Iriomote does not have an airstrip, so most visitors arrive from Ishigaki Island by ferry, an about 40 minutes ride to Uehara port or Ohara port.
To Ishigaki, direct flight services are available from Tokyo Haneda, Nagoya Chubu Centrair, Kansai Osaka and Okinawa Naha. You can also fly to Ishigaki from HongKong by HK Express and from Taipei by China Airlines.
Iriomote Island, one of Yaeyama Archipelago in southwestern Japan, is located about 2100 Km away from Tokyo, and 400 Km from Okinawa. With the coastline of 130 Km (80.78 Miles), the island has the largest area of 290 Km² among the Yaeyama Islands.
Iriomote is a part of Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park and known as the home to Iriomote Wildcat (Iriomote Ymaneko) and a number of endemic species of flora nod fauna.
90% of the island is covered by dense subtropical jungle and mangrove swamps and 80% is protected state-owned land. The population is about 2100. Besides tourism, the economy of the island is sustained by fishing and agriculture, mainly sugar cane, pineapple, mango.
Iriomote has a tropical, rainforest climate and the average yearly temperature is 23.6ºC. (74.5ºF). The island is just in the path of typhoons, over 2,000mm rainfall annually.
In Iriomote, harvesting pineapples and mangoes hits the peak in May through August. Tropical fruits in season – freshly picked – that’s something too good to miss when you visit the island.
A vast coral reef lagoon, Sekisei Shouko, broadens between Iriomote and ishigaki Islands. Over 400 types of coral are found in the protected marine area set by Ministry of the Environment. The lagoon is a stockpot of larvae that float through the sea to high-latitude region including Okinawa.
In recent years, however, the reef lagoon is damaged to a critical level due to sewage, soil erosion, canthasters and bleaching by rising sea temperature. To restore the reef lagoon, preserving and regrowing activities are conducted by both public and private sectors.
|Yamaneko Marathon||2nd Saturday, February|
|Iriomote Music Festival||Mid April|
|Funauki Music Festival||3rd Saturday, April|
|Densa Festival||3rd Saturday, June|
|Sand Beach Art Festival||Last Sunday August|