Japanese article is here; https://japaneselanguagesalonbymikapanda.com/lets-go-to-ishigaki-island-1507
Hello, this is MIKA!
In fact, I’ve visited “Ishigaki Island” in Okinawa prefecture as a travel the week before last!
That’s why I’ll tell you the attractiveness of Ishigaki Island, which is very famous as one of the sightseeing spots in Japan at this time!
- Where is “Ishigaki Island”?
- The attractiveness of “Ishigaki Island”!
- Final comment
Where is “Ishigaki Island”?
“Ishigaki Island” is one of the islands of Okinawa prefecture which is placed at the southernmost in Japan.
All of the islands on the maps upside here are included Okinawa prefecture!!
And “Ishigaki Island” is the center of “Yaeyama Islands”, which is placed at the southwest side in Okinawa prefecture.
【Syurijou-castre：The king’s palace of Ryukyuu-Kingdom】
By the way, Okinawa had been the “Ryuukyuu-Kingdom” from 1429 to 1879, it was the different country from Japan.
That’s why many things in Okinawa such like the language, the culture, the view on religions are different from Japan, it’s so interesting!
*Shurijou-castre was in Naha city in Okinawa main island, but it had been completely destroyed by fire in 2019. Now it has been restoring.
The attractiveness of “Ishigaki Island”!
The sea is so beautiful!!
After all, the most attractive point is the beauty of the sea!
The place of the first and upside picture is taken at “Kabirawan-bay”.
At there, you can ride a glass-bottom boat to watch the fishes and corals in the sea!
The Beach of Yonehara
Next, it’s the picture of “The beach of Yonehara”.
There is a campsite and the shop to rent a mask, a shnorkel, a swimming ring and so on beside there in summer. However, it’s very dengerous to swim because there are some rip currents, so please do not swim there!!
To begin with, it’s the no swimming area. So enjoy just the viewing.
In addition, close by Yonehara beach, there is the waterfall named “Arakawa-no-taki”. You can swim there, but if you are alone, not join to the tour, stay there on your own responsibility.
Tamatori-zaki observation platform
“Tamatori-zaki observation platform” is placed at the north side of the airport.
It’s not a beach, but very nice place to watch the east-side of Ishigaki Island!
We can enjoy diving and shnorkeling!
And of course we can do diving and shnorkeling!!
Moreover, there are many islands like “Iriomote Island” around Ishigaki, and so many diving spots and kinds of sea creatures; that’s why we can recommend you to visit if you are a diver!!
Anyway, I’ll tell you some sea creatures which we can watch in the sea around Ishigaki!
Firstly, the most recommended creature is “Manta Ray”, “Manta” or “Oniito-maki-ei” in Japanese. If it’s the biggest size, it’s 5 to 6 meters from fin to fin!!
There are 2 points of Manta; “Manta Scramble” and “Manta City” near by Kabirawan-bay. Mantas go to there to clean their own body by a small fishes which eat parasites and rubbishes.
Especially for from November to October, it’s the season of reproduction; it’s the reason why autumn is the best season to watch Manta with high possibility!!
Additionally, we can watch at the point around “Kuroshima Island” in winter(December to February) and the point “Yonara-suidou” between “Iriomote Island” and “Kohama Island”.
However, “Yonara-suidou” is the point which has a very strong water current, that’s why I recommend “Manta scramble” and “Manta City” for beginners.
And, these points are far from the city area. So if you often get seasick, it’s better to apply to the diving shop in Kabira-area.
The kinds of a clownfish and an anemonefish
Secondly, I’ll show you the little idol in the sea, anemonefishes!
The creatures in the picture upside here is clown fishes…yes, they are “NIMO” of “Fainding NIMO” presented by Desney!
And this is the picture of a “Anemonefish”. The big one is female, and the small one is male.
The kinds of anemonefish change their sex by the size! So, if the female in the sea anemone dead, the second biggest one, male will change to female, and the third one will change to male.
This is the picture of a “Yellow clownfish”. They are called “Seziro-kumanomi” in Japanese, and “Kumanomi” is “Clownfish”. “Seziro” means “It has a white line on the back.” Also they have an orange body.
Finally, it’s a “Pink Anemonefish”. It has a pale color and white lines not only between their eye and gill but also on their back.
All of them are living in sea anemones. But never touch them with empty hands because they have a poison!!
Also people often watch “Green turtles” around Ishigaki!!
Thay swim in the sea like a bird flying in the sky, or sleep on a soft coral.
In each cases, keep a distance over 1 meter and never try to touch them!!
“Barracuda” is “Onikamasu” in Japanese, and they are very famous among divers!!
Encountering their bevy, you must be excited by that powerful viewing!
There are many tasty foods!!
In Okinawa prefecture, each islands have a each “Soba”. “Soba” means “Noodle” in there.
“Soba” in Okinawa looks like a ramen, but it’s different thing from Japanese soba and a ramen!!
“Okinawa-soba” is in Okinawa main Island, “Miyako-soba” is in Miyako island, and “Yaeyama soba” is in Yaeyama islands. They are very tasty because their gentle soup is made by Dashi of bonitos and a lard is melted into the soup!
“Soba” is different from each island, for example, their style of noodles, taste, and stuffs. I think it’s interesting to eat them to compare!
A “champloo” is one of the Okinawan word which means “Many things are mixed”.
So,”Goya-champloo”, “Bitter Melon with Pork and Vegetables” is made by a bitter melon(Goya), an egg, a tofu, and a pork.
And “Somin-champloo” is made by boiled soumen, a tuna, a welsh onion, a carrot and so on.
“Somin” is “Soumen” in Japanese; because in Okinawa, the sound with “e” will be changed “i”, and “o” will be changed “u”.
This is “Taco-rice”, also one of the Okinawan foods. As you think, it’s made by a tacos from Mexico.
Put some taco-meat on a white rice, decorate it with some lettuces and tomatos, and finally put some cheeses; just do it!
Like this, in Japan, there are so many foods which have been arranged by foreign foods.
And you can find more Okinawan foods, so I recommend you to visit some Okinawan restaurants or izakaya!
Awamori, Okinawan sake
“Awamori” is Okinawan sake. Same as “Soba”, there are a lot of brands of “Awamori” for each area and island, so if you like a sake, just try to drink!
And, the glasses on the picture are “Ryuukyuu-glass”. The figures which looks like “Komainu” at a shrine are “Shiasas”; they are the gardians of each homes in Okinawa.
“San-shin” and “Shima-uta”
In Okinawa, there is a music instrument looks like a shami-sen. It’s made from a skin of a snake, however, it makes very calm and gentle music.
This is one of “Shima-uta”, which means “The song of the island”, had made in Taketomi-islands near by Ishigaki island and named “Asadoya-yunta”.
The words of the song is the story about “Kuyama Asadoya”, who was the most beautiful woman in Taketomi-island and rejected the proposal of marriage from the government officer of Ryuu-kyuu Kingdom.
How about it?
This time, I’ve introduced you the beautiful sea around Ishigaki-island, sea creatures, food and so on.
However, because Okinawa had been the different country from Japan and it belongs to the subtropical zone, the plants and creatures on the islands are also different from other prefectures!!
【Ruddy kingfisher：The bard which has a beautiful call】
【White-breasted waterhen：Please pay attention never to run them over because they often cross a road!!】
【Crested serpent eagle】
【Yellow-marginated box turtle】
【Iriomote wild cat】
【Kewda：It isn’t a pineapple, and we can’t eat the fruit!】
【Mangrove：We can see them at the rivers of Ishigaki and Iriomote island】
Finally, “Iriomote and ishigaki national park” is one of the International dark-sky preserves which has been recognized as the first one in Japan and the second one in Asia, so we can watch a skyful of stars in the night!!
Also it’s possible to watch the Milky Way and the Southern Cross (December to June)!
I have more information about Ishigaki and Okinawafor you, but it has been finished!
If you’re interested in there, please visit when you have a chance♪