Iriomote is a divers’ paradise, with the Manta Way between the island’s eastern coast and Kohama-jima being particularly famous for its shoals of manta rays; you’re most likely to see them between April and June. The youth hostels and all minshuku can put you in touch with the island’s several dive operations (for more on diving). Snorkelling is particularly good at Hoshizuna Beach (星砂の浜), around 4km northwest of Funaura, where you’ll also find a campsite, a decent restaurant and snorkelling gear for rent – all of which makes it popular. If you’re looking to escape the crowds, head to Funauki (船浮), reached by three ferries a day from Shirahama (白浜), at the far west end of the coastal road; the beach here, a short trek through the jungle, is one of the most beautiful in all of Japan.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Japan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Staying in a Japanese ryokan: a first-timer's guide

Staying in a Japanese ryokan: a first-timer's guide

It’s a cliché to say that Japan is a land of contrasts – but, in terms of accommodation, it really is. There are some weird and many wonderful places to s…

12 Jun 2017 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
Uncovering Tokyo’s nightlife: a neighbourhood guide

Uncovering Tokyo’s nightlife: a neighbourhood guide

Until recently, running a club in Japan was a risky business. The fueihō laws, created in 1948, put restrictions on any small venue where patrons had to “act…

09 Jun 2017 • Rebecca Hallett insert_drive_file Article
Video: a 1 minute guide to Japan

Video: a 1 minute guide to Japan

Japan has long captivated the imaginations of travellers around the globe, seeming to both baffle and beguile all who venture there. Between language barrier…

25 May 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month