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Yaeyama Islands

A family of isles situated at the southern end of the Okinawan archipelago, the Yaeyama Islands are a surprisingly accessible getaway from Japan. Wanting sun, scuba diving or sand? Yaeyama's aquamarine waters teem with wildlife -- namely sea turtles, dolphins and even stingrays -- due to plenty of coral reefs. On land, the islands are home to distinctive mangrove forests and palm trees lending a lush and exotic feel to surroundings. The influence of Chinese culture -- the islands are closer to Taiwan, after all -- also hints at the rich history of the area. A visit to museums or former samurai residences provides a fascinating glimpse into local customs and folklore. Have an interest in gastronomy and food? Ishigaki Island is renown for its marbled local beef, which rivals that of Kobe. Vegetables, such as fern sprouts and pine tree foliage, abound. Seafood is plentiful and fresh. Fermented foods, snake meat and pigs' ears appear on local menus, too. Travelers journeying here will find much to do and enjoy!

More about Yaeyama Islands

Top spots

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Iriomotejima Island

Iriomotejima, otherwise known as Iriomote Island, is part of the Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa. The island is home to the Iriomote cat, an endangered ...Read more

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    Sightseeing
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Todomarihama (Tsukigahama)

Tsukigahama is a beach in Iriomotejima whose name (literally "Moon Beach") comes from the arc shape which looks like the moon.Read more

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    Kanpira-so

    Kanpira-so is a friendly and affordable 16-room bed and breakfast in Iriomote Island open all year round.Read more

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      Sightseeing
    65 by 0 viewers