Welcome to Ishigaki Island Japan

MantaRay

*This article confirmed the information in June 2022.

  Contents 
Welcome to Ishigaki Island
How to get to Ishigaki Island
Tourist Attractions on Ishigaki Island
Transportation
Stores
Restaurants
Hotels
Ishigaki Island Weather
ATM information
Wi-Fi
Emergency medical care

Welcome to Ishigaki Island

Okinawa, including Ishigaki Island, formerly flourished as the Ryukyu Kingdom. Therefore, Ishigaki Island still retains its unique culture and eating habits that differ from those of other parts of Japan.

Ishigaki Island is located approximately 400km south west of Okinawa main island and is a part of the Yaeyama Islands. The Yaeyama Islands consists of more than 30 islands such as Taketomi Island where the scenery of traditional Okinawa is preserved, Iriomote Island where most of the island is covered with subtropical jungle and Yonaguni Island where underwater ruins is famous.
Yaeyama Islands

Ishigaki Island is a large island with a circumference of about 162km and is visited by about 1.47million tourists annually. Ishigaki Island has a warm climate throughout the year, and many travelers enjoy marine leisure.

Ishigaki Island has an Ishigaki Airport and Ishigaki Port Ferry Terminal, and is an island serving as a base for visiting these islands. In addition, it is Japan’s southernmost resort city surrounded by coral reefs, where subtropical rich nature and urban functions coexist.

mangrove river

Ishigaki Island has a population of about 50,000, of which 80% live in the southern part of the island. Therefore, there are many supermarkets and restaurants in the southern part of the island, but not in the northern part. If you are considering traveling by bus, we recommend you stay in the convenient southern area.

The city center of Ishigaki Island is around the Ishigaki Port Ferry Terminal and Bus Terminal, about 30 minutes by car from the airport. The area around the base of these transportation is the city center of Ishigaki Island. There are many hotels and restaurants there, and many people enjoy it even at night.

Many travelers stay at Ishigaki Island and enjoy not only sightseeing in Ishigaki Island but also day trips to other Yaeyama Islands such as Taketomi Island and Iriomote Island. Each island has its own characteristics, and visiting each island is a standard course for sightseeing in Ishigaki Island.
For the islands of the Yaeyama Islands other than Ishigaki Island, please see the “Other Islands” menu.


How to get to Ishigaki Island

airport

You take an airplane to go to Ishigaki Island (Ishigaki Airport). There are no ships from Okinawa main island and access is by airplane only.
Ishigaki Airport
has direct flights from Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland Japan and via Naha (Okinawa). The flight schedules can be found on the Ishigaki Airport website.

 Domestic flights 
Haneda (Tokyo)  Ishigaki : 3hours
Kansai (Osaka)  Ishigaki : 2.5hours
Naha (Okinawa)  Ishigaki : 1hour

 International flights 
Hong Kong  Ishigaki : 2.5hours
Taiwan  Ishigaki : 1hour (operate only summer seasons)


Tourist Attractions on Ishigaki Island

Kabira Bay

Ishigaki Island is an island with a circumference of about 162km, and it has not only beautiful beaches but also scenic spots such as Kabira Bay. Major tourist attractions of the island are summarized in the map (below).
It takes 4-5 hours for you to drive around these tourist attractions.

In addition, it is also suitable for astronomical observation, and you can see 84 of the 88 constellations in total. Astronomical observation while feeling comfortable sea breeze and listening to the sound of waves is also attractive.

Please see the “Things To Do” menu for detailed information on each tourist attraction.

download Ishigaki tourist attractions map (PDF:0.2MB)

The point in planning Ishigaki Island tourism is to be aware of the natural cycle.
For example, when you swim on the beach, there are many shoaling beaches on the island, and if you go swimming at
low tide, it will be difficult to swim unless you go far offshore. Also, it becomes difficult to see stars on a full moon day
.

On the other hand, at low tide, you can go down to the tidal flat and observe seaside creatures, and on full moon days you can take pictures of the mangrove and the full moon reflected on the water surface.

In this way, if you consider a plan that takes into account the natural cycle that you are not conscious of in your daily life, we think it will be an even more enjoyable trip.
MilkyWay and Moon


Transportation

Transportation on Ishigaki Island is bus, rental car, rental motorbike, bicycle or taxi. There are no trains on the island.

Bus
There is a route bus service on Ishigaki Island, and you can also take a route bus to major tourist attractions.
Ishigaki bus route, schedule, and bus pass information” is summarized on another page.

Taxi
There are many taxi companies on the island.
Taxi fare payment methods vary by company and vehicle. Some vehicles accept credit cards, while others only accept cash. You should ask when you get on or make a reservation.
The taxi stand on the island is as follows.

 Taxi stand 
Ishigaki Airport
Ishigaki Port Ferry Terminal
Kabira Bay
ANA InterContinental Hotel
Fusaki Beach Resort Hotel

 Phone numbers 
Kyodo Musen
0980-83-3355 (Owned taxi : 87 cars)
Ishigakijima Taxi Call Center
0980-82-4649 (Owned taxi : 86 cars)
Sakishima Kotsu
0980-82-3988 (Owned taxi : 51 cars)
Ishigaki Taxi
0980-83-1688 (Owned taxi : 38 cars)
Azuma Taxi
0980-82-5553 (Owned taxi : 17 cars)

 Chartered Taxi 
You can also take a chartered taxi at each taxi company. The fares are almost the same for all companies, and you can apply by phone. You can enjoy sightseeing efficiently.
Fare
3 hours : about 12,000 yen
6 hours : about 23,500 yen

Rental car / Rental motorbike
Many people use car rental, and there are many car rental companies on the island. However, it is advisable to book your rental car in advance. During the busy summer season, the island is visited by many tourists and rental cars are almost full.
In addition, it is cheaper to rent if you make a reservation in advance.

Bicycle
Ishigaki Island is a large island with a circumference of about 162 km, so it is difficult to move by bicycle alone. However, it is a good means of transportation in the city center.
Bicycle rental shops are not located near the airport, but in the city center. There are also hotels that rent it out.
 Bicycle rental shops in the city center 
Eight Cycling : 0980-88-7332
Bicycle and motorbike rental Nangokuya : 0980-83-3362


Stores

Don Quijote (discount shop)

There are convenience stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, and discount shops (Don Quijote) on Ishigaki Island, where you can buy what you need during your stay.
Don Quijote sells swimwear and snorkeling gear all year round.


Restaurants

sushi

There are many restaurants around the Bus Terminal and Ishigaki Port Ferry Terminal in the center of Ishigaki Island. There are many types of restaurants such as Ishigaki Beef, Sushi, and Okinawa cuisine. It becomes an Izakaya at night and many people enjoy it even night.

However, there are fewer restaurants other area. For example, there are no restaurants around Cape Hirakubo, a tourist attraction. Therefore, it is better to check in advance for restaurants around destinations other than city center. In addition, restaurants with English-speaking staff and restaurants with English menus are even more limited.

There are also few restaurants around the popular resort hotels Fusaki Beach Resort and Grandvrio Resort, which are about 10 minutes drive from the city center. Those who stay not only in these hotels but also in hotels outside the city center should be careful.

Ishigaki Island Meals that you should definitely try are Ishigaki Beef, Yaeyama soba, fish and fruits. We introduce “The best restaurant (sushi, Ishigaki beef) on Ishigaki Island Japan“. The page contains information on popular restaurants you should visit on Ishigaki Island.
In addition, we recommend visiting a café with a spectacular view.


Hotels

hotel

The city center of the Ishigaki Island is around the Bus Terminal and Ishigaki Port Ferry Terminal. Therefore, there are many accommodations around here. It’s about 30 minutes drive from the airport.

Most buses on Ishigaki Island arrive and depart at the Bus Terminal. In addition, you can take a ferry to other islands such as Iriomote Island at the Ishigaki Port Ferry Terminal. The area around the base of these transportation is the city center of Ishigaki Island.

If you are traveling by bus, we recommend staying at the city center. There are many restaurants, souvenir shops and convenience stores in this area, so we don’t think you will be in trouble during your stay.
However, there are no resort hotels around here. The hotels in this area are relatively inexpensive, and resort hotels on the beach are in the suburbs.

The location of the hotel on Ishigaki Island will change depending on whether you value convenience or time to relax at the hotel.

We introduce popular accommodations on Ishigaki Island. Please see the “Hotels” menu.


Ishigaki Island Weather

spring Japan

Ishigaki Island has a warm climate throughout the year, but you can’t swim in winter. There are cold days in winter, and there are days when the minimum temperature is around 15 degrees Celsius. In addition, the sea breeze is strong all year round, so it feels colder than the temperature.

It is better to consider when to go according to the purpose of the trip. If you want to swim in the beautiful sea, you should stop visiting in winter. The best season to swim on the Ishigaki Island is about May to October. Many beaches open every year in March, but there are still cold days. 

World Avg. Temp.

Not the same weather as Naha Okinawa
The weather on Ishigaki Island is not the same as that on Naha Okinawa because Ishigaki Island is about 400 km away from the main island of Okinawa.
You can check the weather forecast for Ishigaki Island on the Japan Meteorological Agency website.
However, the weather forecast for Ishigaki Island is often off. The weather may be different just by moving from south to north on Ishigaki Island.
Although it is not a weather forecast, the author tweets the weather on Ishigaki Island every morning. I would appreciate it if you could see it.

Best season for sightseeing
Generally, the best season for sightseeing in Ishigaki Island is from June to October when there are many sunny days, but there time is also the typhoon season.
Therefore, we think the best season is April. It is not a typhoon season, there are many sunny days, and the temperature is enough to swim. In addition, travel expenses are relatively cheap during this season.

 Spring 
Spring on Ishigaki Island is around February and March. Sakura blooms on Ishigaki Island in February and beaches open in March.
SakuraThere are many cloudy days during this season, and if it is cloudy, you may be cold with just one long-sleeve shirt. However, if it’s sunny, a T-shirt is good choice, and the temperature will make you may want to swim in the sea.
Due to the strong sunlight, the temperature you feel will vary greatly depending on whether it is sunny or not. If it’s sunny, it’s warm and the humidity is low, so it’s a good season for sightseeing.

 Summer 
The Summer on Ishigaki Island is about April to October. The number of sunny days gradually increases, but the rainy season is from early May to mid-June. In addition, the typhoon season is about July to September.
SunflowersSunflowers bloom around the end of May on Ishigaki Island, and it is suitable for swimming in the sea until the end of October.
The summer sky and the coral reef sea are spectacular, and it is the season with the most tourist.

 Autumn 
Autumn on Ishigaki Island is around November. The maximum temperature will gradually decrease and cloudy days will increase.
There are days when the temperature is still high enough to swim if it’s sunny, but there are no lifeguards on the beach.

 Winter 
The winter on Ishigaki Island is around December and January. There are many cloudy days and the wind is strong, so it feels colder than the temperature. You don’t need a winter coat, but it’s best to wear windproof clothing.
It is a lonely season with many cloudy days and no one on the beach.


ATM information

Taketomi Post Office

There are some banks and currency exchange machines on the island, and you can exchange bills from your country into Japanese yen. In addition, you can withdraw money with the credit card or cash card issued by overseas financial institutions at an ATM in post office or convenience store.


Wi-Fi

Ishigaki Island Free WiFi

There is free public Wi-Fi on Ishigaki Island. However, the spot where it can be used is so limit that it cannot be expected.

Wi-Fi spots : Airport, Ishigaki Port Ferry Terminal, about 200[m] around the Ishigaki port, Euglena Mall, around the old Ishigaki City Office, around Kabira Bay

SSID : ishigaki-free-wifi
Password : none (no password)

Unfortunately, there are only a limited number of English maps, information displays, and English-speaking staff in the Ishigaki Island.
For example, if you take a taxi and show the hotel name or address written in English to the taxi driver, the taxi driver may not understand your destination.
Therefore, it is recommended that you rent a router or purchase a prepaid Sim card to use your smartphone’s map and translation functions.

  If you need help, please visit this web site.
VISIT OKINAWA JAPAN – Okinawa Multilingual Contact Center
You can make a phone call from the web site and the staff will support you in multiple languages. This is a service provided by Okinawa Japan. This service is free.


Emergency medical care

Yaeyama Hospital

Ishigaki Island has a hospital that provides 24-hour emergency medical care. In case of emergency, you should go to this hospital or call the Ambulance Service (119). This hospital is about 10 minutes by car from Ishigaki Port.

Yaeyama Hospital (Near ANA InterContinental Hotel)

Reception time 8:00am to 11:00am (weekday)
* Emergency medical care is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Closed Sat., Sun., Holiday
Address 584-1 Maezato, Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa
mapcode MAPCODE 366 007 637*18
Bus (from Bus Terminal) Bus stop name : Yaeyama Hospital
1-minute walk from bus stop
Route : No.13

7 buses / day
28 mins from Bus Terminal by bus
Web Yaeyama Hospital website

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Welcome to Ishigaki Island

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