Thanks for visiting my site. I'm Richard, founder and owner of Ishigaki-Japan.com. Late 2008 I made the difficult decision to quit my job in software in order to pursue my dream of moving from England to the semi-tropical island of Ishigaki which is located in Japan's deep south.

RichardWithin a couple of months I'd grown to love Ishigaki and the laid back lifestyle which it offers, which is pretty much the polar-opposite of life in Britain. However, I also realised that I needed to do something to keep my mind occupied, after all, you can't spend all day every day hanging out at the beach.

It then occurred to me that one thing that was lacking was a quality English guide to Ishigaki and its surrounding islands. It was for this reason that I founded Ishigaki-Japan.com in the hope of creating the definitive English guide to Yaeyama for the English speaking world.

Armed with a GT mountain bike a Canon 50D digital SLR and lots of suncream I began the task of documenting everything which I thought would be of interest to those wishing to visit the island. Along the way I've made some great friends and have witnessed some of the most beautiful views to be found in Japan. I've also learned much about the depth of Yaeyama culture.

The size of the site soon grew beyond my initial expections and I learned that Japanese people were also accessing it, primarliy to look at the pictures. I therefore made the decision to provide a Japanese translation of the site which finally launched in early September 2009.

Help me to help you

I've really enjoyed the process of building this site and there are a few small ways that you can help to ensure that work will continue:

Tell others about Ishigaki

Most people who are searching online for information about Ishigaki eventually find my site, however the biggest challenge that I face is that very few travellers have even heard of the region. If you have a friend who is interested in Japan then please let them know about my site. If you have your own blog or website then a link would be very much appreciated.

Join my Facebook group

I occasionally post photos and news about new pages to our Facebook page. Please join and recommend it to any of your friends who may be interested in the island

Send feedback

Is there something that I've missed, or do you simply disagree with my appraisal of a  particular sightseeing spot or a beach? If so, please don't hesitate to contact me. I do my best to keep things as up-to-date as possible but things will inevitably slip from time to time. No matter what the reason please don't hesitate to contact me with feedback. I'll take all criticism onboard and I'll endeavor to reply to all emails.

Update - back in the UK

I decided to move back to the UK in April 2011. Don't get me wrong, living on the island was a wonderful experience, but certain practicalities made sustaining my lifestyle there rather difficult - my love for Ishigaki led to me building this site, but unfortunately love doesn't pay the bills (well, not all of them anyway). I'm still maintaiting the site, and I've since returned to the island (Christmas 2012), so expect new information to pop up for time-to-time. Perhaps I'll get the chance to make a home for myself the island again one day, but the one thing that I can say for sure is that moving to Ishigaki was one of the best decisions which I have ever made. It is a place which will always be in my heart, alongside the many close friends who I was fortunate enough to meet there.

Contact Richard

Once again, thanks for visiting my site, and please come back again soon.