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Ishigaki or Miyako-jima

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Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/8/21 21:32
My wife and I are in our 50's and we plan on visiting Okinawa + 1 other island next year. Length of stay flexible. Really just interested in driving around, enjoying scenery, sightseeing and food, swimming not a priority. Would welcome any thoughts on choosing between Miyako-jima or Ishigaki as extra destination apart from the main island.
by Dave (guest)  

Re: Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/8/25 11:28
Ishigaki has more to see than Miyako, and its neigboring islands of Taketomi and Iriomote are also very interesting. Ishigaki's landscape is also a little bit more varied with a mountain.

The only advantage of Miyako in my opinion are its better beaches.

So, if beaches are not your top priority, I recommend Ishigaki over Miyako.

by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/8/25 14:27
Arigato Uji-san. When would be best to visit Okinawa + Ishigaki? Also, should we expect Japanese food on Ishigaki to be not as good as on Okinawa ? With a rental car, would one and a half days be enough on Ishigaki ? We have to fly JAL or its affiliates between the islands--do you know if that airline uses jets such as 737 or small prop planes on that route ?
by Dave (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/8/25 15:13
When would be best to visit Okinawa + Ishigaki?

Late June and July come with the best weather. October is also pleasant:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2273.html

Also, should we expect Japanese food on Ishigaki to be not as good as on Okinawa ?

Slightly less variety of restaurants, but just as good.

With a rental car, would one and a half days be enough on Ishigaki ?

Ishigaki itself has only a few minor attractions, that can easily be covered in 1.5 days. The neighboring islands Taketomi (half day) and Iriomote (full day) are more interesting than Ishigaki in my personal opinion.

We have to fly JAL or its affiliates between the islands--do you know if that airline uses jets such as 737 or small prop planes on that route ?

JAL Group flights between Naha and Ishigaki use 737-400:
http://www.jal.co.jp/aircraft/conf/734.html

On minor routes to some of the smaller islands, e.g. Kume, propeller airplanes can be encountered.

by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/8/25 15:15
For your information, all flights between Naha and Miyako use 737s except a single flight that is by a propeller machine.

Between Miyako and Ishigaki, all flights are by propeller planes:
http://www.jal.co.jp/aircraft/conf/dh1.html

by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/8/25 17:59
We visited MiyakoJima followed by Ishigaki/Iriomote last September. It was very windy with choppy seas back then and copping the outer edge of a Typhoon headed for Honshu. I would also recommend June/July as the better seasons wind/sea wise.

If you go to MiyakoJima you will need a rental car/motorbike and make sure you book WELL in advance - your accomodation may be able to assist with this BEFORE your arrival. Rental cars are much cheaper (~Y3500/day) but generally older on MiyakoJima than Ishigaki. The beaches and landscape are stunning.

We flew onto Ishigaki on an old turboprop Dash8A.

by Stewy63 rate this post as useful

Re: Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/8/25 18:04
We really enjoyed Ishigaki itself but could easily spend ~3 full days there at a slow pace. Try the Ishigaki beef and the local 'Marine Beer'.
by Stewy63 rate this post as useful

Re: Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/8/27 03:43
Thanks guys for all your help. Stew, what was so interesting on Ishigaki that took you 3 days ?
Is there any advantage for Kabira bay by staying at Club Med which I understand is right next door ? We are too old to stay at Club Med and we will rent a car so unless there is some particular advantage, we would prefer to stay elsewhere. Presume Kabira bay is reachable by road ?
How long is the ferry to Iriomote and is it usually smooth (I know that is weather dependent but just want to hear from those who have taken the ferry as my wife gets seasick easily).
by Dave (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/8/27 15:56
Dave we did:
One day scuba diving.
One day a very leisurely drive around the island stopping at many different, interesting and stunning places.
One day up in the far NW of the island (immediately south of Club Med) where we snorkelled (excellent snorkelling) at the many islolated beaches/reefs and explored most of these areas with the kids. The whole day there we saw nobody - not a soul!

At the time we were there (Sept.) the ferry trip from Ishigaki over to Iriomote was VERY rough and windy. (We were looking out the side windows UP at the swell/waves!)

by Stewy63 rate this post as useful

Re: Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/8/27 19:11
Check the below website for details on Ishigaki

http://www.ishigaki-japan.com/

We spend 3 days this year on Ishigaki island
There are a host of things to do besides beaches

1) Snorkling (you dont need to be real professional, so many colorful fishes are so easy to watch at any beach)
2) Canoeing: it nice to watch the mangroves at slow pace with group
3) Glass boat
4) Nice Okinawa food with Okinawan music

About staying, We prefered staying close to city centre, All attractions are doable with car within one hour drive, Spending night is good near city center

There is a resort near Fusaki beach that i would recomend

by KB (guest) rate this post as useful

Iriomote or Miyako-jima 2012/8/28 19:00
Thanks Stew63 and KB. It now looks like we have to stay longer than originally planned (total 7 nights) due to no seats on flight back home so I am looking into adding either Iriomote or Miyako-jima (by plane).
By the way, are there other poisonous animals on Okinawa, Ishigaki, Iriomote or Miyako-jima we should be aware of ? So far, only know of the habu jellyfish and habu sea snake.
by Dave (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/9/22 09:07
Hi Dave,
We are here in Naha after 6 days in Ishigaki. We are 45-55yrs old and had a fantastic time.

If you are slightly adventurous with food, stay in town and not at the resorts on Ishigaki. There are many more choices.
I recommend the hotel Miyahiri, they are opposite the ferry terminal and next door to the bus stop. You can walk to about 100 restaurants from there.
The food is better in Ishigaki than on Okinawa Island. Try the Beef sushi, it is wonderful.

The hotel can help with a car hire and you need only a day to explore by car.
DIving is a great experience, but i recommend snokelling if you have no experience.

We flew on large planes - no props.

Ferries to all of the islands are high speed and your wife shouldn't get seasick. Ask at the ferry counter, the one with the sign english speaking, for them to recommend a day or two trip for you.

The bus tours are worthwhile to get your bearings before taking out the car.

I hope this helps and if you come across Hiro in his sushi bar, tell him we say hi. The best sushi we have ever had in 8 trips to Japan.

Sue

by Sue (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Ishigaki or Miyako-jima 2012/11/22 21:10
Hi!
I'm french married with a japanese and de where at miyako jima last summer. To see ouf expérience about this Island, pléiade followers the link

http://www.soleilrouge.org/blog/articles-cat-240173-674115-miyako_jima...

For further information, write me!

by Fuchan (guest) rate this post as useful

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