Japan's Westernmost Island with a Distinct History and Vividly Preserved Culture
Yonaguni Island, located at the westernmost point of Japan, is an island where a unique culture and nature have taken root, a culture that is unlike other islands among the Yaeyama Islands. The island offers a program to experience Yonaguniori, a weaving technique using threads that have been dyed with plants, trees, and soil from the island, horseback riding on Yonaguni horses, which are native to Japan, a unique experiences only available on Yonaguni Island. The DiDi Yonaguni Community Center, where you can indulge in what the island has to offer as a whole, including its traditional performing arts and local cuisine, is a must visit place. There is also a well-equipped dive shop to take care of your underwater needs.
The Westernmost Island of Japan
Yonaguni Island is the westernmost island of Japan, with a distance of 111 kilometers to the neighboring country Taiwan, significantly closer than the Okinawa Main Island which is 509 kilometers away. Irizaki, the westmost part of the island, has a stone monument indicating that it is the westernmost place in Japan, and it is a popular tourist attraction to visit. This is the location to view the last sunset in Japan. The time spent watching the sun set quietly as it paints everything beyond the horizon in vivid red is a special moment that can only be experienced by those visiting the island.
- Left: Plaza at the Monument of the Westernmost Point / Right: Irizaki Lighthouse and Sunset
The sea surrounding Yonaguni is known for being one of the few places in the world to encounter hammerhead sharks. There is even a chance to see a group of over 100 hammerheads swimming, especially off the southern coast of Irizaki, the western end of the island, a place divers worldwide yearn to visit. The high probability of encountering hammerhead sharks comes during the winter season between November and April, but with other popular spots like the Underwater Ruins, Light Palace, and Double Arch, divers are visiting the island throughout the year.
- Photo: Ritohaku Data
A group of megaliths lying on the seabed of Yonaguni Island have a total length of approximately 100 meters, a width of approximately 60 meters, and a height of approximately 25 meters. How the mysterious topography of steps, stone pillars, and other structures that appear to be man made were formed remains under investigation. While there has been a map created with names assigned to each spot, there are supposedly other unknown features as well. Were they naturally formed or built by hand? On Yonaguni Island, you can enjoy this mysterious underwater landscape by going on a diving tour or taking a tour on an underwater sightseeing boat.
Access to Yonaguni Island
By air : Naha airport > Yonaguni airport (approx. 90 minutes)
Ishigaki airport > Yonaguni airport (approx. 30 minutes)
* Flights are applicable to change, so please contact the airline for more information.
By sea : Ishigaki Port / Fukuyama Kaiun Ferry Terminal > Kubura Port (Yonaguni island). Approx. 4 hours by ferry. Service operates on Tuesdays and Fridays.
General Information regarding Yonaguni Island
Size / Population: 28.91km² / Approx population of 1,500.