Hateruma Island of the Yaeyama Islands

Hateruma Island is Japan’s most southern inhabited island. The flat terrain makes this island another perfect cattle-raising and sugar cane-growing island. Hateruma is difficult to get to on certain days by ferry as the ferry route is easily affected by wind, but on a calm day you would never believe it. Nishibama (Nishihama) beach at the north west side of Hateruma is often referred as one of the best beaches of the Yaeyama Islands for off-the-beach snorkeling, especially at the east side of the beach.

About the Yaeyama Island Group:
The Yaeyama Islands have one of the largest coral reef systems in Asia. These islands are located near the Tropic of Cancer; more south than Taipei and closer to the northern islands of the Philippines than to Okinawa Main Island. If you like jungles as well as beaches, we highly recommend the Yaeyama Island group. The Yaeyama Islands are also perfect for snorkelling. There are many off-the-beach spots, but a tour by boat with a local guide is the best, as they know the finest points of the day, depending on the weather and water clarity conditions, and your own preferences, ie. if you want to experience sea turtles, or blue coral, or many different types of coral, etc.

PrefectureOkinawa (Yaeyama Island Group)Size12.7 sq kmPopulationApproximately 500AccessFerries run frequently between Ishigaki Island and Hateruma Island. It takes about 1 hour.Getting aroundBicycle rental