Okinawa Prefecture

Downtown Ishigaki City Self-Guided Walking Tour

Ishigaki Island Ishigaki City is filled with historical sites, shopping, and natural beauty. By simply walking around the town, one can see traditional Kawaraya houses as well as stone walls. In some areas, you feel as though you have stepped back in time. Within the city you can also find a Citizens Hall, Public Library, Municipal Yaeyama Museum, as well as the World Peace Bell....

Shinei Park World Peace Bell

International Peace Bell in Shinei Park Just like the one that is found at the United Nations Headquarters, this bell is rung during the International Day of Peace. There are three world peace bells located in Japan. The other two bells are in Wakkanai City-Hokkaido and Osaka. The bells are created by using coins and medals from the countries of the world. The International Day of Peace is held on the...

Ishigaki Island Astronomical Observatory

Ishigaki Island Observatory Ishigaki is home to some world class astronomy research areas. The first is the VERA Radio Telescope. It is one of four systems installed in Japan which uses the latest technology to study the stars and other galaxies. The newest facility on the island is the Ishigaki Observatory. The facility opened up in March 2006 and features a 105cm Ritchey-Chretien telescope...

Nagura Anparu - Mangrove forest

Nagura Anparu of the Nagura River The tidal flats of the Nagura River estuary are protected under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Nagura Anparu is a Mangrove forest in coral reef area - the only one in Japan. This wetland is surrounded by sandbanks at the mouth of Nagura River. Mangrove forests, tropical forests, various grasses grow on the wetland, and various fish and aquatic organism are in the...

Ishigaki Limestone Caves (Ryugujyo limestone cave)

Ishigaki Limestone Cave Center Ryugujyo limestone cave is on the way to Banna Park observatory are some very amazing and interesting limestone caves, and inside the cave is prepared for visitor appreciation. Repeating upheaval and sedimentation, which separated the Islands of Ryukyu Arc, it took one million years to complete the making of this limestone cave. The limestone made in the coral reef...

Banna Park

Banna Park Banna Park is a prefecture run and maintained park. It is very picturesque park and is perfect for a walk, bike ride, or a run. It is an excellent place to have a picnic or to simply explore. The park itself is very large and has numerous trails for you to explore. The park is home to a large collection of tropical plants made up of over 2,500 different species....

The Ishigaki Yaima Mura (Yaeyama Village)

The Ishigaki Yaima Mura (Yaeyama Village) The Ishigaki Yaima Mura (Yaeyama Village) features a number of 80-100 years old traditional houses of the Yaeyama area that have been removed from their original sites and carefully rebuilt for educational purposes (you may go into those houses, but if you do that please take your shoes off). Information in English is available on information boards placed near these...

Cape Hirakubozaki and Tamatorizaki Observation Point

Cape Hirakubozaki Hirakubozaki Hirakubozaki Observatory (Yaeyama-Shitan of Hirakubo) is famous point for fishing, is located on northern end of Ishigaki Island. On the other hand, a ranch spreads in the hill where a loose curve continues from the observatory, and it can be looked that the cow eats grass leisurely in the pastureland. It is famous here as a place where the beautiful...

Kabira Bay/Park - Black pearl, Kabira shell mound

Kabira Bay/Park The mold bay facing the northwest end of the Ishigaki Island are most beautiful bay on the Ishigaki Island. Swimming is forbidden at this bay because of the black pearl cultivation, but ride on a glass bottom boat and look and enjoy the coral reef in the sea, it is the place of the unparalleled view. This bay is very beautiful to the extent that it is chosen as “in...

Ishigaki Island Diving

Ishigaki Manta ray One of the main activities for tourists is to go diving. Courses are set up to suit the needs of beginners as well as advanced divers. See the famous manta rays, explore the lush coral, or simply swim with the colorful fish. Most of the dive companies in Ishigaki provide you with a pick up and drop off service. For beginners, most dive companies offer an introductory...

Beaches on the Northern Side of the Ishigaki Island

Beaches on the Northern Side of the Ishigaki Island If you have time and are willing to either drive or ride your bike, the beaches on the northern side of the island are beautiful and perfect for swimming, diving, and snorkeling. These beaches include Yonehara, Sukiji, Uganzaki, and Shiraho. Yonehara Beach - Located right in front of a camping spot. The beach has all the facilities that you will need including...

Sightseeing in Ishigaki Island

Sightseeing in Ishigaki Island The meaning of "ishigaki" is stone wall. On all islands, especially on Taketomi and Kohama you find many stone walls erected around private houses. Actually the material used is not stone but corals. Ishigaki is famous for beach spots that provide excellent diving/snorkeling views. Although there are many beaches near town, most of these beaches are used for...

Ishigaki Island of Ishigaki City (Ishigaki-shi)

Ishigaki Island of Ishigaki City (Ishigaki-shi) Ishigaki Island (Ishigaki-jima) has a population of about 48,000 and is the administrative center for the Yaeyama region. Over 70% of the population of Ishigaki Island live in the urban area in the south of the island, where you find the 3 highschools for the Yaeyama area, an international port, two fishing ports, an airport, as well as a prefectural hospital and...

Okinawa Islands Scuba Diving Guide

Okinawa Islands Scuba Diving Guide Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture in Japan and is about a three hour flight from Tokyo. Okinawa's islands stretch all the way to Taiwan with the Kerama islands being closest to the main island. Further south you can dive Ishigaki, Iriomote and Yonaguni islands (home of Isseki point, believed by many to be a lost city or civilization). The main island of Okinawa...