Je ne sais quoi (How cool is it?)
There are many good reasons to visit Japan, including beach resorts. Well known for a great night life, historical attractions, splendid natural and tourist sites provide a wealth of options to suit any taste. Featuring the best beach resorts in Japan, Kabira beach on Ishigaki Island, located in the Okinawa prefecture, is said to hold some of the best and most interesting. This beautiful place is one of the nine islands attributed to Okinawa, and a substantial sector of the Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park (Ishigakijima). It is one of the biggest, (and definitely the most touristically important), islands in the Yaeyama island cluster. On the northwest side of it we will find the beach town of Kabira, and Kabira Bay.
The exquisite visual impact upon arrival is something not easily forgotten. White sands and emerald-green water, the clearest in the world, will greet and amaze visitors to this tropical beach spot. So will the corals, with their attendant schools of tropical fish. These can be seen by just standing along the edge of the water. The abundant quantity and variety of underwater flora and fauna will make you want to jump in and start having fun right away. But beware, this is not a swimming beach. There are fast and dangerous undercurrents, and swimming is clearly prohibited. However, guided snorkeling is very much permitted and promoted. It’s a great option to enjoy while staying at one of the beach resorts in Japan. There are gently swaying glass-bottomed boats that provide a full, dry view of the underwater wonders of Kabira Bay’s shallow waters. Visitors can also enjoy full day excursions to the 9 uninhabited islands in the bay, to snorkel, trek or kayak.
Ishigaki Island, also known as Ishigakijima, is a unique place, primarily due to its history. Socially, historically and culturally influenced by both China and Japan. It is located 300 kms north of Taiwan and also an official part of Japan since 1972. The inhabitants show a mixed and rich culture that sprouts from both origins. Kabira is one of the few places in the world where black pearls are cultivated, (and have been for a very long time).
The first settlers, around the tenth century, started its official history in 1309. By 1650 there were 209 people, and it has grown ever since, reaching today’s population of 139,279. The capital was founded in 1908 as Yaeyama village, beginning as an mixture of the Miyara, Ishigaki and Ohama magiri (towns). It gained official city status by 1947.
In general, Ishigaki Island has great weather. The tropical rainforest climate pleases visitors with very long summers and very short and mild winters. The rainy season (May) lasts for only two to four weeks. The Kabira beaches hold opening ceremonies in mid-March, although they can be enjoyed at anytime, as the weather starts to warm up gradually. Evenings are sometimes cold, so it is useful to have a jacket or a sweater handy. The best weather happens between June and October, but beware of typhoon season from September to October, which can occasionally make things difficult.