“ A perfect guide makes a perfect day even better! ”
We did the day tour to Iriomote with Ryuta and it was a blast!
As for Iriomote and the sights: Iriomote truly is a very beautiful Island and doing half day Kayaking/half day snorkeling gives you the chance to at least get a glimpse of what it’s like. If you get the chance to go there, even if only for a day trip, do it! If you can stay there for a couple of nights – even better!
Now for Ryuta, our guide: We started communicating via triplelights right after our booking. He was very patient and helpful with all the many questions regarding the actual schedule of our tour (we weren’t shure what we wanted to exactly, as the tours all seemed a bit alike but then different at the same time) and even offered advice on accomodation on Ishigaki, where we stayed. He was always extremly quick to repsond.
As for the day of the tour itself, we met Ryuta at the agreed meeting point and took the ferry to Uehara port on Iriomote, where we joined a somewhat larger group consisting of us and a Japanese Family of Four. Ryuta knows the Tour guide from his longer stay on Iriomote and they seemed quite familiar.
Ryuta acted as our translator and personal guide, streamlining the whole day so that we didn’t have to worry about anything. He explained everything in great detail and would answer all the questions we had. You can truly feel that he is very passionate about his work! He even brought spare sunscreen and towels for us, which came in very handy.
After the tour, Ryuta took us for a walk in Downtown Ishigaki, where we had dinner together at a lovely place. Finally, he walked us to our car!
If you ask yourself why you would need a guide within a guided tour, here’s why: If you don’t speak or understand Japanese, you will miss out a lot of things – which would be a pity, as Iriomote is very beautiful. Also, of course you can arrange the tours yourself, but just having someone taking care of
everything so thoroughly makes a day trip very hassle free.
So, to sum it up, Ryuta is a great guide and great person, whose services we strongly recommend!