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?
- Rent a car to see Ishigaki Island!
- The climate of Ishigaki
- Kabira Bay 【川 平 湾】
- Yonehara Beach (米 原 ビ ー チ)
- Sabichi limestone cave (サビチ鍾乳洞)
- A secret beach near Sunset Beach
- Hirakubo Lighthouse (平 久保 崎 灯台)
- Fusaki Beach Resort (フサキリゾート)
- Where to stay in Ishigaki?
- What are JAL miles?
- In conclusion
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!
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!
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】
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.
Address ： 1054 Kabira, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0453, Japan
Yonehara Beach (米 原 ビ ー チ)
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.
Sabichi limestone cave (サビチ鍾乳洞)
Address ： 185-44 Ibaruma, Ishigaki 907-0332, Okinawa
Opening hours ： 09 ~ 18
Price ： Adults 1,250 yen 、 Children 600 yen
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.
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.
The stairs are narrow and uneven, full of insects too. I wish I had closed shoes at that time !!
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
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!
A wonderful beach, with lipid waters and natural rocks! The best part? nobody was there
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)
Address: Hirakubo, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0331
The lighthouse is located in the northernmost part of the island. The view from there is
certainly magnificent, but beware of the wind!
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 (フサキリゾート)
Address: 1625 Arakawa, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0024
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.
Fukusaki beach is a popular spot where you can see the sunset falling into the sea
or enjoy it during the day!
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!
It is in a good location for visiting Kabira Bay! It also offers lots of activities to do.
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.
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
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.