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Ishigaki: A must visit Okinawa getaway


Ishigaki is the most populated and most popular of Okinawa Prefecture’s Yaeyama Islands. Just a three-hour flight from Tokyo, Ishigaki serves as the region’s transportation hub with the New Ishigaki Airport for tourists from mainland Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The island offers sandy white beaches with aquamarine water perfect for snorkeling and diving, lush hiking trails with breathtaking views of the coast, favorable climate, and welcoming seaside culture.

Ishigaki City

Ishigaki City comprises the entire island. Despite the secluded vibe found on some parts of the island, 45,000 people call Ishigaki their home, although most live in the central area known as shigaichi (town area). There are ample restaurants, bars, and hotels in the area to serve the island’s bustling tourist industry.

Near the city center is the Miyara River which is lined with beautiful mangrove trees and is popular among kayakers. However, unguided tours are not permitted. North of the airport is Tamatorizaki Observation Point, a viewing platform with views of the bay and Ishigaki’s rocky peninsula. Nearby Shiraho’s blue coral reef is one of the best snorkeling spots in the world.

Kabira Bay and beaches

North of the shigaichi area is Kabira Bay, a beautiful sandy white beach with turquoise waters. Although swimming isn’t permitted here (the tides are too fast), you can walk along the coast and admire the craggy islands while eating ice cream. If you can’t ignore the sea’s call, try a glass-bottom boat tour around the bay. You might see groups of manta rays that are known to converge in the bay. Nearby Kabira Park also offers spectacular views from its pavilion.

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© GaijinPot Travel

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You may have mentioned some things that you could do for fun. It sounds like there are a lot of rules prohibiting people from enjoying the place.

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I think that a big part of Okinawa charm derives from its cuisine, more specifically the gorgeous sweet stuff, i miss it so much, just walking along Naha main street with a scrumptious ice cream, cooling my self from the tropical sun..

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