Yaeyama Islands

Located off the north coast of Iriomote-jima is the unusual Barasu-tō, an islet formed entirely of bits of broken coral. In addition to the tiny island itself, the reefs nearby are in quite good condition and make for good boat-based snorkelling on a calm day.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Yaeyama Islands attractions

1. Hoshisuna-no-hama

2.41 MILES

If you're looking to do a bit of snorkelling, head to this beach on the northwestern tip of the island. The beach is named after its star sand, which…

2. Tsuki-ga-hama

2.72 MILES

The best swimming beach on the island is Tsuki-ga-hama, a crescent-shaped yellow-sand beach at the mouth of the Urauchi-gawa on the north coast.

3. Pinaisāra-no-taki

3.67 MILES

At the back of a mangrove-lined bay called Funaura-wan, a few kilometres east of Uehara, you can make out the lovely Pinaisāra-no-taki, Okinawa’s highest…

4. Mariyudō-no-taki

5.42 MILES

A trek upriver through the damp Iriomote forest leads to the lovely Mariyudō-no-taki, a series of low waterfalls.

5. Kanpire-no-taki

5.53 MILES

Kanpire-no-taki, a low-scale series of waterfalls, is the turnaround point for hikers who have travelled up the Urauchi-gawa.

6. Ida-no-hama

8.76 MILES

From Shirahama, at the western end of the north coast road, there are four daily boats (¥500) to the isolated settlement of Funauki. Once there, it's a…

7. Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center

9.26 MILES

If you are at all intrigued by the yamaneko (Iriomote's endemic wildcat), whose critically endangered population hovers around 100, it's worth stopping by…

8. Kondoi Beach

18.16 MILES

Kondoi Beach, on the west coast, offers the best swimming on the island. At the entrance to the beach you'll find bike parking, picnic tables and toilets.