Situated in the Yaeyama Islands, in the far south-west of Japan in the Okinawa Prefecture, Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park was established in 1972 and covers 125 km2 (48 square miles). The park includes the islands of Iriomote and Ishigaki, the Sekisei lagoon which connects the two islands, as well as Hatoma and Hateruma, two islands in the lagoon. Iriomote is a heaven for explorers, with rivers running through it and 90% of the island covered in subtropical forest. You may get to glimpse an Iriomote cat or a crested serpent eagle, two endemic species. Visitors particularly appreciate Ishigaki for its stunning beaches and its exceptional seabeds, which form Japan’s largest coral reef.