From Tokyo/Osaka: 3-4 hr
From Naha: 1 hr

How to Get There

Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park, Japan’s southernmost park, is located in Okinawa Prefecture. The park encompasses several of the Yaeyama Islands and is home to sprawling mangrove forests, sandy beaches, beautiful waterfalls and stunning coral reefs. Although limited bus service is available on some islands, renting a car will make it easier to enjoy everything the park has to offer.

From Tokyo

Flights from major cities, including Tokyo, Osaka and Naha, link the Yaeyama Islands with the rest of Japan in three to four hours. It’s often cheaper to fly into Naha Airport on Okinawa’s main island and then fly to Ishigaki. Once at New Ishigaki Airport (also known as Painushima Ishigaki Airport), you can rent a car or take the bus to explore Ishigaki Island or make your way to Ishigaki Port to catch a ferry to one of the other islands. To reach the port, take a bus from either Azuma Unyu or Karry Kanko. The latter offers a direct bus that takes about 30 minutes, while Azuma Unyu buses make numerous local stops.

From Ishigaki Island

Ishigaki Port is the gateway for the park's islands. Several companies offer services between the islands, including ferries that allow cars onboard for an additional fee. Ferry routes, maps and bookings are available in English on the Direct Ferries website. Because service between some islands is infrequent or nonexistent, it’s often best to travel back to Ishigaki Port when island-hopping.

Getting Around

A car is the best option for exploring Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park. Rent a vehicle from one of the companies near New Ishigaki Airport. Several ferry companies offer service for passengers and vehicles between Ishigaki Port and the other islands of the park. (To move between islands, you may have to go back to Ishigaki Port first.) Check route information and make bookings on Direct Ferries English-language website. Azuma Unyu and Karry Kanko bus companies offer services on Ishigaki Island only. Save on fares by buying one-day or multi-day passes. Iriomote Island has two ports linked by a public bus, which runs four times a day along the island's coastal road and stops at major tourist destinations. To explore the island at your own pace, renting a car is recommended. Taketomi Island is small enough to explore on foot or by bicycle.