Okinawa Island Guide

Everything on Okinawa Island from A to Z | Other islands

Okinawa Island Guide

Ie Island Chupanja Festival 2016

南西楽園 シギラベイサイドスイートアラマンダ シギラ黄金温泉

Shigira Bayside Suite Allamanda (Nansei Rakuen) Shigira Ougon Onsen

1405-223 Shinzato, Ueno, Miyakojima City (Miyako Island)
Tel: 0980-74-7340
Hours: April-September: 12:00-22:00; October-March 14:00-22:00 (Last entry 21:30)
Open daily
Outside visitors: Allowed
Admission: 2,000 yen for adults, 1,000 yen for ages 4-11, free for under 3.


Astronomical observation tower (Hateruma Island)

3905 Hateruma, Taketomi Town (Hateruma Island)
Hours: April-October: 10:00-17:00 (closed between 12:00-13:00), 20:00-22:00; November-March: 10:00-17:00 (closed between 12:00-13:00), 19:00-21:00
Closed: Mon
Admission: 400 yen for adults, 200 yen for children

This is an astronomical observation tower on the southernmost island of Japan, Hateruma. On a clear night you can enjoy the beautiful starry sky from the dome with the installed 20mm refracting telescope, but the place also offers a planetarium show, the optimal alternative to stargazing under unfavorable weather conditions. “Hateruma Island is never enveloped in absolute darkness. There are far more stars in the real sky than on conventional planetarium screens. In addition, Hateruma will make you realize how brightly a full moon shines in the night sky,“ says the chief of the facility, Mr. Oyamori, who has extensive knowledge about stargazing on the island. If the focus of your stay on Hateruma is stargazing, you are recommended to visit the island during the four days following the new moon. The Southern Cross is visible from Hateruma Island from late April through mid-June.


Mariudo Waterfall

Uehara, Taketomi Town (Iriomote Island)

This is one of Iriomote’s signature waterfalls located on the upper stream of the Urauchi River -- the longest river in Okinawa, flowing in the western area of Iriomote Island. A variety of tours to Mariudo Waterfall are on offer. The tours featuring a sightseeing boat ride to the base camp, known as Gunkan-iwa Point, a trek through subtropical forest from the base camp to the waterfall viewing platform and back (about 40 minutes, 3km round trip) and a kayak adventure from the base camp downstream on the river are very popular. This is a three-level waterfall with a height of 16 meters and an abundant quantity of water. You can enjoy the grandeur of Mariudo Waterfall even at a distance from the viewing platform. Featuring a beautifully rounded plunge basin, Mariudo Waterfall has been designated among the 100 best waterfalls in Japan.


Pinaisara Waterfall

Uehara, Taketomi Town (Iriomote Island)

This is a magnificent, three-tiered waterfall with a width of 20 meters and a drop of about 55 meters, the highest in Okinawa. The waterfall is located on the upper course of the Uchiura River -- the longest river in Okinawa, flowing in the western part of Iriomote Island. Pinaisara means old man’s beard. As its name implies, the waterfall has from a distance the appearance of the white beard of an old man. You can enjoy a refreshing swim in the huge plunge basin with a diameter of 130 meters. To get to Pinaisara Waterfall, you are encouraged to sign up for a tour that takes you trekking amid lush forest to the waterfall after a leisurely ride by kayak through the mangroves to the base camp (trekking: about 60 minutes one way; kayaking: about 40-50 minutes one way). The tour is designed for everyone, including kayaking beginners, to enjoy a first-hand experience with Iriomote’s great nature, including mountains, streams and waterfalls. From the top of the waterfall, you can admire an amazing panoramic view stretching as far as Hatoma, Barasu and Hatobanare islands.


Kanpire Waterfall

Iriomote, Taketomi Town (Iriomote Island)

Kanpire Waterfall is found on the upper course of the Urauchi River -- the longest river in the prefecture flowing in the western part of Iriomote Island. Among a variety of tours to the Kanpire Waterfall available from local tour operators, the ones featuring both trekking to the waterfall and kayaking downstream on the Urauchi River are recommended for those looking to experience the magnificence of Iriomote’s nature to the fullest. Kanpire Waterfall is situated about 250 meters upstream from the Mariudo Waterfall, located about a 40-minute trek from the Gunkan-iwa (Battleship Rock) boat station, which can be reached by sightseeing boat. The sight of the 50-meter-wide Kanpire Waterfall descending over a gradually sloping rocky surface is simply amazing.

Kanpire Waterfall is said to be a place where assemblies of gods from across Iriomote Island took place long ago and is considered one of the most sacred sites on the island. Its plunge basin is a great place for splashing about in the summer. The bed of the river is soft sand, and there are a number of pot holes, cylinder-shaped formations created by moving water and stores. You can see small freshwater fish and shrimp swimming in these pot holes.


Urauchi River basin

Taketomi Town (Iriomote Island)

The longest river in Okinawa, the Urauchi River flows through Iriomote’s subtropical forest. Found in the course of Urauchi River are a variety of waterfalls, including the famous Mariudo and Kanpire falls. As you travel along the Urauchi on a sightseeing boat, you can see clusters of looking-glass mangrove and cornbeefwood trees and a variety of creatures including birds, fish, reptiles and insects.


Hoshisuna no Hama Beach

Uehara, Taketomi Town (Iriomote Island)

A rocky beach with calm, shallow water, Hoshisuna no Hama Beach is a popular sea bathing spot among families with children. In addition, the beach offers a great snorkeling experience, too. The highlight of this beach is hoshisuna -- star-shaped sand particles that are actually shells of tiny marine creatures called foraminifera.


Ishigaki Island Sunset Beach

234-323 Hirakubo, Ishigaki City (Ishigaki Island)
Swimming season: April-October
Hours: 9:00-18:00

This beach is located in the northern part of Ishigaki Island. As its name connotes, the beach is a popular location to catch a scenic sunset. Here you can enjoy a variety of marine activities and swimming at all times, even during low tide.


Ishigaki Island Limestone Cave

1666 Ishigaki, Ishigaki City (Ishigaki Island)
Tel: 0980-83-1550
Hours: 9:00-18:30
Open daily

This is a limestone cave that has evolved over a period of 200,000 years. The cave is about 660 meters in length and made of pieces of coral. The inside of the cave is illuminated with lights, enhancing the mysterious atmosphere of this amazing natural wonder.


Aragusuku Beach

Aragusuku, Gusukube, Miyakojima City (Miyako Island)

Aragusuku Beach is a shallow water beach adjacent to Yoshino Beach. Aragusuku Beach is popular with tourists and locals alike for sea bathing and snorkeling. You can see vividly colored tropical fish in the shallow water just off the beach. There is a shop that’s open during the summer months only. No toilet or shower facilities are available at the beach.


Nishi no Hama Beach

Hateruma, Taketomi Town (Hateruma Island)

This is the most popular beach on the island of Hateruma -- the southernmost inhabited island in Japan. The contrast between the white sand and emerald green water of Nishi no Hama Beach is simply amazing. The sand is super fine and soft and it's very comfortable to lie on, while the water is relatively shallow and offers a great snorkeling experience for everyone. Gazebos are available on the beach for a rest in the shade.