Adventures in the Yaeyama Islands

Destinations

0  comments

Rob Dyer promo The Real Japan

I hope you enjoy reading this guide.
If you need help planning your Japan trip
click here.

Japan’s spectacular Yaeyama Islands lie at the southwestern tip of the country's island chain. 

A world away from the capital city, here you'll discover pristine beaches, crystal clear aquamarine seas surrounding islands of jungles and mountains that uniquely define the character of these sparsely-populated outposts. 

A visit to the Yaeyama Islands offers an experience unlike any other. 

Get my free Japan Travel Bulletin:

Yaeyama Islands The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Adventures In The Yaeyama Islands
by Rob Dyer


The Ryukyu archipelago

You might not be familiar with the Yaeyama Islands. They're part of the Ryukyu archipelago of islands stretching southwest from Kyushu, all the way down to Taiwan.

The better-known Okinawa is part of the Ryukyu chain. Well, the Yaeyama Islands lie beyond that. Ishigaki, the main administrative island for the group, is a 1 hour flight from Okinawa.

VIDEO: Okinawan Folk Music, Ishigaki Island

The 12 Yaeyama Islands

12 main islands make up the group:

  • Aragusuku
  • Hateruma
  • Hatoma
  • Iriomote
  • Ishigaki
  • Kayama
  • Kohama
  • Kuroshima
  • Sotobanari
  • Taketomi
  • Yonaguni
  • Yubu

See: Iriomote, Yubujima and Taketomi Triple Island Tour HERE

 

A 3-hour flight from Tokyo

To give you some idea of just how remote these subtropical islands are, Tokyo is a 3 hour flight away at best. While on a clear day Taiwan is visible from Yonaguni Island.

Or, to put it another way, Taiwan is just 67 miles from Yonaguni Island, whilst Tokyo is more than 1,200 miles away.

Ishigaki The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Ishigaki island makes a great base for explaoring the rest of the Yaeyama Islands

Unspoilt isolation

If you're looking for unspoilt isolation, beaches, waterfalls, crystal clear seas, mangrove forests, water buffalo pulling wooden carts, tradition, and a culture that's barely changed for hundreds of years, then this is the place for you.

Swimming or diving in the coral reefs found here you'll come across dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays and white sharks.

See: Mangrove Canoeing and Jungle Trekking on Iriomote HERE

Yaeyama Islands Ishigaki The Real Japan Rob Dyer

The seas around the Yaeyama Islands are stunning

Guided tour: Scuba Diving Tour on Ishigaki Island

 

A different language

They even have their own languages - Yonaguni and Yaeyama. Around these parts, Japanese is the second language.

They even have their own languages - Yonaguni and Yaeyama


Where to stay in the Yaeyama Islands

Booking.com

VIDEO: Water Buffalo Cart Crossing to Yubu Island

Yaeyama Islands Travel Planning Services

Have some questions about exploring Japan's Yaeyama Islands? Want help planning a Yaeyama itinerary? I offer some Travel Planning Services that you might like to take a look at.

My popular Travel Planning Calls are ideal if you have a few unanswered questions about a trip you are planning, or would like feedback and suggestions on an itinerary you are building.  Learn More HERE.

Further Japan travel guides, books and checklists are available in The Real Japan Travel Store.

Location Map

Have you been to the Yaeyama Islands? If so please leave a comment below.

 

Travelling In Japan When You Don't Speak The Language

If you want to travel in Japan but don't speak the language, check out my guide book How To Travel In Japan Without Speaking Japanese.

Japan Without Japanese Audiobook eBook bundle The Real Japan Rob Dyer
Rob Dyer The Real Japan

About the Author

A writer and publisher from England, Rob has been exploring Japan’s islands since 2000. He specialises in travelling off the beaten track, whether on remote atolls or in the hidden streets of major cities. He’s the founder of TheRealJapan.com.

If you enjoyed this article please share this image:

Yaeyama Islands The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Resources

Yaeyama Islands Tours

Scuba Diving Tour on Ishigaki Island HERE

Iriomote, Yubujima and Taketomi Triple Island Tour HERE

Ishigaki Half-Day Snorkeling Tour HERE

Mangrove Canoeing and Jungle Trekking on Iriomote HERE

Half-Day Bus Tour of Ishigaki HERE

Discover more about the Yaeyama Islands HERE

Browse accommodation in Yaeyama on Booking.com HERE


Further Reading

12 Must-Try Outdoor Activities In Japan

Discover Okinawa: Japan's Subtropical Paradise Unveiled

Discover Okinawan Food: Japan’s Life-Giving Diet

Driving in Japan: Kyushu or Okinawa?

Kayaking and Trekking on Iriomote Island



More Destinations

The Real Japan Destinations Travel Hub


Japan Travel Guide Books

How to Travel in Japan Without Speaking Japanese

Planning A Trip To Japan

Feedback and questions welcome - leave a comment below.

Book Your Trip: Japan Travel Essentials

Click to See My Recommendations

Book Your Flight
Find the best flight by using Skyscanner. It's my go-to flight search engine because it has the most comprehensive global search options.

Book Your Accommodation
I frequently use Booking.com as they consistently offer the cheapest rates and most flexible cancellation options for hotels and guesthouses. Use Hostelworld if you're looking for budget-priced options.

Book Your Japan Rail Pass
The best official agent by a country mile is JRPass.com. Clear and easy to use website. Excellent customer service.

Book Your WiFi
I never travel in Japan without pocket WiFi. Get Ninja WiFi for unlimited internet everywhere, use Google Maps, supports up to 10 devices.

Book Your SIM Card or eSIM
Order your physical
SIM Cards or eSIMs to stay connected and in touch while in Japan.

Book Your Hire Car
Rent a car in Japan without speaking or reading Japanese via Booking.com's Car Rental portal.

Ready To Book Your Trip?
Check out my Recommended Japan Travel Resources. The list covers all the essentials. It’s filled with carefully selected travel resources. And I only include the best travel resources - those I use myself or recommend to my clients.

Need Help Planning Your Trip?
My
Japan Travel Store includes essential travel items as well as my books, travel guides and more.

Leave A Comment / Ask A Question

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>