An For a safe and enjoyable stay in the Yaeyama Islands.
Safety Guide for visitors to the Yaeyama Islands.
- There are many Utaki (sanctuaries) on the island
As these are sacred places, please do not enter them without permission
- Please follow local rules when participating in local events and festivals. Please also understand that there are secret festivals in which people from outside the village cannot participate
- In order to protect the nature, please do not take or bring animals or plants. Also, please do not drive on forest roads, mountain paths, or sandy beaches
- Please do not walk in swimsuits in areas other than the beach
- Make sure take your garbage with you and leave no traces behind
When playing on the beach
- Wear a life jacket or wet suit
- Do not swim by yourself. Instead, make sure to dive with a buddy
- It is dangerous to rely on being self-taught. Make sure to learn the proper way from an expert before snorkeling
- Do not swim if you are drunk or feeling unwell
- Check the area where you intend to play in advance; ensure it is safe by asking local people as to the tides and as far as possible, swim in areas with a lifeguard present
Beware of Dangerous sea creatures
This jellyfish appears from May to October.
It can be found in water as shallow as about 20 inches . Its sting is very painful and can cause shock.
Diameter about 12 inches with about 10 to 17 arms bearing poisonous spines.During the daytime they hide under table corals and ledges, so to avoid stings, be careful where you put your hands.
Conus geographus is a species of predatory cone snail. It lives in reefs and hunts small fish. Although all cone snails hunt and kill prey using venom, the venom of this species is potent enough to kill humans.
In addition to being the color and shape stones and rocks, stone fish stay motionless and therefore, stings often occur when they are carelessly stepped on. They also hide in the rubble and sand in shallow water, so extra caution in necessary to avoid them.
Dorsal,ventral and anal fins all contain venom.Like many poisonous creatures,they move extremely slowly,and even when chased hardly try to escape.
It is a carnivorous animal preying mainly on small fish (either juvenile or small-size adults), as well as on crustaceans and other small plankton species.
Its sting has a strong venom with neurotic and even cardio toxic effects to humans, thus it can cause severe pain, burning, and in some cases systemic reactions. The pain normally subsides in about an hour and the red, whip-like welts on the skin in 2 to 3 days.
Spines break extremely easily,and stings are extremely painful. When broken spines are stuck in your body,have them attended to at a hospital.
When playing in the woods
Please do not go into the woods by yourself, as there is a possibility that no one will know if you have an accident
To prevent heatstroke. Drink water frequently
Don’t touch or collect creatures
Wear a hat and gloves, and cover your skin with cloth
- Iriomote island is 90% covered by jungle, and untouched nature remains
Some areas are part of the nationally designated National Park
You are required to submit a hiking registration to the forest office （Ohara, Sonai）and the Representative office (Ohara, Uehara, Shirahama) if you stay for a long period. Refer to the contact section for more details.
・What to do during a typhoon ?
The typhoons in Okinawa can be very strong, and the during the storm can blow down telephone poles. It is dangerous to be outside because you may be struck, go back to your hotel before the storm and don’t go out if a storm warning has been issued. Please don’t take risks like going to the beach to watch a typhoon.
・Ferry & Air flight
Regular services to remote islands are cancelled when a typhoon is approaching.Ferries back to Ishigaki may also be cancelled for a few days. Please consider changing your schedule and taking an earlier ferry if you do not have plenty of time.