Explore Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture!

ishigaki island

We visited Ishigaki Island for free!

Well almost for free .. we didn’t pay for the plane ticket but we did pay the other expenses
like rental car and hotel!
How? With JAL Award Tickets (read on to find out more!)

Why should you visit this island?

When it comes to “what to visit in Japan”, you probably won’t hear about Okinawa, also because Osaka, Tokyo, Nara, Kyoto, and so on, are so big that it would take weeks to see them completely!
Yet I believe that visiting Okinawa with its islands is a good idea, to have the right balance between history, culture, and relaxation!

The island of Ishigaki is the third-largest after the main island of Okinawa and the island of Iriomote, with its 129 km it is possible to see the whole island in just 3 hours!

The island’s transport network consists of local buses or taxis, so it’s convenient
to rent a car as we did.

Rent a car to see Ishigaki Island!

ishigaki island ishigaki island

It is good to know that to drive in Japan you will need to have an international driving license. In Japan, you drive on the left and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car.

I must say that the prices are affordable and low compared to renting a car in big cities!
We used the TABIRAI website to book the rental car.

The car rental office is slightly away from the airport, but there is a free airport transfer service!

Before returning the car you need to fill up the petrol. They’ll probably tell you to fill it up at the gas station close to their office, but if you fill it up in town it is cheaper.

The climate of Ishigaki

We visited the island in June and stayed 3 nights and 4 days.

June is considered the rainy month in Japan, so if you plan to visit it in June too, expect rain and wind! The rain was bearable as they were droplets and it stopped immediately.
It was always cloudy and the wind was very strong (40 km / h)!

Ishigaki has a sub-tropical climate it is hot all year round, but when we visited it
in June, the temperature exceeded 37 degrees and the humidity was 85%.

Kabira Bay 【川 平 湾】

Kawahira Bay, Ishigaki Island

It is definitely the most iconic place in Ishigaki and absolutely not to be missed.
As soon as you arrive, you will see this clear ocean with small boats floating around!

You cannot swim here or snorkel, but you can walk on the beach or take a
glass-bottom boat (opening hours: 9 to 17 ) tickets cost approx ¥1000  (adults)
¥520  (children) and can be purchased in the shops near the parking lot.

Kawahira Bay, Ishigaki Island

Address : 1054 Kabira, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0453, Japan

Yonehara Beach (米 原 ビ ー チ)

Yonehara Beach, Ishigaki Island

Address: Fukai, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0451, Japan

Animated by thousands of colorful tropical fish, Yonehara Beach is one of the best
for snorkeling and diving!

However, you must pay attention to the strong currents and tides and the poisonous Habu jellyfish, which is found in these waters.

Travelwifi

Sabichi limestone cave (サ ビ チ 鍾乳 洞)

Sabichi Limestone Cave, Ishigaki Island

Address : 185-44 Ibaruma, Ishigaki 907-0332, Okinawa
Opening hours : 09 ~ 18
Price : Adults 1,250 yen 、 Children 600 yen
Official site

Sabichi Limestone Cave, Ishigaki Island

Sabichi Cave (324m) is famous as the only limestone cave leading to the sea in Japan.

At the end of the cave you can decide whether to go right or left, on the left you will find
a wonderful beach where you can take a bath and on the right a viewpoint.

Sabichi Limestone Cave, Ishigaki Island

We did not go to the viewpoint as the manager at the entrance told us that there
would not be a beautiful view that day due to bad weather.

Sabichi Limestone Cave, Ishigaki Island

The stairs are narrow and uneven, full of insects too. I wish I had closed shoes at that time !!

ishigaki island Sabichi Limestone Cave, Ishigaki Island

Luckily we had our swimsuit under our clothes and we enjoyed this beach all to ourselves !!
This was probably the most beautiful beach in Ishigaki

A secret beach near Sunset Beach

Ishigaki Island

I was looking for the “Sunset Beach”, but I couldn’t find it. When we had given up, we saw
the sea through the bushes! So we left the car there and went to explore!

 

ishigaki island

A wonderful beach, with lipid waters and natural rocks! The best part? nobody was there

Ishigaki Island

I don’t know what this beach is called because we found it by chance but you can find it
on the way between Sabichi Cave and the Hirakubo lighthouse

Hirakubo Lighthouse (平 久保 崎 灯台)

Hirakubozaki Lighthouse, Ishigaki Island

Address: Hirakubo, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0331

Ishigaki Island

The lighthouse is located in the northernmost part of the island. The view from there is
certainly magnificent, but beware of the wind!

Ishigaki Island

There is a small free parking lot (8 places). When it is full, people leave their cars in the middle
of the street or in the other parking lot you see in the picture

Fusaki Beach Resort (フ ク サ キ リ ゾ ー ト)

Fuksaki Resort, Ishigaki Island

Address: 1625 Arakawa, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0024

Fuksaki Resort, Ishigaki Island

It is a beach in front of the Fukusaki Resort Village, it can also be used by people
who don’t stay here. Obtain authorization from the hotel reception.

Fuksaki Resort, Ishigaki Island

Fukusaki beach is a popular spot where you can see the sunset falling into the sea
or enjoy it during the day!

Fuksaki Resort, Ishigaki Island ishigaki island

It’s definitely a place to take beautiful photos for Instagram !!

Where to stay in Ishigaki?

We stayed at Ishigaki Seaside Hotel

It is a hotel with private beach and hotel pool. The sea view from the room is the best!

Ishigaki Seaside Hotel

It is in a good location for visiting Kabira Bay! It also offers lots of activities to do.

Do you still have time to explore? Then read the article on Taketomi Island

What are JAL miles?

As mentioned at the top of the page, we went to Ishigaki using JAL miles.

Basically all airlines offer this opportunity to exchange miles for air travel. We have been using JAL miles for years to travel from Osaka to Tokyo. Miles required are approximately 12,000 per person, as the destination is specific.

For some years now JAL has introduced “Dokokani Mile“, which allows you to travel with only 6,000 miles! (only available to people with the Japanese version of the JAL card)
The reason? you don’t choose the destination.

When you enter the site, you can choose the place of departure (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka) the days of the trip, and the time slot. After that, it will show you 4 cities where you could go. Every time you go through the procedure again, the cities change .. so what we did was look for the combination of 4 cities never visited and apply. 1 month in advance, JAL will let you know which city you will go to (depends on the availability of seats on the plane)

It is an excellent opportunity for those who want to see a bit of everything and do not
have a specific program!

We left Kansai International Airport (Osaka) for Ishigaki Island, it’s a 2 hour and 45-minute flight

To earn JAL Miles, you need to join the Jal mileage bank and create a card like JMB / JGM,
WAON … etc. This way you can accumulate miles not only by traveling but also by daily shopping.

In conclusion

The attractions of Ishigaki Island are all characterized by beautiful scenery created by nature!
You can play sea sports or enjoy the empty beaches. On this island you won’t get stuck in traffic, so you can drive with peace of mind!

While there are no specific directions for the beaches, you will enjoy finding them hidden behind bushes as you drive! One of the places I want to visit again.

Ready to Land
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