Serving as the main hub of the Yaeyama Islands, Ishigaki Island forms part of the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa. It’s surrounded by beautiful beaches and coral reefs that promote water sports, while its lush, jungle-covered interior is backed by the peak of Mount Omoto.
Things to do
Relax on one of Ishigaki Island’s many beaches, including sandy coves and shores covered in bleached coral. Go snorkelling from Yonehara Beach or soak up the sun on sandy Sukuji Beach, then watch the day’s last rays sink below the horizon at aptly-named Sunset Beach.
Away from the water, Ishigaki Island offers plenty for adventurous spirits, including kayaking tours along the mangrove-lined Miyara River that winds through the interior. Go walking through the lush palm forest of Yonehara where native Yaeyama Palms grow and soak up the views of Ishigaki Island’s northern peninsula from the Tamatorizaki Observation Point.
Discover the rich history of the Yaeyama Islands and the Ryukyu Kingdom at the Yaeyama Museum where wooden canoes, traditional clothing and pottery are on display. Learn about the various festivals held across the archipelago and the industries that have helped shape the islands.
Ishigaki is home to one of Okinawa’s rare surviving examples of samurai architecture at the residence of Miyara Dunchi, which was built by a local nobleman in 1819. Admire its classic Okinawan red-tiled roof and get a glimpse of how Ryukyu samurai once lived as you explore the traditional Japanese garden.
New Ishigaki Airport connects the island to destinations across Japan, with buses making the 40-minute journey into central Ishigaki. Hiring a rental car is the best way to explore the island, its beaches and cultural attractions.
Ishigaki Island travel FAQs
Where is the best place to stay in Ishigaki Island?
When visiting Ishigaki Island, consider checking out Ishigaki and Kabira as some of the most sought after locations.