top of page

#07 Delicious relationship between Ishigaki Island and Ishigaki salt

Friendly to people and nature

A rich forest that produces Ishigaki salt

forest mystery

The richness of the seawater of Nagura Bay,

Infuse umami into the salt

It is said that there are

But what makes the sea so rich is

It is also said to be a rich forest.

Satoumi is created by Satoyama.

In order for satoumi to become fertile,

Satoyama must be fertile.

salt with a deep taste

What is the natural environment for birth?

as you follow it,

The answer is around Nagura Bay

reach the green forest



​ Making Nagura Bay a paradise for creatures

​ Route of Norakhkara (Nagura Okawa)

highest in Okinawa

Mountainguardian deity of the sea

Nagura River is a river with a total length of 4.5 km that leads from the southern foot of Mt. Clouds rain down on mountains → Mountains become sponges that contain water and spring water from the surface → It gathersFinally, it becomes Nora Fucarra (Nagura Okawa) and flows into the sea. Yes, the river is a conveyor belt that carries the blessings of the mountains to the sea.

In 2005, it was designated as an international nature reserve (Ramsar Convention).
In the winter, wild birds fly from the north to rest in Ampar. The wetlands are mangrove forests, and the seas are coral reefs. Nagura Bay, which has the meaning of "a place where juvenile fish gather" in the dialect,

The more locals come to pick up side dishes for dinner,

bountiful sea. “Seawater full of life, that is the secret of umami.”


a wide variety of flora and fauna

confirmed wetlands

​ Nagura Ampal

On the west side of Ishigaki Island, Nagura Ampar (a tidal flat surrounded by sandbars) spreads from Nagura Bay to the mouth of the river, and the river leads to the mountains.

Nagura Ampar, which is said to be a treasure trove of living things, is a wetland centered on mangrove forests.There are many plants and animals unique to the subtropical climate, and in 2005 it was registered under the Ramsar Convention.
When I stepped into the area, the soil under my feet suddenly lifted up from the bottom.
Surprised, I squinted my eyes... There were countless small shells lying around and lots of fiddler crabs. They start walking all at once, and it looks as if the ground is shaking.
As we approach the mangrove forest, all the red-clawed crabs slide into their holes, and only the lazy mudskippers look at us with blank faces.
In addition to that, you can also hear the voice of the Sakishima toad and the chirping of waterfowl.
The dynamism of the creatures overflowing in Ampar seems to be very endearing.


Mangroves are forests that can survive in salt water. If you look closely, you can see some yellow leaves mixed in with the green leaves. "Actually, this yellow leaf absorbs salt. It eventually falls off, but this leaf sacrifices itself to keep the green leaves alive."

wisdom of nature.

I feel the strength of trying to connect life.

live in sea water

Mangrove Wisdom.

island wonder

Mysteries of the Yaeyama Islands

One genus species  Yaeyama palm


Here and there in the forests of the Yaeyama Islands

There is a virgin forest of Yaeyama palm. Of course, if you look up at the salt factory in Ishigaki, it's just a tropical rainforest. It is a place where you can fully enjoy the atmosphere of the southern country, but this palm is actually very mysterious. The reason for this is that, even though it is a large area in the world, it grows naturally in colonies only on the Okinawa islands. Palms with no other relatives are extremely rare, and we still don't understand why.

There are 4 to 500 palms with a height of about 20m.
Its standing posture is very delicate and beautiful, and it is designated as a national natural monument.

Amazing height and presence

When I entered the colony, a slightly cool air stroked my cheek.
The Yaeyama palm soars high into the sky with its white trunk piercing the sky. Far beyond the height of the 20m tall palms, the tiny blue sky peeks out apologetically.
The wind that blows through the forest mixes the scent of earth with the rustling of leaves, and strongly appeals to the five senses that this is a special jungle on a southern island.
Chit-tit. Squeeze.
When the shrill voices of birds echoed through the trees, the palms began to chatter meaningfully. Step by step.

Reddish aerial roots wrap thickly around the trunk, which is about 50 cm in diameter, like a skirt. The trunk is made up of bundles of tens of thousands of upper fibers, and is so strong that it was once used as a building material.
From the number of horizontal lines on the surface of the trunk, we can know the annual rings.


not just the sea

Even the forest makes the taste of salt

In order to produce delicious salt, the sea must be healthy first. And in order for the sea to be healthy, the green of the mountains, which are the starting point of the bounty, must be alive. At least, if you look at the splendid plank roots of the giraffe that inhabits the jungle, you can tell how much the forest is a forest and how powerfully it breathes. Ishigaki Island has both a rich sea and a rich forest. The forest of the sea, no, the sea of the forest, the sea and the forest, in the inseparable relationship between the two, is the key to affluence, security and safety.

If salt made from seawater can even imagine a forest scene...! Another one, you might be able to know the depth of salt.


A fern-like plant at the base of subtropical trees. "Yaeyama Otaniwatari" On the island, the sprouts are picked and eaten as tempura or stir-fried. It is exceptional when you taste it with salt.

Nagura Bay (Ampar) is in charge of the salt of Ishigaki. A unique natural ecological environment remains even among the Yaeyama Islands, and it is now a valuable place where the national, prefectural and Ishigaki Islanders (Shimanchu) move to conserve the natural environment.

bottom of page