Our next-door neighbors, the Oohama family, operate Marine Mate Luana. They offer small group snorkel tours to various reefs and manta ray cleaning stations. We can assist with booking with them or any other activities available on Ishigaki or the outer islands like Iriomote.
There are many local operators offering all kinds of fun and unique experiences for visitors to this sub-tropical paradise. Examples include, but are not limited to: freediving courses, mountain trekking, birdwatching, pottery studios, glass-making, cooking classes, outer-island excursions.
You can go snorkeling on your own!
At Sunset Cove Hotel we have high quality snorkel equipment available for rent for those who want to check out the reefs around the island.
About 10 minutes to the South by car is Yonehara Beach. The coral
reefs here are very close to shore, shallow and full of beautiful fishes; good for kids, beginners and the experienced alike. There is ample parking, and a few local cafes and eateries in the area.
For the experienced kayak/snorkeler some of the best hard coral reefs on the island are located directly off the hotel premises. It's about 350m to the drop off, so it's either a long swim, or a paddle to get there. Our kayaks are available for guests to use for free. You can paddle out and pull the kayak around by rope as you peruse the aquatic wonderland and return at your leisure.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT SNORKELING IS FOR LOOKING, NOT TOUCHING! CORAL IS A LIVING THING, FRAGILE AND TAKES MANY YEARS TO REGROW IF BROKEN OR STEPPED ON. YONEHARA SNORKELING IS QUITE SHALLOW SO PEOPLE ARE TEMPTED TO STAND UP: MAKE SURE THAT WHAT YOU STAND ON IS NOT ALIVE! CORAL CAN APPEAR TO BE DEAD OR JUST A ROCK: ANYTHING WITH A PATTERN IS USUALLY CORAL. WE MUST ALL COOPERATE TO SAVE THIS PRECIOUS RESOURCE FOR FURTHER GENERATIONS TO ENJOY.
Diving is a big draw for visitors to the island. The local reefs are full of colourful corals and fishes. Ishigaki is famous for its resident manta rays. Various shops offer diving excursions to see them. For English speakers we recommend: Prime Scuba, Umicoza and Euro Divers. Umicoza and Eurodivers sometimes can offer free pick up and drop off at the hotel for guests who join their tours.
At Sunset Cove we have a few kayaks and stand-up paddle boards available for guests to use for free. As we don't have rescue capability, this activity is provided on an at-your-own-risk basis. The conditions are normally quite safe for those with even just a little experience. We ask that you always start your journey into the wind so that it is easier to return home.
Our neighbors at Marine Mate Luana also offer short, guided kayaking excursions in a nearby river or for sunset paddling.
Freediving/Blue Cave Tour/Snorkeling Tour
Andy and Haruko-san are true world explorers. With experience on 3 continents, in a variety of disciplines, they offer freediving, trekking, snorkeling and more... with an emphasis on client satisfaction. Ishigaki Sunset Cove Hotel is happy to introduce you to them and their tailor-made programmes for your holiday adventures. They offer guided tours in Japanese, English, German and Spanish.