Nearly 90% of the island is covered by subtropical jungle “Iriomote Island”. It is known for its rare animals and plants, including the natural monument Iriomote Yamaneko. The rich natural environment that seems to have forgotten evolution is also called “Oriental Galapagos”. The bold and mysterious nature and the activities it brings are unique.
The first tourist spot on Iriomote Island to introduce is “Nakama River”. The most popular tourist spot on Iriomote Island is the Nakagawa River. As “Nakama River Natural Reserve”, the mangrove forests of the Nakama River basin are designated as national natural monuments. Iriomote Island has the largest mangrove habitat in Japan. With “Nakama River Mangrove Cruise”, you can take a leisurely tour of the river basin on a pleasure boat. Other popular activities include canoe tours and jungle trekking. This is a must-see spot if you want to carefully observe the trees and animals and plants unique to mangroves.
The next recommended spot is Yubujima Island. The island is like a subtropical botanical garden as a whole and is a small island of less than 2km. You can see animals such as Ryukyu wild boar, buffalo and goats, and you can see the vivid flowers unique to southern countries. From Iriomote Island to Yubujima Island, we will cross the tidal flat while being shaken by a buffalo cart. The journey takes about 15 minutes. If the tide level is low, you can cross by car or on foot.
From the “Underwater sightseeing boat”, you can see the largest coral reef Sekisei Lagoon between Iriomote Island and Ishigaki Island. Sekisei Lagoon is designated as the Iriomote National Park, and is home to colorful coral reefs and unique tropical fish. If you want to observe, the underwater sightseeing boat is the best. When you arrive at a point suitable for observation on an underwater sightseeing boat, the diving room dives 2 meters into the sea, and you can see the situation in the sea.
In addition, the Wildlife Conservation Center in Iriomote is famous as an activity base for protecting Iriomote wildcat. The center investigates and studies the wildlife and rare animal ecology of Iriomote wild cats, and can learn about the natural environment of Iriomote Island from various exhibits. There are stuffed and quiz-style exhibits of creatures that live on Iriomote Island, and there is a section where you can see images. Admission is free.
There is no airport on Iriomote Island. It is necessary to travel by high-speed boat or ferry from the “Euglena remote island terminal” where ships from Ishigakijima to each remote island in the Yaeyama Islands are in service.
It should be noted that there are two routes to access Iriomote Island from “Euglena Remote Island Terminal”: “Ohara Port” and “Uehara Port”.
The two ports are about 35 km apart. Please note that it takes almost an hour, so if you make a mistake, you will lose time. Make a plan in advance, such as what kind of sightseeing you want to do, and decide which port to use.
Yaeyama Islands located about 400 kilometers southwest of Okinawa main island. Among them, Iriomote-Jima Island boasts the largest area, has unique charm. In subtropical climate Iriomote-Jima Island, rich nature spreads, there are many attractive scenic spots including beach, mangrove forest. The subtropical rain forest reminiscent of the jungle of Southeast Asia, the waterfall that scatters the whistle while letting the sound, the beautiful beach like paradise, the charm of Iriomote-Jima Island is not exhausted.
To Iriomote-Jima Island, you can catch a high-speed ship from Ishigakijima, the gateway to the Yaeyama Islands, in approximately 40 minutes. Since the subtropical forest occupying 90% of the island is close to the coastline, there are few flat areas and there is no road that can go around the island as a whole. There are rivers of more than 40 large and small, including Urauchigawa River, Nakamagawa River, in Iriomote Island, where the rich nature spreads due to the rainy subtropical climate. In the vicinity of the estuary there is a rich mangrove forest spreading, and upstream of the river there are many scenic spots typified by Pinaishara Falls.
There are plenty of places of interest in Iriomote-Jima Island where the wildlife unique to the subtropical climate spreads. Because the buses are not frequent, it is difficult to see sightseeing spots using only bus routes in a short time. Therefore it is recommended renting a car in order to visit many scenic spots in a short time. You can also take a day trip from Ishigakijima Island, but if you have plenty of time, please try staying. Visit the scenic spots in the inland areas such as Pinaishara Falls and Mariyudwu Falls, as well as sightseeing along the coastline prefectural highway 215 line.
“Iriomote-Jima” island is the island of the jungles surrounded by rich subtropical plants. The subtropical jungle covering 90% of the island comes to near the shoreline, and there is little flat area. There are more than forty rivers, large and small, in the island including the Nakama-Gawa river, and very large mangrove forest opens in a brackish water region that is an area 10 km from the mouth of the river which fresh water and sea-water are mixed.
It is truly a natural treasury place that rare animals like the Japan’s biggest “Plestiodon kishinouyei”, the Japan’s smallest eagles “Spilornis cheela”, “Iriomote jungle cat” designated as a national natural treasure live.
The sea between small island “Yubu Island” being nearby Iriomote-Jima is very shallow, so you can go on foot anytime without the tidal hour. However, it is recommended to ride a buffalo if you go to the Yubu Island from Iriomote-Jima.
It is the quiet scenery, that seems to be a southern country, from an ox-drawn carriage crossing the sea relaxedly. Subtropical plants grow thick in the island, and colorful flowers bloom in profusion throughout the year.
The Barasu-to island is an island made of fragments of coral off the Uehara Port.
Around the island, you can see the colorful fish and coral reef closely. It is recommended for snorkeling and sea bathing.
|Adresse:||Iriomote Yaeyamagun Taketomicho, Okinawa 907-1542 Japan|
|Access:||There is no airport in Iriomote-Jima Island. Go over to Ishigaki-Jima Island by air and move by ship from there.|
Shin-Ishigaki Airport (Approximately 40 minutes by boat)
|Tel:||(+81) 980-82-6191 (Taketomi Town Office)|