Hello, I`m Ishigaki Labo.
This time, I’ll introduce 3 “spectacular” sightseeing spots that you must visit if you come to Ishigaki Island.
If you are a first time visitor to Ishigaki Island, what are the famous places…? If you are new to Ishigaki Island, this is the place for you!
Even if you have been here many times, the scenery and atmosphere you saw before will change depending on the season and weather, so we recommend you to visit again.
You will be impressed by the beauty of the island’s spectacular scenery!
These three places are easy to visit with children.
There are restrooms and vending machines at each location, so keep that in mind as a place to take a restroom break!
Near New Ishigaki Airport. Tamatorizaki Observatory
Tamatorizaki Observatory, where you can overlook the beautiful ocean of Ishigaki Island, is located about 20 minutes by car from the New Ishigaki Airport and about 40 minutes from the city center.
If you want to access by bus, take the Hirano Line or the eastbound round trip line from the city center. It takes about 55 minutes to get off the bus at the 【Tamatorizaki 】bus stop, and after getting off the bus, it takes about 10 minutes on foot to reach the observatory.
Buses only run once every few hours, so it is essential to check the bus schedule for your return trip in advance.
Tamatorizaki Observatory is another great spot to view the beautiful ocean.
It has a large parking lot, clean restrooms, and vending machines, so many people visit as a rest spot during a drive.
From the Tamatorizaki Observatory, located a few minutes’ walk from the parking lot, you can see the Hirakubozaki Peninsula, which stretches to the north and is called “Shisa’s Tail.” The right side of the peninsula is the Pacific Ocean and the left side is the East China Sea, making it a rare place to see both areas.
The view is of course wonderful, but the promenade leading to the observatory is well maintained, and you can enjoy tropical plants such as hibiscus, adan trees, and cycads.
The view from the observatory is stunning, but the view from the benches in the parking lot here is just as good!
My favorite spot, so much so that I sometimes take away and have a meal here!!!
The northernmost point of Ishigaki Island, Cape Hirakubosaki
Hirakubozaki is a cape at the tip of Hirakubo Peninsula, the northernmost tip of Ishigaki Island.
Hirakubozaki Lighthouse is located on the cape, and the view of the clear blue ocean of Ishigaki Island from here is so beautiful that it makes you sigh.
It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes by car from central ishigaki and 50 minutes by car from Shin-Ishigaki Airport.
As you drive north, you will see a signboard on your left that says Hirakubozaki Lighthouse, turn left and follow the road to the lighthouse.
You can also reach the lighthouse by bus, but buses are infrequent and it takes 20 to 30 minutes on foot from the bus stop.
The road off the national highway is narrow and has many curves with poor visibility, so be careful not to drive too fast!!!
There is a parking lot, but not many cars can be parked, so you may have to wait along the street until a parking space becomes available.
Climb up the road next to the parking lot to reach the lighthouse.
There is nothing around except the lighthouse, so the sightseeing time is about 30 minutes. Enjoy the beautiful scenery!
The rear side of the lighthouse is a small hill, but it is usually windy and the footholds are easily broken, so there is a risk of falling or tipping over.
You may occasionally see people climbing up to take pictures, but if you get hurt, you do so at your own risk. Elderly people and small children should be careful not to climb.
For lunch, I recommend Akashi Shokudo (Akashi Restaurant) or Kaa-la-ya (old private house restaurant) in Akashi area, a 5-minute drive from Hirakubozaki toward the city center!
Ishigaki Island is the place to be! Spectacular Kabira Bay
It is a famous spot in Ishigaki Island. Kabira Bay was designated as Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park in 2007.
Kabira Bay was designated as Iriomote Ishigaki National Park in 2007, and is the only place in Okinawa Prefecture to receive three stars in the Michelin Green Guide, and is a world-class tourist spot selected as one of the 100 most scenic spots in Japan.
Kabira Bay is about 40 minutes by car from the city center and New Ishigaki Airport. There is a large parking lot, parking lot 1 and a second parking lot in the back.
The local bus (AZUMA Bus) to Kabira Bay leaves from the bus terminal about every hour, so it is easy to get there by bus.
The area around Kabira Bay is lined with glass boat ticket stores and various restaurants, and the restrooms are spacious and clean, making it a good place to take a break from driving. If you have time, you can relax and enjoy the glass boat, have lunch, or take a stroll.
The sea in the bay, which changes its expression even with the light of the sun and the ebb and flow of the tide, offers fascinating colors that will keep visitors coming back time and time again.
It is also famous for its black pearl farms, which are said to be possible only in areas with good water quality.
In recent years, Kabira Bay has been closed to swimming due to the problem of water pollution in the bay and the fast currents.
However, Kabira Bay is a place to enjoy fishing, glass boating, and relaxing, not a beach, so please do not walk around Kabira Bay in a bathing suit.
In Kabira Bay, where swimming is prohibited, a glass boat tour to see the bottom of the sea is the standard.
Depending on the season, time of day, and weather, you can enjoy a variety of sea views, and if you are lucky, you may even meet a sea turtle!
You can purchase tickets at the store on the day of the tour and board the boat without a reservation, but it is recommended to inquire in advance as the clarity of the water changes with the ebb and flow of the tide and weather conditions.
In this article, we have introduced three spectacular spots on Ishigaki Island.
They are not rare sightseeing spots, but standard spots in Ishigaki Island, but the beauty on a sunny day in midsummer is exceptional. The blue of the ocean and the green of the trees look so vivid.
No matter how many times you go there, you will be impressed and even if you have lived on the island for more than 10 years, you will never get tired of the spectacular view.
If you take the bus, there are few buses and it is quite a walk from the bus stop, so we recommend renting a car and touring the island (especially in mid-summer, when there is a risk of heat stroke!)
I think you will make better use of your time if you rent a car and go sightseeing on the island.