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Iriomote Island
Iriomote Island

Iriomote Island

The largest of the Yaeyama Island group in the East China Sea, Iriomote Island (Iriomote-jima appeals to visitors with its lush jungle and mangrove forest, the home of the rare Iriomote wildcat. The whole island is a designated national park and offers opportunities for kayaking and trekking through its unspoiled landscape.

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Iriomote-jima, Okinawa, Japan

The basics

While the interior of the island can be explored via kayak, riverboat, or foot; the colorful reefs covered in virgin coral that ring the island offer another way to explore. Snorkelers and divers who explore beneath the surface near Iriomote might spot dolphins and manta rays, who school along the aptly named Manta Way during the spring and summer. A variety of guided tours depart from Ishigaki Island—the hub of the Yaeyama Island group. Tours typically take care of all logistics including round-trip ferry transfers, helping to keep down costs and ensuring a hassle-free trip.

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Things to know before you go

  • Most of the beaches on Iriomote Island do not have any public facilities.
  • Most beaches are not patroled by lifeguards.
  • When on the beach be aware of poisonous Habu jellyfish, which are most prevalent from June to October.
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How to get there

High-speed ferries, which take around 40–50 minutes; as well as infrequent car ferries, which take roughly 80 minutes—run from Ishigaki Island to Iriomote. Direct flights to Ishigaki are available from Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya to Ishigaki Airport. You can also get a flight from Naha, Miyako, and Yonaguni within Okinawa. A public bus runs along the coast between Shirahama and Ohara several times a day, but the easiest way to get around the island is by rental car—available at the ferry terminal—or by taking a tour.

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Trip ideas

When to get there

The best time to visit is in spring or fall when it is sunny but not humid. June through August is the hottest period and busiest time of year for the Yaeyama Islands so you’ll likely encounter more visitors and higher prices.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Iriomote Island?
What else should I know about attractions in Okinawa?
As well as visiting the Iriomote Island, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: