campsites next to it, making it a great place to enjoy relaxing, hanging out with friends or family, or swimming—or a combination; who said you had to choose? The view of Kabira and the nearby mountain range is the cherry on top of the already breathtaking scenery.
※ Due to reef currents, caution is advised when swimming. In addition, stepping on or taking samples of the coral is prohibited.
- Fukai, Ishigaki City
When you’re ready to head to the next spot, we suggest a visit to the Tamatorizaki Observatory. The observatory has a great panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea. Allow the cool ocean breeze to refresh you as you admire the abundant hibiscuses and other tropical flowers that can be enjoyed there year round.
- Ibaruma, Ishigaki City
There’s more to Ishigaki Island that just its blue sea and skies, however; if you want to enjoy its night sky as well, you should head to the Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory! Located at the summit of Mt. Maesedake, the view of the twinkling stars is sure to be one you can enjoy deeply. On weekends, they open their doors to visitors to view the stars through their impressive “MURIKABUSHI Telescope.” The 4D theater showings are also extremely popular. (Reservations required.)
Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory
- 1024-1 Arakawa, Ishigaki City
- Business Hours
- Mondays and Tuesdays
There are just so many nature and cultural experiences to be had on Ishigaki Island, that we couldn't list them all if we tried. The island is home to countless shops that cater to helping you experience the outstanding surrounding nature. Diving schools that offer adventures into the crystal blue waters to see the manta rays, snorkeling tour shops, and cycling tour shops offering a variety of routes and types of bicycles. The list goes on!
Only an hours plane ride away from Okinawa’s main island, why not hop over to Ishigaki Island and take in its unique atmosphere and breathtaking scenery for yourself? You’ll be glad you did!