The largest and most populous of the Yaeyama Islands, Ishigaki is famed for its wonderful beaches and beautiful waters. This is one of the most popular areas in Japan for scuba diving due to the remarkable visibility in the surrounding seas where it is possible to swim with numerous varieties of local fish, including manta rays, around the coral reefs. There are a number of beaches of particular note on the island, with Kabira Bay being the most popular but it is worth heading to Yonehara. With clear waters to snorkel in and a reef to view fish, it is also less popular so you should get some elbow space.
One of the most pleasant elements of Ishigaki is that it suits all types of travellers; families will find peaceful restaurants to spend time together and those hoping to have night-time fun will be surprised by the vitality of the party scene here. One of the most fun ways to stay here is by setting up tent on Yonehara beach where you can camp ‘til your heart’s content to the sound of the waves. There are a number of hotels and traditional guest-houses on the island so you should be able to find something to suit your needs but be aware there are no longer any boats from the mainland and it is currently only possible to arrive here by plane.
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