Okinawa’s Remote Islands Taking it easy the Okinawan way


A beautiful Beach on an isolated island

The more remote islands of Okinawa are popular spots for tourists from all over the world. Enjoy clear blue waters under the wide open sky, the engaging local culture, the unique cuisine and the company of the friendly people. Some 400km from mainland Okinawa are the Yaeyama Islands clustered around Ishigaki Island. Island hopping off the coast of Ishigaki at Taketomi, Iriomote, Kohama, Kuro, and Hateruma Island is a great way to see the area. Ishigaki Island can be reached by plane in one hour from Naha Airport via the New Ishigaki Airport. Ishigaki Island itself has numerous tourist spots such as Kabira Bay and diving spots where manta rays can be seen, while the township on Ishigaki Island is the perfect spot from which to visit the surrounding islands. On Taketomi Island, the historic houses have been designated as one of Japan’s Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings. The island’s residents have a keen interest in preserving the old town and the culture it holds. A tour of the island’s tourist destinations via a cart drawn by water buffalo or enjoying a drink while listening to tales of tourist guides and locals is sure to become a memory you will never forget.

Meanwhile, on Iriomote Island, over 90% of the land is covered in subtropical jungle, a feature that has earned it the title of the Galapagos of Asia. In addition to rare animals such as the Iriomote wildcat, a natural treasure, the island is also blessed with mud flats covered in mangroves, clear blue oceans, coral reefs and white sandy beaches. Whether you want go mountain climbing through the jungles or kayaking in the mangroves, gliding down rivers in a canoe or diving
and snorkeling, Iriomote Island has more than enough adventure for all. Kohama, Kuro, Hateruma and the other islands around Ishigaki Island can also be visited, and the main attraction here is their inviting emptiness. The pure white beaches without a trace of human activity are a perfect place to spend the day and enjoy the beauty of having to do nothing at all. There are no showers or shops, but what you can experience is time alone in the midst of natural splendor and a chance to get in touch with your inner self.