Ishigaki Island in Okinawa prefecture – a popular island for its beautiful sea and southern island climate.
There are many people who visit Ishigaki and Okinawa’s main island within the same trip.
So this time, for those who ‘want to fully enjoy their stay for a short period of time’ we introduce several sightseeing plans that range from 3 hours to 1night/2days where you can fully enjoy the island. We hope you find it helpful.
Table of Contents
Must-Visit Sightseeing Spots Even For 3 Hours’ Stay
2.Miru Miru Honpo
Major Sightseeing Spots to Visit For a Full Day Stay
6.Yaeyama-yashi of Yonehara
7.Ishigaki City Public Market
7 Sightseeing Spots For More Than Two Days’ Stay
10.Dolphin Fantasy Ishigaki-jima/Dolphin show
Must-visit Sightseeing Spots Even For Three Hours’ Stay
Kabira Bay, the most representative sightseeing spot on Ishigaki Island.
You can enjoy the beautiful cobalt and marine blue colors sea.
Kabira Bay was ranked 3 stars by the Michelin Guide (*) on March 16th, 2009.
(For your reference, Ishigaki Island is 2 stars in the Michelin Guide)
*‘Michelin Green Guide Japon,’ the travel guide by Michelin in France about Japan
Viewing under water on a glass boat is a famous activity!
The water at Kabira Bay is very clear, so you can see tropical fish and coral reef living actively.
*Public WiFi available *Construction is ongoing for expanded parking areas * Restaurants and souvenir shops available
Ishigaki Island Miru Miru Honpo
Currently a popular gelato shop.
You can enjoy rich-tasting gelato made from fresh milk from cows raised on Ishigaki Island.
There are many kinds of flavours using tropical fruit produced in Ishigaki Island (Guava, Beni-imo, Shima-banana, Mango, Pineapple, Shikuwasa, etc.).
If you want to enjoy more than one flavour, half-and-half is also available.
If you visit at lunch time, please also try the ‘Miru Miru’ hamburger.
The Miru Miru Honpo is located on a small hill.
Please eat gelato made in Ishigaki while enjoying the ocean view! We also recommend visiting there at sunset.
【Ishigaki Miru Miru Honpo】
1583-74 Shinkawa, Ishigaki, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Summer), 10:00-18:30 (Winter). No Holidays.
A park is located in the center of Ishigaki Island, and you can see the whole view of the island from there.
It has 4 observation decks, where you can enjoy the scenery and the view ofemote islands in the distance, see wild birds and butterflies, and observe stars at nighttime. Many people visit Banna Park.
It has ‘Seishika no hashi’ (bridge), playground equipment, and an athletic ground, where both children and adults can enjoy.
There is also an activity program where you can ride a Segway.
A Model Course For Those Who Visit For 3 Hours From The Airport
You can make a circuit of Ishigaki Island for about 2 hours if you hurry. A short stay is also enjoyable.
Here, let us introduce a sightseeing route that people with only 3 hours for sightseeing can also enjoy.
From The Airport To Kabira Bay
First, head northeast from New Ishigaki Airport to ‘Kabira Bay’ by car.
Kabira Bay, located at the northwest corner of the island, is a little far (about 40 minutes from the airport). However, you can enjoy seeing Yaeyama-yashi and Mt. Omoto, the highest mountain in Okinawa prefecture on your drive.
An emerald green view spreads out when you enter the beach at Kabira Bay after parking your car in the parking lot.
Take a break after you enjoy the ocean view that attained 3 stars from Michelin. Let’s go to the next place.
From Kabira Bay to Miru Miru Honpo
Heading to the next destination, ‘Miru Miru Honpo,’ you can see Nagura Bridge overlooking a panoramic view of a mangrove forest. (20 minutes’ drive from Kabira Bay)
You can get refreshed by eating flavours of gelato that are a specialty at this shop while you enjoy the ocean view from the hill!
From Ishigaki-jima Miru Miru Honpo to Banna Park
Lastly, going to ‘Banna Park,’ located in the center of Ishigaki Island (about 15 minutes drive from Ishigaki-jima Miru Miru Honpo).
At this spot, we recommend the observation deck where you can have a panoramic view of the island. Depending on the weather, you can see Taketomi Island, Iriomote Island, Kohama Island, and Kuro Island.
Once you fully enjoy the ocean, mountain, and gelato, it will be time to go back to New Ishigaki Airport. (about 20 minutes from Banna Park)
There are product shops representing Ishigaki Island at the airport. Please take your time to choose some souvenirs before your flight.
Major Sightseeing Spots to Visit For a Full Day Stay
Tamatorizaki – Akashi Shokudo – Yaeyama-yashi of Yonehara – Kabira Bay-Ishigaki-jima Miru Miru Honpo – Banna Park – Ishigaki City Public Market
Tamadorizaki, Ishigaki Island’s major sightseeing spot. The view from here is breathtakingly beautiful! Here, you will feel glad that you came to Ishigaki Island.
This is also a famous place because you can have a panoramic view of both the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
*Parking, restrooms available. *Vending machine available.
The only ‘shokudo’ (Japanese dining hall) at Akaishi Village, located in the north of Ishigaki Island past Tamatorizaki in Ibaruma.
The shop is known as a famous Okinawan Soba restaurant where many local people and tourists visit, so there is a long line every day.
In addition to ‘Yaeyama Soba,’ ‘Soki Soba’ is also popular. Its specialties are a big ‘soki’ (pork rib) simmered until it is extremely tender, and a heap of green onions topped on the noodles.
You will learn about the owner’s obsession with their soup stock, which wins their customers’ hearts.
360 Ibaruma, Ishigaki, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 11：00-15：00, 18：00-21：00. Holidays: Mondays and Tuesdays.
Yaeyama-yashi of Yonehara
A place designated as a national natural treasure.
It has a walking trail, where you can observe Yaeyama-yashi (palm trees) closely.
Ishigaki City Public Market
A market in Euglena Mall (Former name: Ayapani Mall). You can buy many kinds of local products at a low cost.
The first floor has island vegetables, fruits, spices, island tofu, kamaboko (fish sausage), sashimi, and Ishigaki beef, which are all ingredients that local people eat on the island.
Products made in a traditional manner such as island hot peppers pickled in awamori (Okinawan alcohol), are available at a stall outside.
Please pick them up one by one.
【Ishigaki City Public Market】
208 Okawa, Ishigaki, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 8:00-21:00. Holidays: Second and Fourth Sunday of the month
A Model Course For Those Who Visit for One Day
From the airport to Tamatorizaki
It’s about 14km, which takes about 20 minutes by car. You should plan to stay here about 30 minutes.
From the airport to Tamatorizaki, you pass several villages on Ishigaki Island. Unattended sales service for vegetables, pineapples, and mangos is also there.
It has beautiful scenery, where you can have a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea.
From Tamatorizaki to Akaishi Shokudo
It’s approximately 3 km, which takes about 5 minutes by car. You should plan to stay here about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Going north from Ibaruma, Akaishi Shokudo is located in the next village called Akaishi. However, you might need to wait in line as it’s a popular restaurant.
From Akaishi Shokudo to Yaeyama-yashi of Yonehara
It’s about 40 minutes by car. You should plan to stay 30-40 minutes.
You can enjoy the scenery on the westward route of Ishigaki Island.
You can also see a popular spot, ‘Rhizophoraceae Plant Community of Fukido River’ by canoe.
From Yaeyama-yashi of Yonehara to Kabira Bay
It’s about 20 minutes by car. You should plan to stay 1-1.5 hours.
Here, you can also visit ‘Arakawa Falls’, the only waterfall in Ishigaki, Yamabare, Poza Obasan no Shokutaku (a restaurant surrounded by nature), a few other restaurants and cafes, and handmade accessory shops.
After enjoying those driving spots, you will reach a must-visit place, ‘Kabira Bay.’
We also recommend visiting Sukuji Bathing Beach, located at the opposite side of Kabira Bay, and the nearby area of Hotel Club Med during your drive.
From Kabira Bay to Ishigaki-jima Miru Miru Honpo
It’s about 20 minutes by car. You should plan to stay 20-30 minutes.
Heading to ‘Miru Miru Honpo’ where you can savor gelato from Ishigaki, while enjoying the ocean view.
From Ishigaki-jima Miru Miru Honpo to Banna Park
It’s about 15 minutes by car. You should plan to stay 1 hour.
After enjoying the ocean view and gelato from Ishigaki-jima Miru Miru Honpo, head to ‘Banna Park’ where you can have a panoramic view of Ishigaki Island.
From Banna Park to the Public Market
It’s about 20 minutes by car.
Entering the city area, you will see an array of local products from Ishigaki at the public market in Euglena Mall.
Scents of pineapples, mangos, and tropical fruits float in the air, and island hot peppers made by elderly women from the island, fresh seaweed, and island spices are also available.
（This route is only as a reference）
7 Sightseeing Spots To Visit If You Stay For 2 Days or More
This is a famous place to watch the sunset. At the beach, there is a pier extending to the sea that has a bell on its front edge.
Peering into the sea, you can see tropical fish swimming. Visitors and resort guests get together and watch the sunset.
You can also observe the Southern Cross at night depending on the time (from the end of December to the middle of June).
*The beach is a part of Fusaki Resort, so please obtain permission at reception before entering the beach.
1625 Arakawa Fusaki, Ishigaki, Okinawa
Opening hours: No Holidays.
The ocean is not the only beautiful thing in Ishigaki Islan but stars are also famous.
84 out of 88 constellations are observable in Ishigaki’s night sky.
This is the ‘Ishigaki-jima Observatory,’ where you can observe and experience those constellations.
You can enjoy observation events through one of the largest telescopes in Japan, ‘Murikabushi’ ( reservations are required for Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays), and watch films in the 4D2U (Digital Space) theater.
*4D2U (Digital Space) starts at 3 PM except on holidays. Reservations are required.
1024-1 Arakawa, Ishigaki, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last admission at 16:30). Holidays: Mondays, Tuesdays (national holidays, substitute holidays).
Dolphin Fantasy Ishigaki-jima/Dolphin Show
You can interact with dolphins at ‘Dolphin Fantasy Ishigaki-jima’ opened on April 26th, 2014.
*Trial course requires reservations.
【Dolphin Fantasy Ishigaki-jima】
Yashimacho (Shinminato Chiku Ryokuchi Park Parking), Ishigaki, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00. No scheduled holidays.
Ishigaki Yaima Mura
It’s like a theme park on Ishigaki Island where you can see, play, and enjoy.
It’s located at a slightly elevated place where you can have a panoramic view of Nagura Bay, where a traditional house with red tiles has been reproduced.
You can experience a *sanshin show, samba dancing, and wearing Ryukyu clothing.
*sanshin…one of the Japanese stringed instrument used in Okinawa prefecture. Its shape is similar to ukulele.
Furthermore you can enjoy feeding and interacting with squirrel monkeys at the park.
You can also meet buffalos and precious crested serpent eagles.
*There are trial courses that require reservations and courses based on customer requests.
*Restaurant available. *Souvenir shops available.
【Ishigaki Yaima Mura】
967-1 Nagura, Ishigaki, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:30. No holidays.
A very popular yakiniku restaurant on Ishigaki Island. It is always full with guests who made reservations. You can eat Ishigaki Beef after roasting it with charcoal on the stoves.
It is recognized by various media as a restaurant where you can savor Ishigaki Beef approved by JA Okinawa’s criteria.
The restaurant has table seats, counter seats, and tatami seats that can receive various numbers of groups.
*Several course menus depending on your budget.
*Reservations only (Holidays: Wednesdays)
2-5-18 Hamasakicho, Ishigaki, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 17:00- until meat runs out. Holidays: Wednesdays
Minsah Kogei Museum Azamiya
The specialty of ‘Yaeyama Minsah’ is ‘Five (Itsu) and Four (Yo)’ Kasuri design.
Its fabric is made to communicate: “Wishing to be long-lasting, forever (Itsu no Yo)…”.
People who wear this fabric feel comfortable because it is woven with cotton.
In 2014, it received the Outstanding Local Product Award, and the Best Local Product Award by Okinawa Prefecture.
*Hand weaving experience: Reservations only
【 Minsah Kogei Museum Azamiya 】
909 Tonoshiro, Ishigaki, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00. No holidays.
Local products from Yaeyama are available at reasonable price at ‘JA Okinawa Farmers.’ The photos of each producers face are displayed on the products such as vegetables at the shop. It is also interesting to search the products by the names of producers.
You can send pineapple and mango, and you might also be able to make a great find for souvenirs, such as the earliest harvested rice in Japan (‘Hitomebore’), Ishigaki Beef, or rare tropical fruits (such as Manta-so).
Ready-made local foods and various kinds of herbs from the island are also available. You can even enjoy window shopping instead of buying.
1-2 Shineicho, Ishigaki, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 9:00-19:00. Holiday: 1-3 January, Bon festival, Producers’ festival.
Deep blue ocean, a mountain full of nature, tropical fruit, delicious sweets, Ishigaki Beef Yakiniku, and Yaeyama Soba – There are lots of fun things to do on Ishigaki Island.
Please make good memories while managing the limited time of your trip.