Iriomote Island Getaway


After our wonderfully cultural experiences on Taketomi, we took the ferry to neighboring Iriomote for some adventure-packed excursions. With the perfect combination of waterfalls, wildlife, breath-taking coastlines, mangroves, and hiking trails, sub-tropical Iriomote is a must-see on any trip to the Okinawan islands.

02-Iriomote HoneymoonSuite
Our adventure home base was the fantastic Hoshino Nirakani Iriomote Resort. With the warm sun enveloping the daybed in our suite and the views of the islet-filled ocean, we had a hard time deciding if we should soak in the luxury or get out and explore.

After we enjoyed our welcome drink on the balcony we made our way down to the concierge to ask about the numerous ways to explore Iriomote. We spun the virtual Price-Is-Right wheel and watched it fly past, “Waterfall Hike,” “Snorkel Trip,” “Wildlife Spotting Tour”….to finally land on “Kakak the Mangrove Forest”. Excellent! With our expert guide Hiro, we went to where the massive Nakara river meets the sea and folllowed it down its many mangrove and animal-rich channels.

On our way back we caught the sunset on the beach in front of the hotel (which is undoubtedly the best beach on the island). Sunsets are always more spectacular when there is something on the horizon to bring a little perspective and the Iriomote islets were just the ticket.

The next morning we got energized for our waterfall hike with a traditional Japanese breakfast on the beach. We loved trying the miso and tamago but also appreciated the western touches, like fresh squeezed orange juice and French-press coffee.

After breakfast we met up with our guide Hiro and headed for the waterfall trek. En route to the jungle he told us about the endangered Iriomote cats that can only be found on the island. Needless to say, our heads were on swivels for the entire drive and trek. If the cats look even half as cool as the one on this sign, it might be worth a return trip just to search one out!

The jungle hike was a lovely 45-minute jaunt through the lush environs with the sounds of the birds and the babbling brook through the trees. We arrived to these gorgeous falls and we relaxed here with a pot of coffes and pastries, compliments of our ever-prepared guide.

We returned to Hoshino Nirakani and realized we needed to go no further. Between the pool, private beach, seculded coves, and sweeping cliffs this is all we could ever need.

Much love from Iriomote Island,
Mike & Anne

Note: Hoshino Nirakani Iriomote Resort invited us to be their guests; however, all opinions are our own.

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