Iriomote's yamaneko wildcat

Iriomote's yamaneko wildcat

Japan's Loch Ness monster? See if you can spot the illusive Iriomote wildcat!

While you're exploring Iriomote Island, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the yamaneko, an elusive wildcat which was discovered in 1965 and can only be found on Iriomote. Related to the leopard, it's only the size of a domesticated house cat and a nocturnal animal, most active around twilight. The cats are terrestrial, but can climb trees and also swim. During the day they sleep in caves or tree hollows. Sadly the yamaneko is an endangered species and there are thought to be just a hundred cats left on the island. So it's very unlikely that you'll spot one, but please let us know if you do!

Iriomote's yamaneko wildcat

located in Iriomote

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Interested in this Experience? It is included in this tour:

  • Why not round of your Japan trip with a beach break on sub-tropical Ishigaki island?

    Ishigaki Beach Extension

    Allow us to introduce the Okinawa Archipelago: a string of islands that until 150 years ago were a thriving independent kingdom. With white sandy beaches, iridescent seas and dense jungles of mangroves filled with rare wildlife – this is a true island paradise.

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    Why not round of your Japan trip with a beach break on sub-tropical Ishigaki island?

Other Wildlife experiences

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  • Blakiston's fish owl

    Blakiston's fish owl

    Meet Blakiston's fish owl, the largest owl in the world, which feed on river fish around the Shiretoko Peninsula.

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  • Wildlife boat cruises

    Wildlife boat cruises

    Take a boat cruise around the shoreline of the Shiretoko Peninsula and experience the diverse wildlife and marine life of this remote wilderness

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  • Steller's sea eagles

    Steller's sea eagles

    Take a small ice breaker cruise into the ice flows of the Nemuro Straits to photograph Steller's sea eagles fishing for Pacific cod.

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  • Manta scramble

    Manta scramble

    Dive off the coast of Ishigaki Island to see huge Pacific manta rays

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  • Red-crowned cranes

    Red-crowned cranes

    Observe the amazing spectacle that is the annual red-crowned crane mating dance.

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  • Hammerhead sharks

    Hammerhead sharks

    Fancy swimming amid a school of hammerhead sharks?

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