Iriomote’s untouched jungle wilderness
Iriomote Island is a remote and exotic destination located in the southernmost part of japan. Known for its pristine natural beauty and untouched jungle wilderness, it offers a unique and adventurous experience for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. One of the must-visit attractions on the island is the Pinaisara Falls, which can be explored through a guided kayaking and trekking tour.
Pinaisara Falls is the highest waterfall in Okinawa and is situated in the northern part of Iriomote Island. It is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a breathtaking view of the island. The falls get their name from the Okinawan term “Pinaisara,” which means “old man’s beard.” This is because the cascading water resembles a long, whitened beard, adding to the mystical and enchanting atmosphere of the place.
To reach Pinaisara Falls, visitors can participate in a guided kayaking and trekking tour. The tour usually starts around 9 a.m., so it is recommended to arrive on the island early if you are not staying there. High-speed ferries run between Ishigaki and Uehara Port on Iriomote Island every 1-2 hours, with the journey taking about 40-50 minutes. If you are doing a day trip, it is advised to take the 7:40 a.m. ferry to ensure you arrive on time for the tour.
The kayaking portion of the tour takes place on the Mare and Hinai rivers, which are surrounded by unspoiled mangrove forests. As you paddle through the calm waters, you will be immersed in the serenity of nature and get a chance to observe the diverse flora and fauna of the area. The knowledgeable guides will provide information about the ecosystem and point out interesting sights along the way.
After kayaking through the mangrove forests, you will reach the Pinaisara Falls. The sight of the cascading water surrounded by the lush greenery is truly mesmerizing. You can take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the falls and enjoy the panoramic view of the island and the surrounding islands of Hatoma, Barasu, and Hatobanare.
While at the falls, your guide will prepare a delicious lunch for you. You can savor your meal while taking in the breathtaking scenery and the soothing sound of the waterfalls. Afterward, you can take a refreshing swim in the falls’ water basin or simply relax and soak in the natural surroundings.
The trekking portion of the tour takes you deeper into the jungle, where you can explore the unexplored parts of Iriomote Island. The island is known for its dense jungle, with approximately nine-tenths of its land covered in thick vegetation. It is a paradise for nature lovers and offers countless opportunities for adventure and exploration.
During the trek, you will have the chance to encounter unique plant and animal species that are native to Iriomote Island. The untouched wilderness provides a habitat for various wildlife, including the Iriomote cat, a critically endangered species found only on the island. The guides will share their knowledge about the local ecosystem and provide insights into the island’s rich biodiversity.
The full-day tour costs 11,000 yen for adults and 10,000 yen for children. The price includes the guided kayaking and trekking experience, as well as the necessary waterproof gear rental. Lunch is also included, ensuring that you have a fulfilling and enjoyable day exploring the wonders of Iriomote Island.
It is recommended to book the tour in advance, especially during peak seasons, as availability may be limited. Various tour operators offer guided tours to Pinaisara Falls, so it is advisable to check online and choose the one that suits your preferences and schedule. Some tour operators also provide pick-up services from your accommodation on Iriomote Island, making it convenient for those staying overnight.
When preparing for the tour, it is important to dress appropriately for outdoor activities. It is recommended to wear comfortable and lightweight clothing that can dry quickly, as you may get wet during the kayaking portion of the tour. Jeans are not recommended, as they can be uncomfortable and restricting when wet. Sunscreen and headwear are strongly recommended to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
Visitors with children should check with the tour operator regarding age restrictions and suitability for young participants. Generally, children aged six and above can join the tour, but it is best to confirm with the tour operator beforehand.
It is worth noting that the information provided in this article may be subject to change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential to stay updated with the latest travel advisories and guidelines issued by the relevant authorities.
In conclusion, a visit to Pinaisara Falls on Iriomote Island is an extraordinary experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of nature. The guided kayaking and trekking tour offers a unique perspective of the island’s pristine mangrove forests and the highest waterfall in Okinawa. It is an adventure that combines outdoor activities, breathtaking scenery, and a chance to explore the unexplored parts of Iriomote’s jungle wilderness. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a memorable experience, Pinaisara Falls on Iriomote Island is a destination that should not be missed.
Address And Maps Location:
Uehara, Taketomi-cho, Yaeyama-gun, Okinawa-ken