YAEYAMA ISLANDS(Yaeyama shoto / 八重山諸島)

Experience rich nature and traditional culture at this sub-tropical paradise

The Yaeyama Islands are located 400 km from the main island of Okinawa and mark the most southwestern part of the Japanese archipelago. The main islands in the group are Ishigakijima,Taketomijima, Kohamajima, Kuroshima, Hatomajima, Haterumajima, Shinjojima (Panari),Iriomotejima, Yubujima, and Yonagunijima. Each island has its own unique wildlife and precious natural habitats.

Don't Miss

  • Water sports out in the beautiful ocean waters
  • Discovering Okinawa's original cultural heritage
  • Island hopping between the region's numerous varied islands



Superb snorkeling adventures are to be had at 'Blue Cave' on Ishigakijima and at the coral reefs of Kuroshima.

Swim with manta rays

Join manta ray snorkel tours departing from Ishigakijima.

Glass-bottomed boat tours (Ishigakijima)

Ride around Kabira Bay, one of Japan's top 100 views, and observe the stunning underwater scenery.

Jungle cruise & trekking (Iriomotejima)

This popular tour calls in at Mariyudu Falls, one of the 100 most beautiful waterfalls in Japan, as well as Kanbire Falls, which means 'seat of God.' Follow up with an upstream cruise to Upper Reaches Station, then take a walk into the heart of the jungle.

Food & Souvenirs

Ishigaki Beef

A Wagyu beef brand, used for steaks, Japanese BBQs, hamburgers, and even raw as sushi.

Yaeyama soba

Local soba noodles from the Yaeyama region.

Sightseeing Spots

Yubujima Subtropical Botanical Garden (Yubujima)

The whole of this tiny sand island is a botanical garden. The only way to access the island is to cross the sea from Iriomotejima by water buffalo cart.

Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center (Iriomotejima)

Deepen your understanding of the island's natural wildlife, including the endangered 'Iriomote wildcat.'

Ishigaki Stalactite Cave (Ishigakijima)

The largest stalactite cave in Ishigakijima was formed over the course of 200,000 years.

Banna Park Observatory (Ishigakijima)

With over 10 observation points Banna Park offers some of the best oceanic views in the Yaeyama Islands.

Ishigaki Yaima Village (Ishigakijima)

This theme park recreates the old Yaeyama houses on a hill overlooking the scenic 'Nagura Bay.' A day out at the park lets you dress up in traditional Ryukyu clothing, decorate Okinawan 'Shisa' statues and observe the island's rare plants and animals.

Star Sand Beach (Iriomotejima)

On this natural beach you can find beautiful grains of star shaped sand.

Local map