Yonaguni Island of the Yaeyama Islands

Yonaguni Island is the westernmost island of Japan, located just 100 km east of Taiwan. You can see Taiwan from Cape Irizaki on a clear day.
Yonaguni is internationally known among divers for its underwater monument and hundreds of hammerhead sharks. It’s also a popular destination among anglers for big-game fishing.
This small island is home to the Yonaguni horse, one of the eight indigenous Japanese horses.
If you are an experienced horse rider, we highly recommend riding a Yonaguni horse through lush farm trails, sugarcane fields and galloping on beaches. During the hot months you can ride Yonaguni horses to the lagoons by the beach and experience swimming with them. There are a few ranches which provide these experiences, and our recommendation is Chimanma Hiroba.
The owner lived in Australia and knows what experienced Aussie horse riders love to do! 🙂
We would also highly recommend jungle-stream trekking in a limestone ravine at Arakawabana. It’s a very lush stream with many Fountain palms and Formosa palms, and interestingly you can see some stalactites along this stream.
See this map for the roadside entry point to the stream.
Yonaguni has more than a few limestone caves dotted around the island.
We rented a tastefully renovated traditional house called Sakura House during our stay, which we thoroughly enjoyed (there is even an old well inside the house!).

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)Size28.8 sq kmPopulationApproximately 2,000AccessA flight from Ishigaki Island takes about 30 mins. A ferry from Ishigaki Island takes about 4.5 hours.Getting aroundCar rental