Home > OKINAWA 沖縄県 > YAEYAMA ISLANDS 八重山諸島 > Ishigaki 石垣市・石垣島

Most viewed - Ishigaki 石垣市・石垣島
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Ryukyu matsu pine trees are native to Okinawa. 琉球松20 views
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Ryukyu matsu pine tree is endemic to Okinawa. It stands straight up and takes an umbrella shape like this. Okinawa's official tree. リュウキュウマツ (琉球松)20 viewsWe don't really see pine trees like this on mainland Japan.
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Kabira Bay, Ishigaki. It's actually a large bay and this is only a small part of it. Scenic with white beach, blue ocean, small islands and coral on the bottom.18 views
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Seesa lion dog with mask, Ishigaki.18 views
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Kabira Bay on Ishigaki, perhaps the island's most famous tourist spot. Glass bottom boats to see coral and tropical fish in shallow water.17 views
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Parrot fish in Kabira Bay.16 views
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Mt. Nosokodake (野底岳), Ishigaki’s second highest mountain at 282 m. Can be climbed up a steep, narrow trail in about 15 min. We didn't climb it though.16 views
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Makishi Residence is a traditional Yaeyama home. 旧牧志邸16 views
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Yaeyama fisherman's home.16 views
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Ishigaki cuisine for lunch. Main dish was soba noodles. Side dishes of pig's ear, goya & tuna, juushi flavored rice (じゅーしー), local seaweed, and brown sugar jelly (dessert). 16 viewsPig's ear is chewy/crunchy, not really tasty, but has a lot of collagen, so it's a health food.
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Yaeyama soba noodles16 views
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Chopstick rest made of a shell at Hirugi Restaurant in Hotel Miyahira, Ishigaki.16 views
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JTA in-flight magazine "Coralway" had a nice Japanese article about the reconstruction of Shuri Castle in Naha.16 views
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While walking here, I looked down since my intuition told me I might find something...15 views
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Sure enough, a well-disguised starfish moving in slow motion. Hope it's not the kind that eats coral or other native species. Kabira Bay, Ishigaki.15 views
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Bird of Paradise flower in Banna Park.15 views
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Side view of Mt. Nosokodake. This mountain is associated with a famous local folk tale about a girl named Maape. The mountain is nicknamed after her, "Nosoko Maape" (野底マーペー).14 viewsOn the nearby island of Kuroshima (黒島) in the 18th century, Maape and her childhood sweetheart, Kanimui, were happily living as farmers. They were to be married someday.

However, one day, a Ryukyu government decree ordered half the island's residents to move here near Nosokodake on Ishigaki while the other half could remain on Kuroshima. The island's population was split along the island's main road. Maape and Kanimui lived on the opposite sides of the road, and Maape was on the side where people had to move to Ishigaki.
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So she and her family were forced to move here to Nosokodake to start a new farming village and clear the thick jungle for farming. It was a hard life. 14 viewsMaape desperately missed her beloved Kanimui and couldn't forget him.
One day, she wanted to at least see Kuroshima where he lived, so she climbed up Mt. Nosokodake. At the top, she looked for Kuroshima, but her view of the island was blocked by Mt. Omotodake, Ishigaki's highest mountain. She collapsed on her knees and wailed in sorrow. Later, a worried villager looked for Maape who never returned home. On the top of the mountain, he found a crying rock gazing in the direction of Kuroshima. Maape had turned into stone.
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Even today, people who climb the mountain look for the Maape rock and assume this or that rock is her.14 viewsThis story is based on historical fact. The Ryukyu government sometimes forced people to migrate to undeveloped lands to start farming to increase agricultural production so they could pay more taxes. The kingdom was being heavily taxed by the Satsuma Domain in Kagoshima, and taxes had to paid in rice per head.

Read more about the folk tale here: https://photoguide.jp/log/2020/12/yaeyama-folk-songs-nosokodake-maape/
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Butterfly in Banna Park.14 views
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Glass bottom boat in Kabira Bay, Ishigaki.13 views
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Rest house in Banna Park. It's a large park with a variety of sights, playgrounds, lookout points, and nature.13 views
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Breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant in the main building. Plastic partitions protect the food. ブーゲンの浜13 views
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There are many glass bottom boats that operate here.12 views
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Kabira Bay beach.12 views
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Glass bottom boat in Kabira Bay, Ishigaki.12 views
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The squirrel monkeys climb all over you.12 views
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Yaima Mura Restaurant. This is also where you can rent Okinawan clothing.12 views
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On the opposite side of Kabira on the other side of the peninsula is another stretch of white sands called Sukuji Beach. One of Ishigaki's major swimming beaches. 底地ビーチ.12 views
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Banna Park on Banna Hill (230m elevation) in the northern fringe of central Ishigaki is a large nature & recreational park. This is one of the main lookout points. Named "Emerald Ocean Lookout Point" overlooking the city center and nearby is12 viewsThis is in Zone B of the park along the Banna Skyline road. This photo was taken before the stargazing platform was built next to it. エメラルドの海を見る展望台
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View of the mountains north of Banna Park.12 views
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Ishigakijima Beach Hotel Sunshine has the main building on the left. We stayed in the newer annex seen in the distance. Both buildings face the ocean.12 viewsIncluding breakfast, it costs ¥8,000/person for two people in a room in the main building.
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On the southern coast of Ishigaki, we stayed at Ishigakijima Beach Hotel Sunshine for one night. It's a nice hotel. About 30 min. by car from the airport. 本館 https://www.ishigakijima-sunshine.net/12 views
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Hotel pool if you want to swim. Because you cannot swim in the ocean...12 views
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Ishigakijima Beach Hotel Sunshine's newer Ocean Garden annex. 新館12 views
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My nice room at Ishigakijima Beach Hotel Sunshine's Ocean Garden annex.12 views
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Very modern room.12 views
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Room rate is about ¥15,000/person in this new annex. Pricing also depends on the season.12 views
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Refrigerator.12 views
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Roomy balcony of my hotel room.12 views
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View from my room.12 views
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View from my room, partially obstructed by a big tree.12 views
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Tropical plant.12 views
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Although the hotel's name has the word "Beach," there's no beach and it's not for swimming. 12 viewsIn summer, they have marine activities, but no ocean swimming or sunbathing on a beach. There's a pool and lawn though.
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Walked along the oceanfront.12 views
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An adjacent hotel had chairs on the waterfront for the sunset.12 views
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Ishigaki sunset.12 views
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The hotel's oceanfront does have great Ishigaki sunset views.12 views
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Hotel restaurant terrace at sunset. オープンレストラン 海辺のテラス12 views
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Ishigaki sunset.12 views
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Dinner at the hotel's Nami no Shi (波の詩) restaurant. Dinner was kaiseki ryori (会席料理) including Okinawan beef. 赤瓦レストラン 波の詩12 viewsにがなの白和え、グルクン南蛮漬、小松菜の胡麻和え、お造り 2 点盛、島魚の煮つけ、県産和牛の 陶板焼き、ゆし豆腐のすまし汁
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Dinner at the hotel's restaurant. 12 views
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Painting of Okinawan dancers in the hotel.12 views
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Painting of Okinawan yotsudake dancer in the hotel corridor.12 views
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Hotel lobby sofas.12 views
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Starry night from Ishigakijima Beach Hotel Sunshine's roof.12 views
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Stargazing on the Ishigakijima Beach Hotel Sunshine's roof. This tour option is called "Shani-shani Hoshizora Tour" (しゃにしゃに星空ツアー). 12 viewsInfo in Japanese: https://www.utakuna-ishigakijima.com/hoshizoratour
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We're lying flat on cots and staring at the sky as our stargazing guide used a laser pointer to point out stars and constellations.12 views
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They also had a telescope to see Saturn and the moon.12 views
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Another stargazing spot on Ishigaki, in the middle of sugar cane. We were with a large group of people also sitting on camping chairs.12 viewsThe guide standing on the left talked nonstop in Japanese with a microphone. He used a laser pointer to point out constellations and stars.
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With binoculars, we got to see Subaru (Pleiades star cluster). For more info about stargazing on Ishigaki: https://photoguide.jp/log/2021/01/yaeyama-stargazing/12 views
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Moon was nice too.12 views
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My buffet breakfast at at the hotel restaurant in the main building. Most dishes are covered with Saran wrap.12 views
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Boarding a glass bottom boat. Your feet don't get wet.11 views
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Typical glass bottom boat in Kabira Bay, Ishigaki.11 views
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Glass bottom boat in Kabira Bay, Ishigaki.11 views
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Glass bottom boat in Kabira Bay, Ishigaki.11 views
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The cruise is scenic with tropical ocean and small islands.11 views
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Our waitress in Okinawan dress explaining our lunch at Yaima Mura.11 views
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Taketomi island in the distance. Flat, coral outcrop. Quaint, charming island, a short boat ride from Ishigaki Port.11 views
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Straight ahead is Kohama island (小浜島) in the distance. The small island in front of it on the right is Kayama (嘉弥真島). The big island on the right is Iriomote.11 views
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Sukuji Beach has a lot of shallow water, so it's safe to swim. But at low tide, there's lots of rocks. Be sure to swim within the designated area protected against jellyfish with underwater nets. 底地ビーチ11 views
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View of central Ishigaki from Banna Park.11 views
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View of central Ishigaki from Banna Park.11 views
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View of central Ishigaki from Banna Park.11 views
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View of central Ishigaki from Banna Park. Taketomi Island can be seen on upper right.11 views
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View of Sakieda Peninsula from Banna Park.11 views
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View of Sakieda Peninsula from Banna Park.11 views
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View of the mountains north of Banna Park.11 views
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At the old Ishigaki Airport, JTA boarding gate. One of the check-in staff wears a yukata. Also notice the old digital signage.11 views
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Old Ishigaki Port for tourist boats. This is only 200 meters away from the new Ishigaki Port terminal building. The high-rise Hotel East China Sea is under construction. 旧石垣離島桟橋。ホテルイーストチャイナシー建設中。11 views
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Back to the beach.10 views
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Glass bottom boat tour vendor.10 views
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Photo cutouts10 views
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Souvenir shops10 views
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Yaima Mura is a small architectural park of traditional Yaeyama homes overlooking Nagura Bay. Open 9:00 am–5:30 pm. Adult admission ¥1,000, kids ¥500. https://www.yaimamura.com/10 views
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Several traditional Yaeyama homes in a park-like setting with lush greenery. "Yaima" means Yaeyama in the local Yaeyama dialect.10 views
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Inside Makishi Residence. 旧牧志邸10 views
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They hold traditional music performances in Makishi Residence. 旧牧志邸10 views
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Sanshin in Makishi Residence. 旧牧志邸10 views
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Can-type sanshin in Makishi Residence. 旧牧志邸10 views
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Makishi Residence privacy wall. 旧牧志邸10 views
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Reconstruction of a 17th-century Amparu Lookout tower used to look out for shipwrecked ships from China, Japan, and Okinawa. They were many of these towers in Ryukyu.10 viewsThere's a spiral slope going around the tower to reach the top.
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Top of Amparu Lookout gives nice views of the lush greenery in the park.10 views
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Sakieda Peninsula in the distance as seen from Amparu Lookout.10 views
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About Amparu Lookout in Japanese. アンパル塔10 views
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Ryukyu matsu pine trees10 views
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Ryukyu matsu pine trees 琉球松10 views
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Ryukyu matsu pine trees10 views
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Fisherman's boat house.10 views
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Fisherman's home.10 views
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Fisherman's home.10 views
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Fisherman's home.10 views
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Fisherman's home, side view.10 views
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Uechi Residence (Farmer;s house)10 views
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Sugar cane processing factory.10 views
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Found only in Yaeyama, Ryukyu serpent eagle that was found injured and being treated here. They like to eat snakes. Called "Ayapani" (あやぱに) in Yaeyama. カンムリワシ保護ケージ10 views
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Squirrel Monkey Garden entrance. You need to leave your bags at the entrance. リスザルの森10 views
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Squirrel Monkey Garden リスザルの森10 views
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Yaima Mura Restaurant for tour groups.10 views
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Thick, wild forest and lots of exposed tree roots. The frequent typhoons wash/blow away the soil from the tree roots.10 views
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Sunrise hike up Mt. Yarabudake (屋良部岳) on Sakieda Peninsula in western Ishigaki. It starts near the summit from this small, easy-to-miss trail.10 views
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Lots of farmland next to the airport.10 views
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Aerial view of Ibaruma Coast, Ishigaki.10 views
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Aerial view of Ibaruma and Hirakubo, Ishigaki.10 views
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Approaching the old Ishigaki Airport terminal.10 views
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Old Ishigaki Airport terminal for JTA. Small building. The old airport first opened in 1943 for military use. It became a civilian airport in 1956.10 viewsThis passenger terminal building was built in 1961 and used mainly by JTA (Japan Transocean Air) and RAC (Ryukyu Air Commuter). ANA had its own adjacent terminal.
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At the old Ishigaki Airport, inside the JTA passenger waiting area at the boarding gate.10 views
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Walking on the tarmac to the JTA plane at Ishigaki Airport.10 views
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Inside JTA plane, flight attendants figuring out what to tell us.10 views
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Ground crew at the old Ishigaki Airport waving goodbye to us. I waved back.10 views
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Ishigaki Port boat dock. Anei Kanko (安栄観光) and Yaeyama Kanko Ferry (八重山観光フェリー) are the two main boat companies operating here.10 views
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Old Ishigaki Port for tourist boats. 旧石垣港。10 views
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Floating dock at the old Ishigaki Port. 離島桟橋10 views
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Nosokodake Lookout Point in northern Ishigaki. Under the roof is a side view of Mt. Nosokodake. 野底岳展望台9 views
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View of coral reefs from Nosokodake Lookout Point in northern Ishigaki. 9 views
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Lots of sugar cane in Yaeyama.9 views
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Stargazing at Nosokodake Lookout Point. Photo by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.9 views
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Stargazing at Nosokodake Lookout Point. Photo by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.9 views
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Stargazing near Nosokodake. Photo by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.9 views
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A few steep parts, but ropes help you up.9 views
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Typical mountain trail on Ishigaki. 9 views
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Top of Mt. Yarabudake. This rock is known as Troll's Tongue.9 views
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Our tour guide on Troll's Tongue playing his sanshin.9 views
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Looking toward Sakieda Bay and Kabira.9 views
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Beyond the mountain in the center is Kabira Bay.9 views
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Too cloudy for a nice sunrise, but the views were marvelous on Mt. Yarabudake.9 views
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Looking toward Taketomi island in the distance.9 views
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Sukuji Beach is 1 km long. It has showers and changing rooms for the public. It's also where the Ishigaki Seaside Hotel is located. 底地ビーチ9 views
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Descending toward Ishigaki Airport adjacent to farmland.9 views
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Ishigaki is the gateway to Okinawa Prefecture's Yaeyama Islands. Ishigaki Airport near central Ishigaki is how most visitors get to Yaeyama.9 viewsBird's eye view of central Ishigaki from a jet plane going to land at Ishigaki Airport.
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Landed on Ishigaki Airport's runway.9 views
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Ishigaki Airport's runway.9 views
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Bird's eye view of New Ishigaki Airport. Only one runway, 2,000 meters long, long enough for widebody jets. Terminal has four jet bridges.9 views(Photo from Wikipedia.)
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This new Ishigaki Airport opened in March 2013. Due to the Yaeyama islands becoming a popular tourist destination, there were calls to built a bigger airport since 1979.9 views
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It took years to decide where to build the new airport. One disturbing plan was to reclaim part of Shiraho coral reef. Fortunately, this plan was scratched.9 viewsIn 2000, the location was finally decided inland on the island's east side and more northerly from the old airport. Construction began in 2006 with a 2,000-meter runway. New Ishigaki Airport opened in March 2013. Airport terminal with the control tower on the right.
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Approaching the jet bridge.9 views
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View of Ishigaki Airport terminal from the jet bridge.9 views
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Our JTA plane that landed at Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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Baggage claim at Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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At Ishigaki Airport, a large welcome and warning sign after getting out of baggage claim in fall 2020. 9 viewsIt says to please wear masks, wash your hands, avoid crowds, etc., to protect local residents. We of course took all the necessary precautions.
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Ishigaki Airport Arrivals gate on the frist floor. Where local friends or tour guides can meet you after you arrive.9 views
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First floor of Ishigaki Airport terminal also has a restaurant and gift shops.9 views
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First floor of Ishigaki Airport terminal has a restaurant and gift shops.9 views
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First floor of Ishigaki Airport terminal has a restaurant and gift shops.9 views
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First floor of Ishigaki Airport terminal has a restaurant and gift shops.9 views
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First floor of Ishigaki Airport terminal has a restaurant and gift shops. Second floor is the departure gates.9 views
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Ishigaki Airport's nickname is "Painushima Ishigaki Airport" (南ぬ島 石垣空港) which means "Southern Island Ishigaki Airport." When it first opened, it was also commonly called "New Ishigaki Airport" to distinguis9 views
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Outside Ishigaki Airport terminal for ground transportation.9 views
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Car rentals across the road.9 views
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Giant clam decoration at Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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Some tropical plants at Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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The drive between the airport and central Ishigaki is largely rural with farmland and cattle.9 views
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Bales of grass for cattle feed.9 views
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Ishigaki Airport can be seen.9 views
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Ishigaki Airport's control tower.9 views
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Ishigaki Airport terminal lookout deck on the top floor.9 views
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Jet way9 views
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JTA plane9 views
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Another lookout deck at Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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ANA at Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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Another lookout deck, round, open-air structure.9 views
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Oceanside from Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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Ishigaki Airport control tower.9 views
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Lookout deck, round, open-air structure.9 views
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Ishigaki Airport 9 views
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JTA Boeing 737-800 plane at Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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Ishigaki Airport 9 views
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Our JTA Boeing 737-800 plane at Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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Passenger waiting area in front of the boarding gate. Very modern.9 views
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Boarding gate at Ishigaki Airport for our flight to Naha. We just scan the QR code on our smartphone screen.9 views
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Jet bridge9 views
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View of Ishigaki Airport from the jet bridge.9 views
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Jet bridge9 views
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RAC commuter plane.9 views
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View of Ishigaki Airport terminal from the jet bridge. The circular structure above the roof toward the control tower is a lookout deck.9 views
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Pushback at Ishigaki Airport on JTA Boeing 737-800 for Naha. Didn't see any ground crew waving goodbye to us.9 views
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RAC (Ryukyu Air Commuter) prop plane.9 views
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Leaving Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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Boeing 737 winglet waving goodbye to the control tower at Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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Ishigaki Airport control tower.9 views
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Runway traffic stop for an incoming plane.9 views
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Here it comes for a smooth landing.9 views
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ANA Boeing 787 landing at Ishigaki Airport, probably from Haneda, Tokyo. Thanks to the new airport's longer runway, such wide-body jets can land here.9 views
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Cleared for takeoff, Captain. Roger!9 views
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Up, up and away...9 views
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Flying over Shiraho, Ishigaki.9 views
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Coral reef along Ishigaki.9 views
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Looking at the Nosoko area of Ishigaki. Mt. Nosokodake can be seen. Bye-bye Ishigaki...9 views
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Aerial view of Nosoko, Ishigaki.9 views
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This is the old Ishigaki Airport before it closed in March 2013 and was replaced by the new and current airport slightly north of this old airport.9 views
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Old Ishigaki Airport terminal, Arrivals. No jet bridges. Jets (Boeing 737) started flying here only from 1979. 9 views
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Old Ishigaki Airport terminal for JTA, Arrivals. No jet bridges.9 views
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No jet bridge, but it wasn't a problem when it didn't rain.9 views
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I liked walking on the tarmac to the plane at Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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JTA plane's see-sa at Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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Runway at the old Ishigaki Airport. The slanty white building visible is the ANA hotel on the beach. That's how close the old airport was to town.9 views
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On Runway 04 at the old Ishigaki Airport. At 1,500 meters, it was too short for jets larger than a Boeing 737. So the new airport was built on a different location.9 views
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Taking off at the old Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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Taking off at the old Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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Taking off at the old Ishigaki Airport.9 views
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The center of this photo shows the site where the new airport was going to be built.9 views
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Shiraho9 views
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9 views
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Shiraho coral reefs on Ishigaki.9 views
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Statue of Gushiken Yoko at Ishigaki Port, former pro boxer and local hero from Ishigaki. He held the WBA light-flyweight title from 1976 to 1981.9 views
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Ishigaki Port boat dock.9 views
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