Fukido River

Fukido river lies just south of the small town of Nosoko which is located on west coast of the Hirakubo peninsula. Much like the Miyara river the river Fukido is lined with mangroves and is home to a diverse range flora and fauna. Even if you're not planning on doing any kayaking this is a great spot to stop off for a break if you're travelling around the north east of Ishigaki island.
 
 
Mud Skipper
If approaching from the south you'll find a parking area on the right just before the bridge which crosses the Fukido. There are some stairs which lead down to the riverside and during low tide you'll be able to wander around and check out the exposed roots of mangroves which line the river.
 
Although the mangroves are interesting what really fascinates me is the animal life. Ishigaki's mangrove forests are host to huge numbers of crabs and mud skippers. There have been days where I've seen literally hundreds of fiddler crabs parading around with their single claws on display. One step too close however and they simultaneously retreat to their holes in the mud, only to appear again about a minute later.
 
 
In addition to the river the crescent-shaped bay which the Fukido flows into is also picturesque. Even during high tide the area of sand to the right of the bay makes for a pleasant beach. To access it cross the bridge and look for a trail which leads down from the road on the left.
 
 
Kayaking
 
There are many companies which offer river kayaking on the Fukido and if you're unable to travel as far as Iriomote island to paddle up its rivers then the Fukido is a reasonable substitute. During high tide you'll be able to paddle up narrow mangrove-lined tributaries which lead to the river. This provides an excellent opportunity to view birds which inhabit the surrounding forest. Be forewarned however that while the Fukido is beautiful it is relatively short when compared to rivers on Iriomotejima. However, theres enough plant and animal life to satisfy those of you wishing to experience some Eco tourism without travelling too far afield.
 
This is an absolutely lovely spot, and one which I'll always endeavor to stop off at if I'm heading up towards the Hirakubo peninsula. In terms of length the river doesn't compare to those on Iriomote island, but it still makes for pleasant kayaking. I'd definitely recommend this spot to families with young kids - they will no doubt be fascinated by the life which inhabits the mangroves at the side of the river. However, do bring a change of footwear or some newspaper for the car, as things can get rather muddy.