Iriomote Island

Iriomote Island, Iriomote-jima: Address, Phone Number, Iriomote Island Reviews: 4.5/5

Iriomote Island
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Iriomote Island
Popular mentions

494 reviews
Very good

London, UK3,494 contributions
Dream has come true
Jul 2020 • Family
Iriomote island was one of destinations where I was always dreaming to visit.

The nature was unspoiled and local people were very relaxed without worrying so much even under the corona pandemic situation.

Ocean was super clear with full of life at corals. We even witnessed sea turtles swim around!

We were only unfortunate that the nights were too bright with full moon. I was hoeing to see full of starts while staying there.

The best way to explore the island is joining an organised tour.
Written 8 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jack Courtney
Severn, MD201 contributions
Want to experience the real, native Okinawa?
Jan 2019
If you are adventurous and want to really explore a beautiful place that is remote and yet a place with so many tings to do, then you really must visit Iriomote. I was there on an cultural anthropology visit with about 12 other people that was being lead by Dr. Barbara Golden. When our boat landed, the first thing I thought of was the island in the original King Kong movie, it was so remote, pristine and it was a real South Pacific / South China Sea island. We were met by a bus with several Catholic nuns in it and were taken to the other side of the island where they has several places for us to stay (boys place and the other was the girls place). We watche them make paper out of a native plant that when soaked in water for a few days in the hot sun kind of boiled the plant. Then 3 days in the sun and it was a very fiberous plant with long fibers that could be woven and beat into a very expensive paper. We also went to the beach to look for the smallest seashells in the world, we found about 10 pounds of them! Then we had several field briefings on the native plants, some were considered as extinct over 2.5 million years ago, they are a cross between a fern and a Ginko Biloba tree. they also have a cat on the island called the "Yama necko" or mountain cat. Every night we were free to walk around and visit before we had our traditional Iriomote evening meal. Iriomote is by far the one of the most beautiful and interesting Ryukyuan islands. The island north of Iriomote each have unique adventures that will await you, from an ox cart ride to seeing a "Turtle Back" Ocean floor. If you want to explore and have a very memorable time, visit this part of Japan, and please go to Iriomote as your dessert!
Written 16 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Yulia Str
Ishigaki, Japan34 contributions
Iriomote island is very beautiful
Oct 2019 • Friends
Iriomote island is a very beautiful place to visit with a lot of beaches, waterfalls, mountains. Reccommend to anyone who likes activities like trekking, kayaking etc.
Written 30 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hong Kong, China1,675 contributions
Beautiful and full if nature, still untouched !
Jul 2019 • Family
Iriomote island is one of the biggest island in Okinawa prefecture and being far off is scarcely populated. Most of tourists who manage to come here arrive for day trips. We stayed here for 3 days and loved every bit of it. Though you need a car as public transport bus really sucks and runs evry 4 hours which is a nightmare ! But island is beautiful and untouched by tourists yet, loved to visit the beaches where there were no people, would love to visit here again n again though will surely rent a car which is pretty easy if you Hve international license.
Written 4 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Copenhagen607 contributions
Beautiful island 🏝
Aug 2019 • Family
We spent 4 weeks in Japan, of which 1 in the Ryokan Islands, so I have not seen everything. But from what I’ve seen, Iriomote is by far the most beautiful and interesting Ryokan island. If you want to visit this (very outlying) part of Japan, then please go to Iriomote!
Written 10 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sydney, Australia7 contributions
For snorkelling Blue Zest is the Best!
Apr 2019 • Couples
We loved the snorkelling so much with Blue Zest we went twice!
We went on the afternoon trip to Balasu Island a phantom island that only appears at low tide and disappears again at high tide. Two days later we rebooked but on a morning snorkelling trip. We were expecting the same trip but a instead went on a totally different trip first to the outer reef and then to an inner reef. It was just as amazing.
We saw turtles, sea snakes, eels, many fish and great coral. Some times it was shallow and other times swimming over deep cliffs of coral. We were really blown away by what we saw on the two trips. It was the highlight after being mildly disappointed by the beach snorkelling and only seeing extensive coral bleaching. and plastic bottles.
Blue Zest staff were really nice and experienced. Really encouraging for those swimmers who were anxious. We asked at about 6 different places and they were the cheapest by far at 4500¥. They provide snorkel, marine shoes, flippers, mask, rashie, wet suit and safety vest inclusive in price.
They are a little hard to find but close. If you are at Uehara port with the ocean to your back then on the left side of the car park you’ll see a little yellow flag and two cat sculptures made of fishing nets and floats for heads. That is the entrance. It sometimes looks closed but if you look generally someone is there. Save yourself a lot af money and time and have a great trip!
The lovely owner says he doesn’t speak English but we didn’t have trouble with communication.
Written 26 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Khalid S
25 contributions
Rough and beautiful
Mar 2019 • Family
Very unexpected for Japan. It was awesome. Rent a car, check out the river cruise and waterfall hikes. I didn't go underwater because it's winter/Spring, but it looked good.

My only complaint was the plastic waste on some of the beaches. Out of control and needs government intervention. Most of the waste was from China and Vietnam, but it should send a strong message to Japan too. Hopefully it becomes a poster child for the Japanese to ween off of the rampant disposable plastic culture.
Written 25 March 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anaheim, CA23 contributions
Japanese jungles
Oct 2018 • Couples
The island is thankfully a protected area. At least most of it. There are still several villages where fishing and farming is done but good portion of local population is involved in tourism business. Though, again thankfully, the tourist facilities are limited. Main problem here is a pollution. Most beaches, particularly those facing the East, are horribly covered with all kind of garbage - plastic and glass bottles, pieces of plastic or wooden boards, boxes, etc. Locals say its brought by typhoons and tides from China. Maybe. But is it a reason enough to live on piles of garbage? I saw also several times bottles left near picnic areas or on parapets, as well. Those aint typhoons. Whatever it is, would not it be something that may need a little cleaning? Frankly, Japan proper looked squeaking clean after Okinawa. Same typhoons hitting it. Looks its just people there clean it up. Maybe thats the point - most Okinawan don't want to be considered Japanese. Is it a sort of statement, to live on piles of garbage in contrast to clean conscious Japanese? :-).
But anyhow, otherwise the island is beautiful, mostly covered with tropical jungle, both south and north parts, though North seems less populated and a little more lush. There is not much information about treks, camping, etc. Most of available info relates to the organized tours which some people (like me) avoid like a plague it is. In at least one case one might take a tour trip to get to the beginning of the jungle trek. Its an Urauchi river cruise. 30 mins cruise with bunch of tourists exploring a wild and dangerous tropical waters (:-)) will bring you to the path that after ~40 mins walk through the forest ends at the waterfall. Though honestly this one is on the border of being just a river rapids. Still nice and from here the trek starts deeper into jungle and eventually cross the island after ~20km. Crossing is only allowed after registering in the police for the trip, but if its not intention you still can go another 2-2.5 hours further up to the next one really nice waterfall and then come back. Nobody is there, the trek is winding through the jungle, mostly on the left bank of the river (looking upstream). Need to be in good fitness and have good hiking preferably waterproof boots and some hiking experience - need to be careful not to injure yourself walking along the path and crossing mud pools and some streams. Getting on 9:30am boat will allow to reach these waterfalls and come back to the last 4pm boat. There are some other treks most of which are not indicated, just need to know where they are and even in Japanese this info is limited. I guess locals prefer it that way - on one hand less people turn jungles into playing ground and on the other hand get the guide and be a proper tourist supporting local economy if you decide to come here :-). Beaches is one of the reason to come here and they are excellent (that is if subtract the garbage). While Iriomote itself is not entirely coral grown (it separated from China eons ago) there are boats to several nearby coral based islands that have that special coral sand beaches that people tend to love so much. All in all it is beautiful island, not crowded, leisurely paced, with great opportunities to experience nature and sufficient (if somewhat sparse) sources of accommodation, food and good eating places. Saying that, there are similarities with Hawaii, which is not that wild anymore and more crowded but have easier access to trails and wider assortments of accommodation, with certainly cleaner beaches. So I dont see much reason for regular tourist from anywhere except Japan itself to travel here instead of going to Hawaii or Tahiti. The latter in my view would be better options. However, for those considering solitude more important than some creature comfort, feeling that talking loudly in the jungle about food consumed at the late breakfast or children howling is a sacrilege, or simply wishing to see something different the Iriomote is a great destination, worth visiting twice (with second time knowing where to go and where those hidden places and trails are located).
Written 25 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

San Diego, CA7 contributions
A Pristine Island! Must see if you like to get off the beaten path
Jul 2018 • Family
Iriomote Island is beautiful! It is relaxed, low key, non commercial and has the nicest people. I worked there 40 years ago as a cook in a Minshuku during college when much of the road was dirt. Now, there is still only 1 main road that only goes partway around the island, and even though the roads have been improved, Iriomote still manages to exude a village and rural atmosphere that make it a great place to unwind. There may be luxurious accommodations, but I want to feel more like I live in a place than just visiting so we stayed at a lovely inn right on Hoshinosuna Beach. Local flavor abounds and the small restaurants are authentic and quaint. Loved the atmosphere, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking and scuba diving.
Written 28 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Shanghai, China13 contributions
Calm island life
Aug 2017 • Couples
My in-laws live here. It’s a quiet island with not many people and very few foreigners and tourists. The beaches are clean and weather is nice (outside of typhoon season). There are campgrounds, rivers, waterfalls, fishing, and Yubu Island (tourist attraction with the water buffalo carriages).
The biggest thing for travelers would be a lack of restaurants and I believe there is only one hotel.
My husband grew up here. If you want more hustle and bustle or eating options you have to take the 30 minute- 1 hour ferry boat to ishigaki from taketomi.

I can’t wait to raise my family and retire here.
Written 17 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 43
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing