Climate

Ishigaki and the Yaeyama islands have a tropical rainforest climate. In other words: it is warm and fairly humid all year around.

Most popular season to visit is summer and early autumn (June to October.) To avoid the crowds, it is strongly recommended to avoid booking during any of the Japanese holidays, such as Golden Week and the school summer vacation.

 

Average climate data for Ishigaki, Okinawa (JMA, 1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Mean Temp. °C 18.6 19.1 20.8 23.3 25.7 28.0 29.5 29.2 27.9 25.9 23.2 20.1
Temp. high °C 21.2 21.6 23.5 25.8 28.3 30.4 32.0 31.8 30.7 28.7 25.8 22.7
Temp. low °C 16.5 16.9 18.5 21.2 23.6 26.1 27.6 27.1 25.8 23.7 21.1 18.0
Rainfall (mm) 130.6 139.4 131.5 155.1 206.6 206.6 130.4 261.6 257.7 204.5 156.5 126.3
Sunshine hours 85.9 82.1 112.0 125.3 162.3 208.7 264.5 235.2 193.6 158.4 115.8 100.7

 

 

Summer and Autumn (June-November)

Summers are hot with temperatures over 30ºC and the sun is shining almost every day. Perfect weather for a day at the beach! The nice weather continues into autumn, sometimes staying well into December. Water temperatures also hover around 28-30°C and don’t start to cool down until December. The best time to enjoy Ishigaki is probably in June, October, or November, because the weather is nice but there are fewer tourists than in the busier summer months.

Do not get fooled by the seemingly high rainfall during those months, the rain falls heavy during a short time as you can see by looking at a number of sunshine hours in the table above.

 

Winter and Spring (December-May)

In wintertime, the day temperature drops to around 20ºC and there are generally more rainy days. Especially in January and February. Water temperature is also the coldest during those months but still stays around a comfortable 21°C, which makes it possible to enjoy the ocean in Ishigaki all year around. The weather starts getting warmer by March and at the end of May temperatures will start to reach 30°C again.

If you are unlucky, you might get a lot of rainy days in the winter and spring (especially during January and February) but when the sun is shining the weather is perfect for hiking, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself all alone on a long white beach.

 

Rainy Season (May)

The rainy season usually starts in the middle of May and is very short, lasting only 2-4 weeks. It doesn’t rain all day, but when it rains it really pours down so be sure to have an umbrella with you even if the weather looks good in the morning. If you are lucky you might not get any rain at all during your stay as there are many sunny days mixed between the rainy ones. This is the most humid season of Ishigaki.

 

Typhoon season (June – October)

From July to the end of October typhoons might hit the island. The strength and number of typhoons vary every year, sometimes only one in the whole season, and sometimes every month. Be sure to follow safety advice given by your accommodation and stay indoors. Buying instant cup noodles for food is a good idea if there is no restaurant inside the hotel. Usually, a typhoon will pass within one day but it could also be around for a bit longer.

If a typhoon hits or passes close to Ishigaki boats and flights will be canceled. If you have a connecting flight, make sure to check what rules apply if you miss your connection. You could also plan your trip so that you have some days in between as a buffer. If your flight from Ishigaki gets canceled because of a typhoon airlines will generally put you on the next available flight. Always check the specific conditions that apply to your flight at the time of booking.

For the latest weather forecasts and typhoon warnings, Japan Meteorological Agency has information in English.