Visit three Yaeyama islands in one day — Iriomote, Yubu and Kohama — with the option of upgrading your tour to include Taketomi Island. Embark on a river cruise through the mangrove forests of Iriomote, take a water buffalo cart ride on Yubu as you’re regaled with Okinawan folk music and tour the sights of Kohama by bus. If you choose to ride the ferry to Taketomi, you’ll pass traditional buildings with red tile roofs and make a stop at Star Sand Beach before returning to Ishigaki.
Make your own way to the tour office in the morning to pick up ferry tickets and receive a detailed description of your tour. Take the ferry on your own to Iriomote island, where you'll join a Japanese-speaking tour group. Throughout the day, you’ll be met by different assistants who provide limited translation in English for each activity. In addition, you'll receive a booklet with descriptions of attractions on your tour itinerary.Settle in and enjoy the 50-minute ferry ride from Ishigaki Port to Iriomote Island’s Ohara Port. Upon arrival on Iriomote, you're taken to the Nakama River for a boat tour through Japan’s largest mangrove forest. During the 70-minute cruise, keep an eye out for wildlife while the guide points out the area’s flora and fauna. Afterward, board a bus and proceed on a short drive to a Mihara, where you’ll climb into a water buffalo cart waiting to take you on a fun-filled 15-minute ride over shallow ocean waters. Be entertained as your guide plays the sanshin (a traditional Okinawan instrument) and sings traditional Okinawan songs en route. Upon arrival, you have about 25 minutes of free time to admire the island’s botanical gardens, after which you will take the water buffalo cart back to Iriomote and the bus back to Ohara Port. Next, take a ferry to Kohama, a small island with a population of just 500. A guide picks you up at the port and takes you by bus to one of the island’s resort hotels, where you can enjoy a delicious Japanese lunch. Following your meal, a short bus tour takes you to see the island’s most famous sites, including filming locations for the TV drama Churasan that are representative of the traditional Okinawan countryside; you’ll pass the locations used for the Sugar Road, Kohama School and a Kohagura residence. Then head back to Kohama Port and ferry back to Ishigaki to end your tour in the afternoon.If you've opted for an upgrade, visit Taketomi Island (see description in Itinerary below) before ending your tour.Click on “View Additional Info” for the meeting locations.