Glass-Bottom Boat Ride & Textile Factory
Duration: 5 hours
Tour Code: ISH-004
Behold Ishigaki’s brilliant marine life on a glass-bottom boat and then learn how cotton textiles are woven and dyed for traditional items such as kimono sashes.
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 board your glass-bottom boat on the beach and then begin cruising through the bay. 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.
Following your cruise, you will enjoy a traditional Japanese lunch at a local restaurant. While the exact dishes will depend on which ingredients are freshest, you are likely to find a delectable soba noodle soup on the menu. It’s often topped with a fish cake or boneless pork ribs.
Next, you will discover how traditional cotton sashes are woven at the Mineya Minsa textile factory. For hundreds of years, brides-to-be have created patterns on sashes to express their love for their future husbands, and the factory is known for re-creating the most time-honored ones. During the tour, you may create your own patterned handkerchief using dyes from the island’s indigenous plants. Afterwards, you will return by coach back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of easy to moderate walking/standing that includes sandy surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not recommended for those with mobility concerns as the glass-bottom boat is boarded from a sandy beach rather than a dock or pier. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests who wish to make any purchases ashore should bring Japanese Yen with them.