Highlights of Ishigake
Duration: 3 3/4 hours
Tour Code: ish-001
Enjoy an introductory tour of the island that reveals some of the most captivating attractions underwater, underground and in a re-created village of traditional houses.
After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a scenic drive around ladle-shaped Ishigaki Island, a natural paradise of secluded coves, beautiful beaches and subtropical vistas rarely associated with Japan. The attitude throughout is exceptionally laid-back and friendly, especially in the countryside on the way to Kabira Bay, home to the island’s finest beach.
Upon arriving, you will begin cruising through the bay on a glass-bottom boat. You can expect to see brilliantly colored fish, giant clams and coral reefs in the turquoise waters where black pearls are cultivated primarily for export. Of all the destinations on Ishigaki, Kabira Bay is among the most photographed and with good reason.
Next, you will drive to Ishigaki Yaima Village, a fascinating destination created to preserve the island’s culture. Strolling about, you will see dozens of traditional homes that have been moved here from other parts of Ishigaki and reassembled as an open-air museum. Other highlights include costumed folkloric performers, historical artifacts, and an abundance of curious squirrel monkeys.
Then it’s on to the island’s largest limestone cave, an underground world full of oddly shaped stalactites and stalagmites that have been eerily illuminated for added drama. Be sure to look for ancient shells embedded in the walls, proof that the cave was once filled with seawater. After visiting, you will transfer to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing that includes gravel, sand, earthen and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. While the tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have a companion to assist them, not all areas visited will be wheelchair accessible. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.