What To Do In The Ishigaki Islands?

One of my favorite trips in all of Japan was to the Ishigaki Islands. It’s one of the highlights of Japan.

If you go to Japan, I highly recommend the flight here.  Fly into Ishigaki and enjoy the small city, great food, and local atmosphere. There is a small mountain in the middle of the island. I hiked that one morning. Then take a bus to the back side of the island to Kabira Bay where you can scuba dive or snorkel. There are beautiful tropical fish everywhere. When I was there I stayed at Joya, a small inn run by a local family. They introduced me to a scuba and free-dive instructor. He took me out spearfishing

He said in the daylight you can’t catch fish but we can get Taco! Octopus. So we went taco hunting. He took me to a secret beach called Tabaga.  And we caught 3 as well as a blowfish. That night the host of our hostel Joyu cooked an octopus feast.

It’s quite easy to take a ferry to the other islands such as Iriomote and Taketomi. Iriomote is a vast rainforest, jungle. There is a fantastic hiking route that I went out that crosses the entire island. It is over 20km so would take the entire day and its not easy with slippery rocks and dangerous passes. Taketomi is a tourist island with thatched rooftops and small villages. One can easily rent bikes and ride around to different beaches. It is also the place where one can buy sand shaped in star formations. The locals put them in small keychain holders of blue or red and sell them. It doesn’t seem there is much left but I thought it was really cool.

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