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Travel Guide to Okinawa's Yaeyama Islands (Part 1)

Innumerable remote islands called the Yaeyama lslands surround Okinawa. Though the main island of Okinawa is an attractive place, traveling to these remote islands is especially recommended for knowing the enthralling beauty of the ocean much better.

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Photo credit: Jackopoid on Wikimedia Commons 

There are 11 islands in the Yaeyama island chain: Ishigaki, Taketomi, Kohama, Kayama, Yubu, Kuroshima, Aragusuku, Hatoma, Iriomote, Hateruma and Yonaguni.

Let's hop in and out of Ishigaki, Taketomi, Kohama, Kayama and Yubu Islands and catch a glimpse of it in this section. In Part II we take you to Kuroshima, Aragusuku, Hatoma, Iriomote, Hateruma and Yonaguni Islands.

Ishigaki Island

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Photo credit: 白蛇の騎士on Wikimedia Commons 

Ishigaki is a small island, designated for its national scenic beauty. A bustling city area including a market that offers Yaeyama-local products. Ishigaki Island is therefore very famous as a sight-seeing spot.

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Photo credit: 663highland on Wikimedia Commons

It is comparatively easy to get there since there are flights from the main island of Okinawa.

Ishigaki Island offers places with some of the most marvelous views.

Kabira Bay

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Photo credit: Paipateroma on Wikimedia Commons 

This is one of the best sight-seeing spots in Ishigaki Island and is also included in the 100 best sceneries in Japan.

Hirakubozaki Lighthouse

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Photo credit: Paipateroma on Wikimedia Commons

The best spot to enjoy superb view! It is a place with beautiful scenery surrounded by the ocean.

Tamatorizaki Viewpoint

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Photo credit: ajari on Flickr

Hibiscus is in full bloom all year round offering a completely tropical atmosphere.

Yonehara Beach

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This is the most popular beach in Ishigaki Island. BEST for Snorkeling and if you are lucky you can see tropical fishes in the ocean.

Ishigaki Food

One popular restaurant on the island is Asahi Shokudo. It's where local people come to dine.

Taketomi Island

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Taketomi Island scaled the charts as a popular resort very recently. Hoshino Resorts, a chain of luxury hotels and Japanese inns, constructed a hotel here that became a crowd-puller.

It takes 10 minutes by a boat from Ishigaki Island.

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Photo credit: Paipateroma on Wikimedia Commons

It is a small island that you can circle the entire perimeter using a bicycle within an hour or so.

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Photo credit: Shig ISO on Flickr

Here is the place we can release ourselves from the busy city-life and experience relaxed culture of Okinawa.

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Photo credit: ajari on Flickr

What you should definitely try in Taketomi Island is riding on a water buffalo carriage. Water buffaloes take you around the island walking slowly yet steadily. The pleasant scenery is beyond comparison.

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Photo credit: ajari on Wikimedia Commons

At Taketomi Island, there is a bay, the most beautiful in Japan.
White beach and clear blue sky stretch in so-called Kondoi Beach.
Please heal your tired souls at this beach.

Kohama Island

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Photo credit: Shig ISO von Flickr

Kohama Island is also another popular remote island transformed into a resort. It is a very serene island where sugarcane field extends from end to end.

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Photo credit: Travel-Picture on Flickr

There are two resorts here. About one fifth of the entire island is occupied by these two resort facilities, Haimurubushi and RESONARE Kohamajima.

Haimurubushi

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Photo:http://hitumin.cocolog-nifty.com

There is a big public bath with a view to the ocean. Relax and unwind here.

Resonare Kohamajima

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Photo:http://epicurean.moe-nifty.com

Enjoy the beauty of nature right within the luxury of a resort both at the same time. Recommended for tourists looking for a bit of privacy, each room at this resort is built individually with the privacy you are looking for.

Please do relax, unwind and forget about the fleeting time; at Kohama Island you can enjoy your own private time.

Kayama Island

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Photo credit: Travel-Picture on Flickr

About 10 minute boat ride from Kohama Island off to the north will take you to a small uninhabited island which is a remarkable getaway for those looking for nature at its best.

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Photo credit: Travel-Picture on Flickr

Walk around the entire island on foot in an hour, at this island.

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Photo credit: Travel-Picture on Flickr

Best for snorkeling as the waters are highly transparent and glistening in the sunlight.

Yubu Island

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Photo credit: Kentaro Ohno on Flickr

A tiny island with a circumference of 2 kms, the entire island is a subtropical botanical garden.

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Photo credit: Kentaro Ohno on Flickr

The distance between Yubu Island and Iriomote Island is about 400m. The sea being shallow off the shore, the depth of the water only reaches to about 1m even at high tide.

You can take a water buffalo carriage to get to Yubu Island. It takes only about 15 minutes.

Yummy handmade Gelato sold at a tea-house is something you should definitely try. You will find this tea-house right in front of the Manta Beach.

Make sure to get a taste of the Gelato before we take you to the next section!

Part 2

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