Yonaguni Airport is a third-class public airport serving the town of Yonaguni in the Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture, of Japan. It resides at an elevation of 49 ft (15 m) above mean sea level, with an asphalt runway designated 08/26. Opened in 1943, the airport was initially created for military use, but in 1957 it was converted into a civilian airport. Yonaguni Airport began operating international service in 2007 with charter flights to and from Taipei, Taiwan handled by Uni Air, and to Hualien, Taiwan handled by Transasia Airways.
The town of Yonaguni is situated entirely on Yonaguni Island, and is the westernmost municipality in Japan. It is known for billfish fishing and scuba diving.
Where to go
Yonaguni Monument - The Yonaguni Monument is an underwater rock formation discovered in 1986 by local divers. What caught the eye of the divers are its staircase-like terraces with flat sides and sharp corners. It is also known as the Yonaguni (Island) Submarine Ruins, and there is debate whether the monument is completely natural or man-made. Regardless, the Yonaguni Monument is a popular diving spot despite strong currents. The dive is not suitable for beginners, but several diving shops offer one-day crash courses in diving for guided tours of the ruins.
Yonaguni Horse - The Yonaguni Uma is a small horse breed that is native to Yonaguni Island. Its typical height is only 44 inches, or 112 cm. The Yonaguni Uma is very rare, with fewer than 200 known to be on the island. Most of them can be found in the wild, but they are known to be very tame and gentle. It is one of the eight breeds of horses that are native to Japan.
Cape Irizaki - Located on the western tip of the island, Cape Irizaki is the primary above-ground attraction on Yonaguni. On the cape is a lighthouse, observation platform, and a monument that says "Monument of the Westernmost Point of Japan." Tourists often gather at the cape to see the last sunset in the country.
Yonaguni Ethnographic Museum - The Yonaguni Ethnographic Museum is where visitors can find plenty of information about the history and culture of the island. The museum also has information about Yonaguni's indigenous writing system, kaida-dii, including the Dictionary of the Yonaguni Tongue.
Yonaguni Airport does not operate international flights. The airport in Naha, which is connected to Yonaguni, has flights to Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Kaohsiung, Taipei, Fuzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Busan, and Seoul. If you're a foodie, you might like going to Taipei to sample some of their seemingly simple but actually quite scrumptious food such as egg pudding straight from the shell, handmade fishball vermicelli, ah ma orh yi (taro balls), and Dorayaki ice cream. Of course there are also plenty of places to visit, such as the National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Mengjia Longshan Temple, Taipei Zoo, the night markets, and so much more!
Naha Airport also does not have direct long-haul international flights, so travellers would have to take another flight to Narita International Airport for connections to even more international destinations, including Moscow, Auckland, Vancouver, Delhi, Auckland, Milan, Rome, Chicago, New York, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Brisbane.
How to get out
Yonaguni Airport has daily flights to and from Ishigaki Airport in Ishigaki city, operated by Japan Transovean Air. Ryūkyū Air Commuter also offers additional flights to Ishigaki Airport, as well as to Naha Airport in Naha, Okinawa.
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