Due to their isolation the Yaeyama Islands are a linguist's dream. While standard Japanese is spoken everywhere and the main Okinawan language is also well understood, there is a unique Yaeyaman language as well. Ishigaki, Iriomote and Taketomi all have their own dialects of this, and Yonaguni's is so distinct that it's usually considered its own language.
The Yaeyama Islands are a long way from anywhere.
The Yaeyama Islands are about as off the beaten track as it gets in Japan. Iriomote is the only island in all Japan with authentic jungle and mangrove forests, while tiny Taketomi is known for its carefully restored traditional Ryukyu village.
Thanks to pristine coral reefs, scuba diving is the number one sports activity in the islands.
Some of the more interesting local fare on offer includes snake and mimiga, a salad of pork ear, cucumber and vinegar.