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Okinawa Japan photography group featuring unique pictures of Okinawa
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.
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
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
Hoshidate Natural Conservation District
Beaches on Iriomote Island