Iriomote: Discover Local Culture & Traditions
Welcome to Iriomote Island
Iriomote Island is a hidden gem tucked away in the Yaeyama Islands of Japan. Known for its lush greenery, pristine beaches, and vibrant coral reefs, this remote island is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Explore the local culture and traditions as you embark on an unforgettable journey through this tropical paradise.
Discover the Nature
Step into a world of natural wonders as you explore the diverse landscapes of Iriomote Island. With over 90 percent of the island covered in dense jungle, it is a haven for wildlife and offers a unique hiking experience. Follow the trails that wind through the forest, listening to the chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves beneath your feet.
One of the main attractions on the island is the stunning Urauchi River, the longest river in Okinawa. Take a boat tour along its crystal-clear waters surrounded by mangrove forests, and keep an eye out for the rare and endangered Iriomote wildcats which are known to roam the area.
Beaches and Marine Life
Iriomote Island is blessed with breathtaking beaches that are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. Visit the scenic Hoshizuna no Hama, also known as "Star Sand Beach," which is famous for its unique star-shaped sand particles. Explore the colorful coral reefs and spot tropical fish as you snorkel in the crystal-clear waters around the island.
If you're feeling adventurous, venture further into the sea on a scuba diving trip to witness the stunning marine biodiversity. Dive into a world of vibrant coral gardens, swim alongside majestic manta rays, and encounter sea turtles gliding gracefully through the water.
Immerse in Local Culture
Immerse yourself in the rich local culture and traditions of Iriomote Island. Visit the charming village of Funaura, which is home to traditional wooden houses and offers a glimpse into the island's past. Explore the local shops and try traditional handicrafts such as weaving or painting, or sample local delicacies at the village's eateries.
Don't miss the opportunity to witness a traditional music and dance performance known as "Yaima." Experience the rhythmic beats of the taiko drums and the graceful movements of the dancers as they showcase the island's vibrant heritage.
Aside from hiking and water activities, Iriomote Island offers a range of other outdoor adventures. Take a kayaking tour along the coastlines and through the mangrove forests, immersing yourself in the tranquility of nature. Alternatively, go on a thrilling river cruise or rent a bicycle to explore the island at your own pace.
For the adrenaline junkies, Iriomote Island offers canyoning and waterfall rappelling experiences. Descend down towering waterfalls and navigate through rocky canyons, surrounded by the island's untamed beauty.
To reach Iriomote Island, you can take a domestic flight to Okinawa's Naha Airport and then transfer to a ferry or a high-speed boat to Ishigaki Island. From Ishigaki Island, there are regular ferry services to Iriomote Island. It is recommended to check the ferry schedules in advance, as they may vary depending on the season.