Konnichiwa, Okinawa! Snapshots of Ishigaki


From 40 millions to almost none, crowded to deserted, bustling to peaceful. From Tokyo to Iriomote. Welcome to Okinawa!

Sometime in October, after enjoying the craziness of Tokyo, I took the bullet train (shinkansen) from Tokyo to Nagoya, and the airplane from Nagoya to Ishigaki city. Final destination: Iriomote Jima island, the southernmost island of Japan. This is part 1 of three series posts about three beautiful islands from Okinawa.

“It is possible to have a love affair with an island?”

Japan Airlines Boeing 747, Nagoya Airport

Japan Airlines Boeing 747, Nagoya Airport

Above clouds, Pacific Ocean

Flying to Ishigaki high above the Pacific Ocean

Clouds over Okinawa

There is a pudel in the sky!

Okinawa coral islands (aerial view)

Okinawa coral islands (aerial view)

Snapshots of Ishigaki (石垣島)

Ishigaki Island is the most inhabited and developed island of the Yaeyama Islands. Ishigaki is the departure point to Iriomote, Yaketomi, Kuroshima and other islands.

Ishigaki port

The port

Okinawa cruise ship

Okinawa cruise ship

The city is laid back, with a vintage look and a tranquil feeling. Ishigaki is known to have some of the finest beaches in Okinawa. I used Ishigaki as a transit one night stop to and from Iriomote Jima island. I managed to catch some glimpses of the city in a very short time, but there is a lot more to see and do on the island.

Ishigaki city

Old stores in the city

Ishigaki city


Tsunami evacuation sign

Tsunami evacuation sign

Ishigaki ad

Vintage style ads

Ishigaki bus terminal

Buses perfectly parked and spotless clean, the Japanese way

Ishigaki fisherman store

Fisherman store

Goat soup

A goat in my soup!

Ishigaki restaurant

Cozy restaurant

Ishigaki Festival

Ishigaki festival

Ishigaki festival

Ishigaki festival

Ishigaki festival

Ishigaki festival

Ishigaki festival

Things to do

How to get to Ishigaky

Useful information

Both, the train and air passes must be purchased outside of Japan.

What I tried

  • “Awamori” – the Okinawa famed and strong liquor, made from rice, with a 30% and up alcohol
Okinawa coral islands (aerial view)

Okinawa coral islands (aerial view)


  • Next trips: Iriomote and Yubu Jima islands.


4 Comments on “Konnichiwa, Okinawa! Snapshots of Ishigaki”

  1. Ovi, nice pictures , but why did you go there ? For that festival? How could you make yourself understandable. Do they speak english or did you travel with an Jap. speaking partner.
    Would you go to Okinawa if it would be your first trip outside the big cities?

    • Hi Hans, I visited Japan three times, alone. On my second visit I wanted to go to Iriomote Jima – which is a very remote island (more in the next post). The signage in the bigger cities is also in English. But in countryside or in the islands the signs are only in Japanese. Even if you don’t find English speakers, just by mentioning the name of the place you want to go – you may be understood. Japan is once in a life time must do trip. Start with Tokyo and Kyoto. You will LOVE this country!

      • Hi Ovi
        Thanks for the response. For your understanding I wrote which country site to go. Of course I was in the cities of Japan for Business before.
        What should be the best country site to visit in the first place?

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