Iriomote Island

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Discover Japan's Natural Beauty  1

Hello, I’m Mio! Today, I’m going to share detailed information about Iriomote Island, one of Japan’s most beautiful natural spots.

Basic Information about Iriomote Island

Iriomote Island is the second largest island in Okinawa Prefecture and is part of the Yaeyama Islands. The island is mostly covered by subtropical rainforest, making up about 90% of its area. It is known for its rich biodiversity and unspoiled natural environment. Iriomote Island features rare mangrove forests, clear rivers, waterfalls, and beautiful beaches, making it a paradise for nature lovers.

Rich Nature and Highlights

Iriomote Island is famous for its stunning natural scenery and various activities. Here are some main highlights:

Hoshizuna Beach

Hoshizuna Beach is known for its star-shaped sand. The tiny star-shaped particles are actually the remains of small marine organisms. The beach has clear waters and white sand, making it a perfect spot for snorkeling and swimming.

Urauchi River

The Urauchi River is the largest river on Iriomote Island. You can explore the mangrove forests along the river by canoe or boat tour. As you go upstream, you can see beautiful waterfalls like Mariyudu Falls and Kanpiree Falls. The tranquility of the river and the grandeur of the natural surroundings are truly soothing.

Pinaisara Falls

Pinaisara Falls is the tallest waterfall on Iriomote Island, with a height of about 55 meters (180 feet). You can enjoy a spectacular view from the top of the falls and cool off in the pool at the base. A guided trekking tour is recommended to reach the falls, as it takes you through the island’s lush jungle.

Yubu Island

Yubu Island is a small island you can reach by water buffalo cart from Iriomote Island. The entire island is a subtropical botanical garden, filled with various plants and flowers. The leisurely ride on the water buffalo cart and the peaceful atmosphere of the island are unforgettable experiences.

Hiking Trails and Activities

Iriomote Island offers many hiking trails and activities to fully enjoy its natural beauty. Here are some popular ones:

  • Urauchi River Canoe Tour: Paddle up the Urauchi River through mangrove forests and visit waterfalls. It’s a peaceful way to immerse yourself in nature.
  • Pinaisara Falls Trekking: Hike through the jungle to reach Pinaisara Falls. You can swim in the pool at the base and enjoy the breathtaking view from the top of the falls.
  • Snorkeling and Diving: Explore the beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish in the clear waters around Iriomote Island. Snorkeling and diving are must-do activities here.


To get to Iriomote Island, you need to take a ferry from Ishigaki Island. First, fly to Ishigaki Airport, then take a bus or taxi to Ishigaki Port. From there, ferries run regularly to either Ohara Port or Uehara Port on Iriomote Island.


Iriomote Island is a stunning destination known for its rich nature, beautiful scenery, and various activities. You can explore mangrove forests, waterfalls, and beaches, all while enjoying the tranquil natural surroundings. I, Mio, am captivated by the beauty of Iriomote Island and hope you get the chance to experience it too. Enjoy your visit!

This version is written in plain English, making it easy for a foreign audience to understand the beauty and details of Iriomote Island.

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