Saturday, 11 January 2014

Okinawa Day 2: Iriomote Island

On the second day of our trip to Okinawa we went to Iriomote*, the jungle island. Up to 90% of the island is jungle and mangrove forests which can be viewed from cruises along the wide rivers. After arriving at Ohara port we collected our hire car and drove to Urauchi river, the biggest river in Okinawa. There are a variety of tours you can choose, from 2 hours of kayaking to 5 hours of trekking. We chose a tour which included one hour of cruising and two hours of trekking to Mariyudu and Kanbire waterfalls. I really enjoyed this trek, it was nice to get some exercise after the christmas slump...

When we stopped for a break at Kanbire waterfall the sun decided to make an appearance for us. It looked really lovely with the sun reflecting off the water. Then after a couple of minutes it hid back behind a cloud so we got up and made our way back to the boat.

After the cruise we made our way to the nearby Hoshizuna no Hama (star sand beach.) So called because the sand grains are shaped like tiny stars. However, the sand is actually the skeletons of small one-celled organisms that live among the sea grass.

We then drove along the coast looking for somewhere to have lunch but lots of places were closed because it was the New Years holiday. Luckily we found a local restaurant called Shinpachi Shokudo in a small village. It was more like being being invited into someones house, the waitresses were also sat down eating lunch and watching telly. The decor was really interesting, red and white gingham table clothes and cute blue velvet bar stools. I had yaki soba which was really good, the flavour was so different to the way it is cooked in kansai. Dad had goya champuru, goya is a popular vegetable in Okinawa.

After lunch we went to Oomija road park. I really liked this place because they had a viewpoint of a beach, a walkway through the mangroves and a path down to a small waterfall. Beach, mangroves and waterfall, the three main things on Iriomote island. Walking through the mangroves I was looking at the interesting roots, they looked like something from a Ghibli film.

The next thing we did was go to Yubu island, we only spent 30 minutes there but I took so many photos and it was a highlight of the trip so I think it deserves it`s own post.

Mariyudu waterfall

Kanbire waterfall

Kanbire waterfall

Urauchi river


Star sand beach

An interesting looking plant!

Yaki soba

Goya champuru

Oomija road park mangrove walk

Wierd mangrove roots

View from Oomija road park viewpoint

Oomija road park
*Japanese lesson #3: Iriomote-jima
西 iri- west
表 omote- front
島 jima- island


  1. Wow! What stunning natural beauty! xx

    1. It was really lovely :) the place we went to on the third day was even more stunning though!