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Ishigaki Yaima Village 石垣やいま村

squirrels at Yaima Village squirrels at Yaima Village
squirrels at Yaima Village squirrels at Yaima Village

An open-air Okinawan architectural museum

The Ishigaki Yaima Village attraction makes a great stop-off point on any exploration of the west coast of Ishigaki Island . Here, a cluster of well-preserved traditional Japanese houses exude the atmosphere of the days of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Observe wildlife, in particular local squirrel monkeys, kept in an environment that imitates nature and reminds you of the subtropical surroundings.

Don't Miss

  • Admire the traditional townscape
  • Learn how to dance to upbeat Okinawan melodies
  • Spot adorable squirrel monkeys frolicking nearby

How to Get There

Ishigaki Yaima Village, along with most sights on Ishigaki Island , is best accessed by car. Rental options are available at the airport. Ishigaki Yaima Village is around 30 minutes by car west of Painushima Ishigaki Airport. Take Route 390 and follow the signs for Nagura.

Entry to the village costs approximately 1,000 yen.

A lovingly preserved Okinawan village

The traditional village consists of a number of old residences with distinctive red-tiled roofs. Some houses have been relocated here, lovingly recreated to give fascinating glimpses into how the Okinawan people spent their everyday lives in pre-modern times. Step inside the interior of these beautiful buildings for a closer look.

Learn Okinawan dance

Don't miss the music and dance performances featuring the distinctive sounds of the sanshin, a three-stringed banjo with a body of snake skin. You can enjoy some Okinawan dance moves here too.

A garden of squirrel monkeys

The squirrel monkey garden is a delight, thanks to its enchanting inhabitants. The approximately 30-centimeter-tall squirrel monkey originally hails from the rainforests of South America, but they have made themselves at home on this sub-tropical island.

About 60 squirrel monkeys are kept in the village. While friendly and inquisitive, the monkeys have a penchant for snatching visitors' personal items, so be sure to put any bags on the shelf in front of you.

Fresh Ishigaki fruit

After a trip to Ishigaki Yaima Village, why not stop by one of the farms nearby to pick up some fresh tropical fruit. Mango, passion fruit and papaya are all grown here. Other attractions include horse riding and local ceramic workshops.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

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