Yonaguni Island (Yonagunijima) 与那国島
Dive into the waters of Yonaguni Island and discover its wonderful sea creatures
Yonaguni Island is the westernmost Okinawan island and the last place in Japan to see the setting sun each day.
It is the most remote of all the Okinawan islands and the hardest to get to, but if you are serious about diving, it is worth the effort it takes to get there.
How to Get There
Getting to Yonaguni Island is not as smooth and simple as travel between most of the inhabited Okinawan islands.
There is also a ferry that runs two trips a week from Ishigaki , with return journeys on different days, but it takes four hours and it can be a rough journey.
The undersea ruins are hidden off the southern coast
Hammerhead sharks and whale sharks can be spotted in the winter
One-meter-tall Yonaguni horses run free around the island
From hammerhead sharks to miniature horses
You need to be an experienced diver to appreciate all that Yonaguni Island has to offer. The island has excellent hiking trails and some beautiful beaches, but these are closer at hand elsewhere in Okinawa .
One thing you will not see elsewhere are the Yonaguni horses, which stand just one meter tall and roam free on the island.
In the winter months, hammerhead sharks congregate around the island, and if you go between December and February, you will almost certainly get a chance to see them.
Although it is a rare sight, Yonaguni is also the only place in Japanese waters where you might see a whale shark, the largest fish in the ocean.
A lost civilization?
There are also some mysterious underwater ruins off the southern coast, sometimes known as the Yonaguni Monument.
Some say the ruins were naturally formed, while others say they were man-made. Get up close and decide for yourself.