Iriomote’s number-one attraction is a boat trip up the Urauchi-gawa (浦内川), a winding brown river reminiscent of a tiny stretch of the Amazon.
We rented a kayak from the mouth of the river, Urauchi-gawa Kankō (浦内川観光 ) and paddled up 6 km braving against the wind. Then we joined the tourists who came by the boat to continue another 2 km on foot all the way in the jungle to the waterfall.
For us, the main attraction of this trip is the paddling along the mangrove rivershore. Iriomote island is the only place in subtropical Japan where one can do that. The one hour of rain all the way back and the winds were not a problem at all. We got all wet but the warm temperature balanced it out.
Except occasional boats which carry sightseeing tourists (who always waved at us), we were floating on the water all alone sandwiched by the dense, humid mangrove forests and forgot that we are in Japan.