Ishigaki is a beautiful Japanese island in the Pacific Ocean. Some people call it the Maldives of Japan. Its location is closer to Taiwan than Japan mainland. It only takes 45-minute flight from Taipei but travelling from Fukuoka takes 120-minutes.
Ishigaki island is beautiful day and night. During daytime, you enjoy the sunshine and water activities. The beaches are pristine. The whole island is surrounded by coral reefs. The coral reefs form a barrier protecting the island from the rough sea. You can do snorkelling and diving in the coral reefs around the beaches. There are up to 5 miles of coral reefs from shore before the deep blue sea.
Maesato Beach is a beautiful beach within the Intercontinental Resort complex. Although it is inside the resort, the beach is actually a public beach that anyone can use freely. Life guards are stationed during the swimming season in summer. Beside swimming, snorkelling and diving in the coral reefs are allowed. You can bring your own gears or rent the gears at the rental store on the beach. The rental store is managed by the resort. Like other beaches on the island, it is protected by coral reefs and the water is quiet. Fish and small crabs are abundant. The beach is maintained by the hotel staffs and is very clean.
At night with a clear sky, the sky is magnificent. With luck, you may see the milky way with thousands of stars.
The local food is excellent too. Although the island and its population is small, the food quality and variety is really amazing.
Ishigaki is not a shopping paradise. It is a small town. You can find interesting souvenirs and local produces in the small CBD. Ishigaki is an ideal place for a weekend hideaway from the busy city life.