Iriomote Island is an island located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, and was recognized for its rich natural and unique cultural value by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2008. The island is covered in subtropical forests, hosting a diverse range of flora and fauna, with coral reefs surrounding its shores that are home to a plethora of marine species.

Iriomote Island is known for its rare inhabitants, such as the giant squid and the dugong, which are seldom found in other parts of Japan. The island is also blessed with numerous waterfalls and rivers, and the beautiful scenery of the waterfall basins and underwater caves are popular tourist attractions.

The island has a distinct culture that has been passed down for generations. The people of Iriomote Island have lived in harmony with nature for centuries, cultivating a culture that values coexistence with the natural environment. Efforts to protect the island’s abundant natural resources have been ongoing.

The recognition of Iriomote Island as a World Heritage Site has brought attention to its rich natural and cultural value, attracting visitors from all over the world who are captivated by its stunning scenery and unique cultural traditions. The status of World Heritage Site has also increased awareness about the importance of conserving and maintaining the island’s ecosystem.

Iriomote Island is a beautiful place where nature and culture coexist, and a proud heritage site that Japan can boast to the world. Let us hope that it continues to be cherished and protected by many people for years to come.


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