Yonaguni Island is Japan's most westerly point located 68 miles (110 kilometers) off the east coast of Taiwan. Characterized by a rugged, dramatic coastline of towering cliffs, the island is just 2.5 by 6 miles (4 by 10 km).
Yonaguni is a rural island untouched by the throngs of modern civilization. With it’s small population it is traditional for the residents to allow the cool ocean breeze to flow through their houses by sliding the wooden doors wide open or removing them completely. The locals are warm and welcoming, and for visitors it's a real treat to experience Japan's island culture on such an intimate level.
Touring Yonaguni is quite easy with plenty to see. Drive or cycle the scenic coastline, hike the most westerly tip of Japan and visit the three sake factories that make the local awamori alcohol. Yonaguni's 60-degree brand is the strongest in the world! Activities include scuba diving, glass bottom boat tours, deep-sea fishing, hiking and cycling.
Yonaguni is also home to indigenous ponies that roam freely. Little is known about the origins of the small horses but it is believed that they were introduced from the southern islands about 2000 years ago. Their gene characteristics share similarities with the breed Cheju, found in Korea. Originally used as working horses, today, they are a cultural asset celebrated by locals and visitors, especially in April when you can see the new foals.
Two dive packages to Yonaguni are available.The Yonaguni Dive Tour is an all-inclusive 9-day, 7-night package that visits Yonaguni with an overnight stay in Okinawa. The Yonaguni Monuments Expedition is also all-inclusive and visits three different islands over 11 days. Explore Okinawa Island's bustling capital city, Naha. Dive and kayak around the Kerama Islands chain and delve in to the mystery of Japan's ancient underwater ‘lost city', the Yonaguni Stone Monuments. By visiting these islands you'll experience first-hand three separate and distinct cultures within Southern Japan.
Leave country of origin, cross the International Date Line and arrive in Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya on day two. Clear customs and board the connecting flight to Naha, Okinawa’s capital. Stay for one night in the heart of the city center. Catch some great nightlife and experience the Okinawan culture.
On day three fly to Yonaguni. Select either Japanese or western style accommodations from a number of hotels located in Sonai, the island’s main village.
In the afternoon enjoy your first couple of dives at the awesome Yonaguni Stone Monuments.
On days 4 through 8 delve deep in to the mysterious of the Yonaguni Monuments. Also enjoy diving Ishibutai, a 30 ft. (10 m) high stonewall with a face carved into it. The face has been aptly named after Jacques Mayol who visited Yonaguni Island for free diving at the ruins. A plaque has also been placed at the site in his honor.
Aside from the spectacular underwater ruins Yonaguni boasts world-class drift diving with 150 ft. (50 m) visibility. Schools of fish and large pelagic such as tuna and hammerheads can be seen milling around Dana Drop. Other sites feature dynamic drop-offs with winding caves and tunnels that provide for a roller-coaster ride amidst schooling tropical reef fish.
During the afternoon of day 8, there will be time to tour Yonaguni Island.
On day 9 fly home or continue on one of our optional tours to Kyoto or Tokyo. Bilingual dive guides available.
Yonaguni Monuments Expedition
Days 1 & 2: Leave country of origin, cross the International Date
Line and arrive in Tokyo or Osaka on day two. Clear customs and board
the connecting domestic flight to Naha, Okinawa’s capital. Stay for one
night at a luxury hotel located in the heart of the city center, catch
some great nightlife and experience the Okinawan culture.
Day 3: A 45-minute boat ride brings you to lush green, subtropical
Zamami Island. Upon arrival you’ll be taken to the dive resort. After
lunch, enjoy the first few boat dives and then settle in for a three-night
stay. Accommodations are quaint, comfortable and moments away from white
Day 4: Three more boat dives. Other sports such as fishing, kayaking,
windsurfing and hiking are also available.
Day 5: Gear up for two more boat dives after breakfast and then spend
the day touring around the island. The locals are very friendly and the
village is small enough to navigate easily. Weather permitting your hosts
will throw a farewell BBQ at sunset before departing the following day.
Day 6: Snap off some final shots of the Kerama Islands and board the
Queen Zamami. After lunch in Naha, fly to Yonaguni Island where you’ll
be taken to the hotel. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch & dinner at
the hotel, which offers some of the best food on the island.
Day 7: Dive The Yonaguni Stone Monuments, Iseki Point, The Stage, The
Stadium and more.
Day 8: Continue with exploratory dives at Yonaguni’s lost city. Dive
with schooling hammerheads at Hammer Point or the surrounding coral encrusted
caves and caverns. Other sports such as sailing, deep sea fishing and
kayaking are also available. A sunset cruise is the perfect way to end
Day 9: Enjoy two more dives and spend the afternoon seeing Yonaguni’s
topside. Visit the local awamori (Okinawan whiskey) factories and sample
the local liquor, if you haven’t already. Stand at Japan’s most westerly
tip and see Yonaguni san, one of the world’s largest moths. Cruise the
scenic coastline and take a tour of Sonai village.
Day 10: After flying back to Naha check into a luxury hotel located
in the city center. Explore Okinawa and be transported back in time visiting
ancient castles. Visit Naha’s main shopping district and indulge in the
local cuisine. Please visit the Okinawa Island web page for more information
on Okinawa’s highlights.
Day 11: Return to point of origin or continue on one of our optional
tours to either Tokyo or Kyoto
MAY HIGHLIGHTS: Experience one of Tokyo’s largest, most exciting festivals,
the Sanja Festival. The streets are closed and hundreds of portable shrines
are paraded through the town carried on the shoulders of locals in ceremonial
garb. The sumo tournament is also held in May.
OCTOBER HIGHLIGHTS: Take part in Okinawa’s biggest festival, the Tug
O’ War – a day when the capital city Naha, closes for a huge party. Watch
thousands of locals challenge each other in a contest of strength using
a forty-ton rope! Also snorkel and dive with huge pacific manta rays
making their seasonal visit.
These sample itineraries are also available to download: