A Journey of Savory Discoveries in Ishigaki Island of Ishigaki City (Ishigaki-shi), Yaeyama Islands – Ishigaki Cooking, Fishing, Farming & Star Observation Experience

The crops that grow while taking in the powerful rays of the sun and the fish and seashells that grew up in the vast ocean line up on the dinner table in Ishigaki Island. The ingredients of the island cooking which can all be collected locally, is the secret to the healthy and good life on Ishigaki Island.

The challenge in such an island, Ishigaki, is the “Slow Food Program”, a program in which you can leam about the healthy food of the island by actually trying to farm, fish, and cook on the island. Go out on a fishing boat with a local fisherman a try to catch some fish, or enjoy harvesting Goya in a Goya field with some local farmers while working up a sweat. Then, with the fresh ingredients, you can be taught how to make numerous Okinawan dishes which are known as “Chojyu Shoku”, food that is known as the secret to longevity. Complete your journey by looking up at the stars of the beautifully clear evening skies, to make this an unforgettable experience.

The Cooking Experience

Learn how to cook authentic Okinawan food from the local people using such vegetables as Fuchiba (Mugwort), Green Papaya, Shima Rakkyou (Island Shallot) and ingredients that you can get from the ocean such as Aosa and Mozuku. You can learn how to make such dishes as “Fuchiba Soba”, “Yushi Dofu” and “Sataandagi”, dishes that may be great for when guests come to visit.

The Fishing Experience

In Ishigaki where fishing thrives, there are currently about seventy “Sabani” fishing boats out at sea. Get on a Sabani boat that real fisherman steer and try to catch some fish. Sometimes you can catch Moray or Swellfish, fish that you may not ordinarily see at your supermarket. In addition you can experience dynamic fishing such as Payao and Tuna fishing.

The Farming and Cooking Experience

At places such as Kabira, in Ishigaki City and Taketomi Town, on Iriomote Island, you can experience harvesting sugar cane all year round. From December through April, enjoy making brown sugar using traditional Japanese firewood stoves. At Kabira’ s sightseeing sugarcane plantation, experience making mochi (rice cakes) with akaimo (Okinawan purple sweet potato)— enjoying the sweet fragrance as if s steamed with getto (Japanese shell ginger) leaves.

The Star Observation Experience

In addition to the fact that Yaeyama, which is in Japan’s southern-most point, has more constellations visible here than any other region of Japan, it is also possible to view some of the most beautifully clear evening skies without any effects of the westerly winds. If you tell us the location and time that you prefer in advance, we can plan out a star observation program with super-sensitive cameras and telescopes that fit your requests.

      • Harvesting/tasting Island vegetables
      • Harvesting/tasting pineapples
      • Making one or a pair shisa(Okinawan lion statues)
      • Making miso Nanto/abura-miso
      • Cooking island vegetables;Bittermelon, sponge cucumber, white gourd, Okinawan spinach, winged beans, bitter greens, and otaniwatari (asplenium antiquum).
      • Making Okinawan sweet potato dumplings
      • Tropical flower arrangement
      • Making herb tea (including a herb cultivation course)
      • Harvesting/ cooking Okinawan shallots
      • Extracting sugar cane juice
      • Making sugar cane honey
      • Making brown sugar (sugar cane harvest)
      • Making mochi (rice cakes) with Okinawan sweet potato
      • Making brown sugar/herb soap

      Note: All experiences include Yaeyama soba making

      • Harvesting Ginger, Heliconia and various other tropical flowers
      • Harvesting sugar cane (includes tea and cake refreshments)
      • Tools are available at the farm.
      • Raingear and rubber boots may be borrowed.
      • Ishigaki umnichu experience by Sabani (Okinawan traditional fishing boat) Snorkeling, fishing with baskets, etc.
      • Fishing & Snorkeling
      • Fishing (Full day or half day) Turban/ giant clam hunting
      • Payao (reef fishing) course (Full day or half day)
      • Gurukun (Caesio Diagramma) fishing course (Full day)
      • Fishing and snorkeling(Full day)
      • Family sea bathing
      • Family offshore fishing
      • Payao (reef fishing) course(Full day or half day)
      • Bait fishing course(Full day or half day)
      • Jigging course(Full day or half day)
      • Troll fishing course(Full day or half day)
      • Fishing (One person per day or one person per half day)

      Weather and season dependent: please inquire beforehand for opening times.

    • Reception: Yaeyama Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Promotion Center Agricultural Development and Extension Division Address: 438-1 Maezato, Ishigaki City (Ishigaki-shi), Okinawa Prefecture 907-0002, Japan Tel: 0980-82-3497 Fax: 0980-82-4142 Hours: 9:00-I6:00

      Closed: Sat, Sun & National Holidays

    • Reception: Yaeyama Fishing Co-op Tourism Fishing Dept. Address: 83 Shineicho, Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture 907-0014, Japan Tel: 0980-82-3268 [Marketing Division of Fisheries Cooperative, Yaeyama] 0980-82-9863, 0980-82-1930 [Yaeyama Fishing Co-op Tourism Fishing Dept.] 0980-82-2448 [Honjo fishery cooperative Yaeyama] 0980-82-0899 [Yaeyama Branch Fisheries Cooperative] Hours: 8:30~ 17:30

      Closed: Sat. Sun. & National Holidays