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Amami, Iriomote & Ishigaki Hidden Gems? 2017/8/17 23:17
Hi All,

In Feb, I'll be visiting Okinawa and Amami Oshima for 2 weeks to cross these locations off my Japan location bucket list. I'm aware of the basic attractions which can be found on the islands mentioned in the topic heading, but I wanted to know if your aware of any hidden gems on these islands?

I've had a look on the JG site and completed some basic research, but I've found that some people on this forum often suggest things which are almost impossible to find unless you know what you are looking for - thus my reason for asking for suggestions.

Because these islands are quite remote for Japan, I'm not holding my breath but it's worth asking I guess....
by mfedley  

Re: Amami, Iriomote & Ishigaki Hidden Gems? 2017/8/18 11:25
I went to Iriomote and Ishigaki Island for 2 nights and 3 days.
At that time, it is only the place written in the Japan Guide. (About 30 years ago)
However, I love Iriomote Island.
I have never been to Amami, but I have studied at work.
At that time, I thought that the cave in Okinoerabu island is amazing.
You can not go to Ginsuido cave without being experienced, but there are some other caves.
It seems that tour will not be done unless there are two or more people in Ginsuido cave.
http://okierabucave.com/tour/ginsuido/
Anyone can join this.
http://okierabucave.com/tour/
Depending on the cave, there is a narrow place, so there is a course with limited body shape.
http://caver.jp/
http://www.mugamuga.com/okinoerabu/caving.html
http://www.okinoerabujima.info/activity/okinoerabucavingguideunion/
However, the tour is only Japanese language.
Explanation of English
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/tv/journeys/journey_20160315.html
by haro1210 rate this post as useful

Re: Amami, Iriomote & Ishigaki Hidden Gems? 2017/8/18 12:01
A few possibilities for Iriomote:

If you do the Urauchi River Cruise (highly recommended!), you can tell the guides you want extra time and they'll let you take the next boat, so you don't have to rush to see the falls and get back to the boat. This was one of the best memories of our trip there, as we got to play around in the water and explore a bit longer while everyone was rushing to get back to the boat.

If you rent a car, go all the way to the end of the road past Ohara Port. There's a beach past the end of the road with really interesting rock formations, and when we went there was nobody there. It felt like you were the only people on the island!

Finally, I really liked snorkling around Barasu Island, an ever-changing island made entirely from corals. We enjoyed the snorkeling around it. We also did a firefly tour, which was unexpected but fun!

Don't forget to spend some time in Taketomi while you're on Ishigaki... I definitely recommend it, even if it leaves less time for Ishigaki. It was another highlight of the trip.
by scarreddragon rate this post as useful

Re: Amami, Iriomote & Ishigaki Hidden Gems? 2017/8/18 20:24
I could not go to the waterfall due to time, but when I returned from the river cruise, I walked the jungle road.
I also saw the root of the tree of Heritiera littoralis (Sakishima suoh-no-ki).
http://www.yaeyama.co/island/iriomote/iriomote_miru01.html
The beach of star sand(Hoshisuna-no-hama)was also beautiful.
by haro1210 rate this post as useful

Re: Amami, Iriomote & Ishigaki Hidden Gems? 2017/8/18 21:04
Ahh, February. Though the Islands have sub-tropical signs...if a Northerly wind howls...it can be cold.
For All: great hiking, beach-combing, sea-kayaking !!, bird-watching. So: outdoor.
Ishigaki/Iriomoto celebrate the Chinese New Year (2018= feb 16). Something special indeed.
Hot springs are far and few, if none.
by Alishan rate this post as useful

Re: Amami, Iriomote & Ishigaki Hidden Gems? 2017/8/18 22:44
Thanks for all of the unexpected detailed answers everyone. I currently work in China (Suzhou - near Shanghai) so it will good to see the CNY events, albeit at a much quieter pace.

At present I've got 3 nights on Amami Oshima, 6 nights on Okinawa (I like visiting castles and the like - so I should be plenty to see here!) and 4 nights around the Yaeyama Islands (Ishigaki/Iriomote). I'm also planning on visiting Taketomi for a short day trip.

I'm also aware of the expected temperature on Amami during Feb. I'm expecting it to be around 15-20C as a main top temp compared to 5C in China (with the pollution of course....)

by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Amami, Iriomote & Ishigaki Hidden Gems? 2019/1/1 00:36
How did it go? Trying to decide between Amami or Yaeyama for two days in late March/early April.
by Nata (guest) rate this post as useful

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