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“Squirrel monkeys are so cute!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ishigaki Yaima Village

Ishigaki Yaima Village
Ranked #7 of 109 things to do in Ishigaki
Attraction details
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Squirrel monkeys are so cute!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2014

This place houses a traditional village, but the main attraction are the squirrel monkeys. They will give you great photos and videos when you give them monkey feeds. One of the highlights of our Ishigaki trip.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank pattycute
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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297 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Sudbury, Canada
Level Contributor
162 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“A highlight of Ishigaki Island. Monkeys steal the show, but music and period houses very pleasant as well.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2013

Agree with other reviews praising the small monkeys. Makes for a very pleasant hour or two, depending on your interest and how busy your schedule is. Traditional Ishigaki houses are well kept. Effective evocation of a lifestyle of the past, that was precarious, industrious, simple, and, in the case of sea fishing, dangerous. In order to feel and appreciate this, however, one needs to take the time to sit down and observe. A rushed walk around the site, as I saw many visitors doing, will not permit much appreciation.
My hotel offered the oportunity to purchase a discounted ticket. Otherwise, the entrance fee is about 1000 yen, well spent, I believe.
Very good gift shop on site, with local crafts. The special finds there for me were nougat candy made from the local sugarcane: delicious, and caries easily back home in luggage ( not fragile). As well, the only place where I found audio and video CDs of Ishigaki and Okinawa music, festivals, plays, etc.

The park is about a 30 minute bus ride from the main terminal (bus number 9). You are dropped off at the main gate, and it is just a five minutes walk up the hill.
Very pleasant person in charge, in the park, appeared to be in charge of the music as well. He plays the traditional string instrument and sings. There was a drum player as well. From 10:00 am, there were music activities, of varying formats, in one of the houses. It was very interactive, and lots of fun, thanks to the talent of that musician, when he interacts with people. He does a great job.

Back to the topic of the monkeys. As another reviewer said: might sound like a cheesy thing to say, but this ends up to be the hightlight of the trip to Okinawa Islands, even though I am not a kid any more, did not travel with kids, and consider myself an often very serious, even stern, type of person. This is really spirit lifting. I happened to be alone with the person in charge, when I entered the area where the monkeys are kept. Although I am not at all afraid of animals, I must say that the sight of fourty of those monkeys walking towards me, was impressive. Fortunately, they are only about the size of a cat. They are very cute and they don’t do any harm. They easily climb on humans, but do not cause any pain or scratching. Their paws are actually small hands. They use their small fingers to find they way up. They are very actively searching for food. The host warned me not to go with food in my bag or pockets. They searched my pockets. They can oppen the zipper of a purse. They are very eager, have personality, but are not aggressive or harmful. I really enjoyed that encounter.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank 88puffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
99 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“I was covered in monkeys!!!!!!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2013

Okay . . . . his might seem like one of the cheesier places to visit, but I have to say that this place has been the hightlight of my trip so far!!!

The park is about a 30 minute bus ride from the main terminal (bus number 9). Your dropped off at the main gate, and it just a five minute walk up the hill. We arrived at lunch time, so we were glade to see a traditional Yaeyama restaurant at the top. We both had the Yaeyama Set, including soba, vegetable rice, sea grape salad and pickles. It was excellent for just 950 yen.

The entrance ticket to the park was 1000 yen, and it included a traditionally prepared pineapple juice in the farmer's house. We also had some free tea as well. The old houses are very interesting, but the monkey forest is amazing. I haven't laughed so hard in years. I kept shouting "I'm covered in monkies!" There is monkey food available for purchase for 200 yen, and once you open the container, the monkies will come running and start climbing all over you. I had three of them at one time. They even check your pockets, so be careful. Anyway, I am now in love with squirrel monkies. I know, I know, they aren't indigenous to this part of the world, but I assure you that these little guys have a good home.

Next, we did the short mangrove boardwalk hike which was also great.

Finally, we headed back to the same restaurant we started at for Ishigaki style shaved ice and purple sweet potato ice cream before we had to catch the bus back. All in all, it was a great three hours of fun!!!!!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank OgopogoGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Odawara, Japan
Level Contributor
164 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Kids loved the animals”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2013

We rushed through the Okinawan traditional buildings somewhat, partly as we had been to a similar reconstructed village in the Okinawa main island last year. It was also ridiculously hot (mid June), and our young kids were just not that into the architectural aspects. Once our kids hit the monkey cage, we had a lot of fun though, and spent quite a while in there with monkeys climbing over us and waiting for us to buy them some food.

We also quite liked the mangrove walk - lots of interesting crabs, fish and other animals and plants to observe. Again, the kids quite liked that, and while the mangrove walk is fairly short, it was plenty considering how hot the day was.

Our taxi driver getting here said to allow 30 mins to do everything, and we arranged for him to meet us again as taxis apparently don't normally come to this area of Ishigaki very often. In the end, we spent more like 1.5 hrs all up - lucky we had said we would ring the taxi driver back when we were getting ready to leave, so he wasn't waiting :)

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank MisterPugz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange, Australia
Level Contributor
266 reviews
199 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
“Before You Go”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2013

Before you go to the village park, pick up their brochure at the airport or your hotel to enjoy 10% admission fee discount. Check out the Ya-Ashibi show schedule on the brochure and make a plan for a visit. Don't miss the 20-minute interesting and funny show held only three times a day! If you plan to feed squirrel monkeys, be ready to let them smirch your clothes.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank misocutlet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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