Must-see attractions in Yaeyama Islands

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    Top Choice
    Sunset Beach

    At the north end of the island, on the west coast, you will find this long strip of sand with a bit of offshore reef. As the name implies, this is one of…

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    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…

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    Top Choice
    Kabira Bay

    Kabira-wan is a sheltered bay with white-sand shores and a couple of interesting clumplike islets offshore. Swimming is not allowed in the bay, as pearls…

  • Hoshisuna-no-hama

    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…

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    Japan's Southernmost Point

    Cycling along roads criss-crossing fields of sugar cane and tracing kilometres of unspoiled coastline – the southernmost point of Japan's southernmost…

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    This lovely stretch of beach is on the southwest coast, also happens to be the main hoshi-suna (star sand) hunting ground. If you don't arrive bearing…

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    Just to the west of the port is this perfect beach of snow-white sand with some good coral offshore. Here you will find free public showers, toilets and a…

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    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…

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    Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center

    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…

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    Ishigaki City Yaeyama Museum

    This modest museum has exhibits on the culture and history of the island, which are quite well presented with English explanations. Notable among the more…

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    At the southeast corner of the island is this impressive 1km-long cliff of Ryūkyū limestone, pounded by the Pacific Ocean. There's a small observatory…

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    Just as Hateruma-jima has a monument to mark Japan's southernmost point, Yonaguni-jima has one to mark the country's westernmost point (日本最西端の碑), here at…

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    Fusaki Beach Aqua Garden

    Nonguests of the adjacent resort can pay to enter this massive 'aqua garden' complex with a beachfront pool, bar-restaurant, yoga lessons and a huge range…

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    Yonehara Beach

    On the north coast along Rte 79, Yonehara Beach is a decent sand beach with a good bit of reef offshore. Hire snorkel gear (¥1000) at any of the shops…

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    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…

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    Kondoi Beach

    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.

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    Literally 'Standing-God Rock' (although another name might come to mind), this offshore obelisk can be viewed from several spots on the bluffs above.

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    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.

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    The raised platform that overlooks Gunkan-iwa also offers views of the jagged coastline of Sanninu-dai.

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    Roughly in the centre of the village, this modest lookout tower has good views over the red-tiled roofs of the pancake-flat island.