Yaeyama Islands

 The Yaeyama Islands are a group of islands located approximately 400 km south of Okinawa’s main island, made up of three municipalities: Ishigaki City, Taketomi Town, and Yonaguni Town.
Yonaguni Island is Japan’s furthest point west, a mere 111 km from Taiwan, and Hateruma Island (part of Taketomi) is the southernmost populated island.

 The archipelago has a subtropical marine climate, and each island has its own distinct charms including untouched nature that has been designated as national parks. The islands’ unique ecosystems are home to many flora and fauna that are scarce worldwide and thus have been given designations such as “Special Natural Monument.”

 On the other hand, there are very clear ocean with amazing coral leaf in Yaeyama islands. The marine area, inhabited by sea life such as manta rays, marlin, and hammerhead sharks, has gained attention from around the world.

Yaeyama is also famous for beautiful starry sky. Where you can even see stars that aren’t visible from the mainland. Out of the 88 constellations, 84 can be see from Yaeyama.


 The Yaeyama’s latitude and longitudes are 24°2’N - 25°22’N and 122°56’E - 124°34’E.(neary parallel to Hawaii and Central Taiwan) They are are approximately 2200 km from Tokyo.

 The Yaeyama Islands are comprised of 11 populated islands - Ishigaki Island, Taketomi Island, Iriomote Island, Hatoma Island, Yubu Island, Kohama Island, Kayama Island, Kuro Island, Aragusuku Island, Hateruma Island, and Yonaguni Island-as well as many uninhabited islands.
 The Yaeyama Islands are currently accessible only by airplane.
The sea route is for cargo only and does not allow passengers.
Painushima Ishigaki Airport, the gateway to the Yaeyama Islands, is accessible by direct flight from mainland Japan or via Naha Airport.
The new airport opened in March 2013.Aireline routes and number of flights have increased since then.

 A direct flight runs from Tokyo (Haneda Airport) and it takes 3and half hours to fly. There are also direct flights from Kansai, Nagoya, and Fukuoka Airports (flights from Fukuoka are seasonal).
If you can from all other airports, you will need to transfer at Naha Airport. The flight from Naha Airport takes about 1 hour.
Flights to and from Miyako-jima are also available.
In addition, international flights run between Painushima Ishigaki Airport and Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport (seasonally from April through the end of October).
 Travel to the outer islands of ishigaki island also requires a connection from Ishigaki Island.
Yonaguni Island is the only outer island with an airport; the rest are accessible only by boat.
Iriomote Island and the other outer islands can be accessed from the Outer Island Terminal of Ishigaki Port by high-speed boat or ferry.
(There is no regular service to Aragusuku Island or Kayama Island. Yubu Island is accessible from Iriomote Island by water buffalo cart or on foot.)

 The travel time to Takatomi Island is about 10 minutes by high-speed boat, and Hateruma can be reach in approximately 1 hour by the same. Yonaguni Island can be reached by airplane from Naha Airport in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, or from Ishigaki Airport in about 30 minutes. The travel time by ferry from Ishigaki Island is around 4 hours and 30 minutes.

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