Iriomote Island Waterfall Hunting

A panorama at Geita taki

We had originally planned a trip to Iriomote, Japans southern most island just 100km away from Taiwan last year but was canceled due to typhoons. This year however we managed to beat the typhoon (just in the nick of time as it would turn out) and fly out of Naha airport to Ishigaki island then jump on a FAST ferry to zip over to Iriomote island in about 45mins. Usually when ever I go out to the outer islands it always by a big slow ferry which is just fine with me. This one was bouncing over the waves and getting me and the kids seasick, not a fun start.

An Iromote Water Buffalo

Although we did check out some beaches and snorkel a bit at Hoshizuna beach (Star Sand Beach) which actually has tiny sand in the shape of stars, the main goal for photos was to catch some of the waterfalls this island is famous for. With no less then 10 waterfalls spread out around the jungles Iriomote is made up of mostly jungle forest and mountains with nice fresh water rivers weaving through the island which make for good kayak rides.

I noticed there virtually no marked trails to these waterfalls at all so your pretty much forced to pay for a tour guide to get you out to where you want to go. I opted for more remote waterfalls which I hoped would be something a bit different most people don't see and keep me away from any tour groups. Theres nothing worse then showing up at a nature spot you want to shoot and have hoards of people getting in the way making the shot almost impossible to get.

I was happy to see that we didn't run into any other people at all on my hikes in the jungle and my tour guide Takechan was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable on all the plants and creatures along the hike. The half day hike with the guide cost 6000yen with hotel pick up and drop off included.

Smaller falls on the hike up the river

Some cool tree roots in the jungle

With my guide Takechan at Geita Taki

I was planing to go scuba diving on the last day there but at the time there was a typhoon slowly making its way toward Okinawa closely followed by a 2nd possibly bigger one.
As I write now we have just had the first typhoon pass over Okinawa with wind gusts of 70+ knots and now there is another one due to hit us tomorrow. Hoping to get a chance to get out and shoot some wild weather and waves as my pre wedding location shoots have been canceled for the next few days.

Anyway here are a few other shots from Iriomote. Enjoy!
These cute little lizards were on almost every tree and vine in the jungle

A school of fish swimming around Hoshizuna beach

Having a closer look at one of these funny little guys

 Kura taki

There used to be a tree here but the strangler grew around it eventually killing it and leaving just the outer tree like a tunnel

Looking down from a precarious spot along the hike

A group of yellow butterflies hanging out. 

These are the remains of an old factory 1km hike into the jungle. Love how the tree has grown around the old pillars. Nature 1, Man made 0

Looking up at the Milky way from the front of our ryokan where we stayed. Beautiful clear night skies with minimal ambient light make it great for star viewing here. 

If your traveling to Iromote island and looking for good guides to show you to the best parts of the island then contact Takefumi or Karin at their email or visit their website ToyToy Discovery to book your adventure. 


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