Kohama Island of the Yaeyama Islands

Kohama Island (also known as Kohama-jima) is well known for being a resort island, with a golf country club and two major resorts, Haimurubushi and Hoshino Resort Risonare located there. It’s not an island that we would recommend highly to those, like us, who are not into golf or big resorts, however Kohama still has natural beauty to offer. Kohama has some nice beaches, such as Kubazaki Beach, with its spectacular view of Iriomote across the channel. It’s quite a lush island, with sugarcane fields and cattle grazing on farmlands.
Kohama is also a great base for those who want to enjoy the idyllic Sekisei Lagoon, accessible by boat. There are plenty of guided snorkeling/scuba diving tours as well as charter boats available from Kohama Island. The Yonara Channel (aka Manta Way) between Kohama and Iriomote is a popular scuba diving spot to see manta rays.
Kohama has a mangrove area too, and although it is nothing like those you find on Iriomote or Ishigaki, it is still a great area to explore by packraft or kayak around high tide in case of cloudy/rainy weather when it’s not ideal for beach/marine activies. There are guided kayaking tours available for those who don’t have their own packraft or kayak.
There is also an impressive jungle area of Banyan Fig trees, with their impressive tangling root systems, which is a great spot to explore when it’s not possible to enjoy beach/marine activities due to bad weather.

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 snorkeling and scuba diving. 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 see sea turtles, manta rays or specific coral, or many different types of coral, etc.


PrefectureOkinawa (Yaeyama Island Group)Size7.8 sq kmPopulationApproximately 700AccessFerries run frequently between Ishigaki Island and Kohama Island (35 mins)Getting aroundCar/motorbike rental (or bicycle rental if you have time and lots of energy)