Iriomote-jima, Okinawa Japan

The 2nd largest of the Okinawa Islands and the largest of the Yaeyama Islands has a population of just 2,000 people yet is visited by more than 150,000 tourists each year arriving by ferry. These visitors from other parts of Okinawa, Japan, and the world come to discover the natural beauty that makes up Iriomote Island. The island is also a SCUBA Divers and snorkeling paradise because of the abundant coral reefs that surround it.

Over 90% of Iriomote Island is covered in lush subtropical virgin jungle making it a great destination for nature seekers trying to escape the concrete world for a while. Most of the island is a Japanese National Park due to its diverse eco-systems that contain unique vegetation and animals such as the famous Iriomote Wild Cat.

Besides the spectacular jungles and wildlife, culture on Iriomote Island is a shining example of a traditional Yaeyama Islands way of life. Stone fenced houses with Okinawa style red roofed houses are a common sight amongst the farm fields in the small towns that dot the coast line.

Iriomote Island is located about 450 km Southwest of the main Okinawa Island and is actually 200 km closer to Taiwan than Naha. Much of the cultural influences here come form a mixture of China, Taiwan, South Pacific Islands, Mainland Japan, and elsewhere in the region.

 

Transportation to / from Iriomote Island

 

Getting There by Ferry

The only way to reach Iriomote Island is by boat. Ferries leave from Ishigaki Island regularly and take approximately 40 minutes depending on your destination

Traveling to the Northern Iriomote Port of Uehara costs Adults: 2300yen one way, 4400yen round trip. Children: 1150 one way, 2200 round trip. The journey takes 40 – 50 minutes, 8-10 boats travel each day between 07:00am–17:00pm

Docking at the Southern port of Ohara from Ishigaki Island takes 35 minutes. Costing Adults: 1770yen one way for Adults, 3390yen round trip. Children: 890yen one way, 1690yen round trip. 10–12 boats make the journey each day from 07:00am–17:00pm

 

Getting around Iriomote Island

Once on the Island there are a few options for seeing the sights and enjoying the beaches. Keep in mind the infrastructure on the island is limited to one main road that follows the coast.

Shuttle bus: If you have arranged for a tour or activity such as SCUBA diving or sightseeing many of the operators will pick you up at hotels or major ports.
Car: Rental cars can be obtained at Ohara Port or Uehara Port from several different agencies near where the boats dock.

 

Sightseeing Activities on Iriomote Island

Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park
Iriomote Onsen
Pinaisaara Waterfall
Yubu-jima
Unarizaki Observatory
Hoshidate Natural Conservation District
Nakama River
Urauchi River
iriomote sightseeing activities okinawa japan guide

 

Beaches on Iriomote Island

Haemida Beach Iriomote Island Okinawa Info

Haemida Beach
The long shore of Haemida beach stretches for over 2km on the southern edge of Iriomote Island. As beautiful as this beach is the water tends to be a bit rough because there is a reef located not far off shore. Swimming here is possible but....

Hoshisuna Beach Iriomote Island Okinawa Japan

Hoshisuna Beach
“Hoshi” means star in Japanese and if you have ever seen or heard of the star shaped sand on beaches in Okinawa, this is the place that actually has it. This unique natural phenomenon is caused from the death bakyurojipushina a large-sized Foramifera kind of coral. This type of coral lives in the reefs surrounding...

Iriomote-jima Okinawa Japan Tsukigahama Beach

Tsukigahama Beach
This Iriomtejima beach gets its name from its perfect crescent moon shape. The real unique feature of this beach is the sand, when walked on it makes a sound and is called “crying sand.” This strange sand originates from a near by river. It’s worth a trip here just for the experience of having sand scream back at you when walked on....

 

North Okinawa Tours

 JTB Okinawa Japan TOurs Northern Okinawa Tour
On this tour visit many of the North Okinawa’s famous sites like Churaumi Aquarium ( the world's third largest aquarium), Ryukyu Mura where you can experience living history, and many more exciting places. Lunch included.
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JTB Okinawa Japan TOurs Nakijin-jo Castle World Heritage Bus Tour
On this tour visit many of the North Okinawa’s famous sites like Cape Manza, Churaumi Aquarium ( the world's third largest aquarium), Nakijin-jo Castle, Nago Pineapple Park. Lunch included.
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JTB Okinawa Japan TOurs Okinawa Marine Walk from Nago (Departs at 9:00 am)
Enjoy walking underwater through Okinawa's clear ocean by simply putting on a special helmet which draws air from the surface, you can breathe normally even while underwater and explore Okinawa's beautiful coral reefs.
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JTB Okinawa Japan TOurs Okinawa Jet Skiing, Banana Boat & Super Mable Tour
Enjoy all 3 of these thrilling marine sports out on the open water. 
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Miyako Islands Hotels & Resorts

 Location  Rating  Hotel Name
 Miyako Is. 4 star hotel Hotel Atoll Emerald Miyakojima
 Miyako Is. 4 star hotel Miyakojima Tokyu Resort 
 Miyako Is. 4 star hotel Hotel Breeze Bay Marina 
 Miyako Is. 5 star hotel Shigira Bayside Suite ALLAMANDA