Pinaisara Falls ピナイサーラの滝
Jungle trail to the falls
If you're looking for an experience that's off the beaten track, look no further than a tour to Pinaisara Falls on Iriomote Island.
Kayak and trek through the jungle to see an impressive waterfall with the highest drop in Okinawa. There are different tour options to choose from, with many of them including lunch at the water side. This is an experience not to be missed if you are a trekking enthusiast.
- The beauty of the falls
- A trek through the jungle
- Kayaking by the falls
How to Get There
There are high-speed ferries operating between Ishigaki and Uehara Port on Iriomote Island. The journey takes around 45 to 50 minutes.
The best way to get to Pinaisara Falls from the port is to take a local guided tour.
Pinaisara Falls has the highest drop in Okinawa
Iriomote Island is 90 percent jungle
The island is home to about 100 Iriomote wildcats
Iriomote Island has much unspoilt nature, and you have to be prepared to walk, or row, to explore its delights to their fullest.
A number of guides offer excellent tours to the falls. You need to arrive at the island early, as most of the tours kick off at 9 a.m. or earlier.
More than 90 percent of the island is covered by dense jungle and mangrove forest, and the tours generally combine kayaking and trekking through the jungle to the falls.
The island is home to the Iriomote cat, a subspecies of the leopard cat. Sadly, there are only 100 remaining in the wild, so you would be very lucky to encounter one.
If you are traveling with children, check about age limits when booking a tour. Some of them start at five or six years old, some from ten. A few of the tours are for adults only.
The trek to the waterfall takes up to an hour. It is a well-kept trail and children can participate. However, trekking shoes and appropriate clothing are necessary (shoe rental is available).
Fun and food at the falls
When you reach your goal, you are rewarded with some great views of the tree-clad mountains of Iriomote Islands, and the ocean beyond. The spectacular close-up view of Pinaisara Falls itself is worth the climb—the water plunges around 55 meters to the basin below, the longest drop of any waterfall in Okinawa. The waterfall basin is also a good place for water sports.
Many of the tours include lunch cooked by your guide. After an hour at the falls, well-fed and well-rested, you can start on the return journey. A trekking tour to Pinaisara Falls generally takes between six and seven hours. There are also half-day tours which take about four hours.
There are many waterfalls on Iriomote Island, and there are others that are even more challenging for the physically fit and keen kakayakers.
Check out the tours on offer to Adanade, Yutsun, and Nara Falls. If you are up for a serious kayaking excursion, try a trip from Shirahama Port on the west coast to Nara Falls.
It takes about two hours by kayak and another 30 minutes hike to the falls, and the same again back to Shirahama. Expect to kick off at 8 a.m. and get back by 5 p.m. Suitable for those who are physically fit and confident, this is surely the ideal way to discover the untamed beauty of Iriomote Island.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.