Illusion Land Yabiji appears until today

Illusion Land Yabiji appears until today

At “Illusion Land” in the afternoon on April 7 at the northern area off Ikema Island, Miyako, children and parents enjoyed exploring Yabiji.

April 8, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On April 7, a sightseeing tour began to put people on to the Yabiji coral reef during the spring tide in the sea north of Ikema Island, Miyako. Guided by two water carrier companies from Miyako, about 500 tourists enjoyed exploring Yabiji. These tours will run until April 8 and approximately 800 people are expected to set foot on Yabiji.

Yabiji, which is known as “a land of illusions,” is a huge coral reef that extends about 17 kilometers from north to south and about seven kilometers from east to west. Its total area below sea level would be one third that of Miyako Island.

Tidal conditions meant that the landing tour was scheduled for April 7 and 8.
Some people suggest that these tours bring a negative impact on the coral reef and the ecosystem. People walked carefully around trying not to step on the coral reef as a prefectural government employee requested that tourists not take any shells.

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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