No to high-rise resort hotel in Kabira, Ishigaki island! We request the withdrawal of loosening restrictions on the height of buildings.


No to high-rise resort hotel in Kabira, Ishigaki island! We request the withdrawal of loosening restrictions on the height of buildings.


発信者:川平の景観を守る会 / Save Kabira 宛先:the Mayor of Ishigaki City

Japanese / English / Chinese(traditional)/Chinese(simplified)/

Ishigaki island’s nature is in danger!

Kabira on Ishigaki island. A place that has continuously preserved its rich nature and historical scenery thanks to the established restrictions regarding the height of buildings.  Now, the authorities of Ishigaki City plan to loosen these regulations on the height of buildings for the sake of ‘tourism development’.

Check out our web pages and please support us!

  • Save Kabira web page

  • Facebook page “Save Kabira”


The village of Kabira - at the heart of Ishigaki island’s famous tourist spot Kabira Bay

Kabira Bay: located in the northwestern part of Ishigaki island and about 400 kilometers south of the Okinawan main island.
Daily many people visit the bay to enjoy its beautiful scenery that has been
accredited with the highest number of three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan.
The Kabira area that hosts this bay, is one of the villages on Ishigaki island that is engraved in the islands’ history since ancient times. With numerous traditional rites and festivals that have been handed over from the ancestors, Kabira is known as a village with a history that is unique even in
Ishigaki island.
It is a small village where roughly 700 people live, hosting a kindergarten, a primary and junior high school.
Currently, a big issue is occurring concerning the scenery of Kabira Bay and the surrounding area.

‘A need for high-buildings in Ishigaki? A split between yes and no’, Okinawa Times, 2018.05.01 (in Japanese only)


About the scenery of Kabira area

In 2007, the City of Ishigaki enacted ‘Regulations on Ishigaki City’s Landscape Planning’ in conjunction with the formulation of the ‘Ishigaki City Landscape Plan’ based on landscape legislation. The regulations defined several areas within the island as scenery districts in order to create a landscape that fits Ishigaki island and they established restrictions regarding buildings.
In 2010, Kabira area was assigned as a scenery district of Ishigaki. Until now, the restrictions on the height of buildings in these regulations have played a vital role in preserving the area’s rich nature and its historical scenery.
The height restrictions for buildings constructed after 2010, being a maximum height of 10 meters within the village and a maximum height of 7 meters in the nature-rich area around the village, are directly linked to the prevention of a surge in the development of large-scale resorts and the
construction of high-rise buildings.


Revision of the Landscape Plan announced by the City of Ishigaki.

However, in February 2017, the City of Ishigaki announced that it will revise the Landscape Plan with a focus on the restriction of buildings’ heights.

‘Revision of the Landscape Plan with focus on height restrictions’, Yaemayama Mainichi Shinbun,2017.02.08 (in Japanese only)

Claiming ‘Disaster Preparedness’ and ‘International Tourism City’ as main themes, the change announced by the Ishigaki authorities contains the abolition of the 7 meters restriction for the nature-rich area around Kabira village while maintaining the 10 meters restriction within the village.
In case this change materializes, there is a chance that high-rise buildings will be constructed one after the other in the natural environment now filled with great beauty stretching from Maetake mountain to the edges of Kabira village.
In a reaction, the Kabira Community Center handed in a Request to maintain the restrictions of height of buildings in the Kabira area to the City of Ishigaki in 2017, but there was no reaction from the local authorities and on April 3, 2018, the City of Ishigaki presented the revision of the Landscape plan at an explanation meeting for local residents.

‘The attitude of a conventional change’, Yaeyama Mainichi Shinbun, 2018.04.04 (in Japanese only)


The voice of Kabira area residents

The residents of the Kabira area have been opposing to the plans of Ishigaki City to change the Landscape plan, and fear the destruction of the natural environment of which they have been proud of.

‘A sense of crisis towards plans to change Kabira’s scenery district’, Yaeyama Mainichi Shinbun 2018.03.26 (in Japanese only)

The area where the Ishigaki City authorities plan to loosen the restriction on building’s heights is about 999 hectare and covers most of the Kabira peninsula.
It compromises national designated cultural property like the ancient Kabira shell mound as well as the Muribushi On, an Utaki or sacred place for local people from ancient time, that is dedicated to the so-called Kitsugan Festival, the biggest religious rite in Kabira area. The judgment of Ishigaki City is not only a major problem that will affect the scenery, but it will also have an impact on the traditional culture of the Kabira district.

‘Kabira Community Center resolution to oppose the proposal to change the scenery district’,Yaeyama Mainichi Shinbun, 2018.04.17 (in Japanese only)

Starting with the Kabira Community Center, the residents of Kabira strongly oppose the announcement of Ishigaki City that will damage the natural environment and the historical scenery for the sake of Tourism Development.


About the "Save Kabira".

We “Save Kabira” is a voluntary organization initiated by residents of the Kabira area addressing the series of issues regarding the loosening of restrictions of buildings’ heights in Kabira’s scenery district.

Should the loosened restrictions as envisioned by Ishigaki City materialize, then it will destroy the landscape of Kabira Bay and the rich surrounding nature that has been preserved until now due to the construction of high-rise mansions and resort hotels.

The destruction of the scenery implies the devastation of the natural environment, and would also affect the renowned and world-class Kabira Bay.

As residents of Kabira, as those who love Kabira, the Movement would like to maintain what our ancestors have preserved over a long history for next generation. With this in mind, the Movement has taken action.

The issue of small, tiny town is not yet known to most of the world.

However, anticipating the occasion of Ishigaki City’s plans to loosen building height restriction, already one large-scale development of a high-rise resort hotel has started.

‘Construction of Marriott Hotel – Opening the hotel in 2020 with 380 rooms’, Okinawa Times, 2017.10.3 (in Japanese only)

‘Showing thoughts for a high-rise building – Construction of a hotel in Kabira’, Yaeyama Shinbun, 2018.04.06 (in Japanese only)

Other than this development, talks about more high-rise constructions that are awaiting the loosening of building restrictions have been raised and there is already a situation of crisis for the natural environment and the scenery of Kabira area.

We, the residents of Kabira, request the City of Ishigaki to withdraw its plans to loosening the restrictions on heights of buildings in the Kabira Scenery district to preserve the scenery of Kabira bay and the Kabira area, to preserve the traditional culture with its long history and to the rich natural environment as it is now to our children.

Check out our web pages and please support us!

  • Save Kabira web page

  • Facebook page “Save Kabira”