Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

A travel around Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa! Part - 2

Photo: kobaken++ on Flickr

A travel around Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa! Part - 2

We hopped in and out of 4 Islands in Part 1 of this series on Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa.
In this section, explore the wide expanse of ocean and the night-sky at another 6 islands, Kuroshima, Aragusuku, Hatoma, Iriomote, Hateruma and Yonaguni.

Kuroshima Island


Photo:Ray_go on Wikimedia Commons 
Love your soul and find the love of your life at this miniature heart-shaped island with an area of only 10 sq. km.


Believe it or not!! The number of cows exceed the number of human beings residing on this island.
Raising stock and cattle is the predominant business, here. Hence much of this island is farmland.

"Cattle Festival" is held in February every year. Still guessing what the lottery prize is? Well, hold your breath, for it is the Cow! Cowed already, is it??


Would you like to visit around this time? Don't be cowed there is much more to explore.


Photo:Kentaro Ohno on Flickr
BEST place for Snorkeling. Highly transparent ocean waters home to many tropical fishes inhabiting with closely packed coral reefs.

No airport at Kuroshima Island hence you got to take the boat ride to get there.
You can take a high-speed boat or a ferry from Ishigaki's outer island ferry terminal. It takes about 25 minutes by high-speed boat, and about 35 minutes by a car ferry.
Circle around with your bicycle at this tiny speck of land on the face of the ocean while you enjoy the panoramic view of the beautiful ocean.



The beautiful sea is a breeding ground for Sea Turtles. They visit here between April and September to lay their eggs.

Aragusuku Island


Legend has it that this island was once inhabited by a mermaid.

Panari Island (as a nickname)


Two tiny islands, the Kamiji and Shimoji form this small island with an area of 1.76 sq. km. Surrounded by the Coral Sea, it takes pride in having the most transparent ocean waters at Okinawa.

Kitanohama is a beautiful beach where the blue ocean stretches as far as the eyes can reach. How about enjoying snorkeling there?


Memorable experiences in and out of the ocean awaits you here.

Hatoma Island


Photo:ippei on Wikimedia Commons
With a population of 67people this small island is shaped almost like a circle.
A boat runs once or twice a day to this beautiful destination.


Photo:Ippei & Janine Naoi on flickr
Surrounded by reef this island is a mecca for snorkeling.
Snorkel around the Hatoma Island and do witness the picturesque island.

Iriomote Island


Photo:Paipateroma on Wikimedia Commons 
Iriomote Island offers a varied views of both the mountain and the ocean.

There is no airport at the Iriomote Island. Please take a boat to get there! You will get a boat ride from the Ishigaki Island.

●Shuttle boats
ANEI KANKO: http://www.aneikankou.co.jp/languages/e_index.html
YAEYAMA KANKO FERRY: http://www.yaeyama.co.jp/foreignen.html
ISHIGAKI DREAM TOURS: http://www.ishigaki-dream.co.jp/index.html (in Japanese)

Since Iriomote Island is surrounded by subtropical virgin forest, excursion boats or kayaking is recommended for inland sight-seeing.

Nakamagawa River


Photo:ajari on Flickr
The second biggest river on the Iriomote Island accessible for river excursions by boat or canoe

Urauchi River


The biggest river in Okinawa has a mystical waterfall while merging with its tributary.
This waterfall is surrounded by subtropical plants. Please do not miss it.

Star Sand Beach


Photo:Geomr on Wikimedia Commons
The northernmost beach in Iriomote Island, named after star-shaped sand found in plenty on its beaches.
Enjoy snorkeling here, too!

Have fun at the mountain, the ocean or the river. You have much to choose from at Iriomote Island.

Hateruma Island


Photo:Travel-Picture on Flickr
This one is Japan's southernmost habited island. You can take a high-speed boat from Ishigaki Island to get here. And it takes only about an hour.


"Hateruma" literally means corals at the extremity. That explains how well-recognized this place is as an island of coral.


Photo:Travel-Picture on flickr
The island itself is so small that you can pedal around it on your bicycle.


It is said to be the closest island to the starlit sky, hence the night sky is worth a watch. Your bare eyes will capture the scenic beauty as a memory forever.

Nishihama Beach


Photo:Travel-Picture on flickr
This beach is said to be the most beautiful in Okinawa. The enthralling beauty will surely make you drop a tear or two even while you are snorkeling. The clarity of water incomparable and praiseworthy.


Visit the Hateruma Island bestowed with natural beauty in abundance.

Yonaguni Island

Sierra Exif JPEG

This is Japan's westernmost island, located between Ishigaki and Taiwan.

Long ago it was a challenge to access this island due to the rough sea and the turbulent waves. This is reason enough for it being called “Donan” meaning "difficult to go over".


Photo:Littlegreenman on Wikimedia Commons
Well known as a diving spot. It is also famous as a major destination where one can witness a school of Hammerhead shark!

It takes about an hour and a half from Naha Airport to reach here. By ferry it is about four hours and a half. But only about 30 minutes by an airplane from Ishigaki Island.



Photo:Metatron on Wikimedia Commons
The easternmost cape in Yunaguni Island is Agarizaki. The ocean stretching far below the sheer cliff is a superb view for the eyes to behold.

Submarine Ruins


Photo:jpatokal on Wikimedia Commons 
A structure of about 100 m off Arakawabana on the south coast of the island; it is still unknown if it is an artifact or naturally created.



A place where one can witness white crescent-shaped beaches and watch vast expanse of the ocean stretching beautifully until the horizon.

Sure you enjoyed it!! Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa offers much more to its tourists.

Visit Yeayama Islands not only for the abundance of natural beauty, but certainly for new sceneries you've never seen before and newer experiences that await you.