Iriomote Island Life

A tip for shopping groceries in Ishigaki

石垣島離島ターミナル

Hello~🌺
I wrote about commodity price of island last time and now you know it tends to be expensive due to vessel fee. (´ω`)🚢

We do buy vegetables and so on at stores in Iriomote.

But as many commodities are usually high-priced, you'd think to get it at more reasonable price.

Besides, there's a lot of things which any stores in Iriomote don't handle. (;^ω^)

In order to solve those problems, people living in island usually make use of the following; 👛

  1. shopping in Ishigaki island
  2. Internet shopping

Among the above, I'd like to tell you about shopping in Ishigaki island today.🚢
There's lots of tips to know, so that you can save some money~.

Save freight by "Rito-wari" card

First of all, almost all Taketomi residents know this tip.

That is, "Rito-wari" card!! ✨
("Rito-wari" means discount for Taketomi residents.)

This is a card Taketomi town issues for its residents for free if they require.
Using this, vessel fee will be about half of regular price!!
Isn't it wonderful?!

<Regular freight>
・Iriomote(Uehara port) - Ishigaki port:JPY4,510/round trip
・Iriomote(Ohara port) - Ishigaki port:JPY3,440/round trip

This amount of money is very expensive to pay for daily shopping.

By showing Rito-wari card, however, this freight will be almost half!
This is so wallet-friendly! 🍀(≧▽≦)♬

Choose a store with free shuttle bus service

Arriving at Ishigaki port at discounted-freight, how can we get to a store? 🚌

For island residents, there's a store which gives us free shuttle bus service!
I'm so greatfull~~💕(*´ω`*)

This time, I'd like to introduce one of those shop, Sanei .😉

Free shuttle bus by Sanei supermarket

Sanei group is one of the most famous and biggest supermarkets in Okinawa.

Sanei Ishigaki city store is located about 10mins car ride from Ishigaki port.
And they give us free ride of shuttle bus for those who go shopping in Sanei.🚌

※In order to ride this shuttle bus, you need a ticket issued by Sanei.
So, if you go to Sanei for the first time, you cannot make use of this.

For that case, public bus is available and its cost is about 320yen.
(You might be able to walk to store, but it'll be hard if it's sunny day...)

Bus arrives about every 40 min.

Sanei's shuttle bus is a wagon type car with maximum capacity 10 people.
They drive this bus from Sanei Ishigaki city store and Ishigaki port almost every 40 min.

The present time table is as bellow.📝

Unfortunately, departure time of Ishigaki port is not connected with arrival of vessel from Iriomote.

So you would have to wait for a while at a bus stop.

When you come to Ishigaki island, it might be good to consider not only vessel time but also shuttle bus departure time.

For your information, time schedule of shuttle bus would be changed occasionally.
Please pay attention to a notice in store!

Bus stop at Ishigaki port:Out from terminal, turn left and go straight

Now there's no sign or notice at Ishigaki port terminal.
So we felt nervous when we went for the first time.

Bus stop of Sanei free shuttle bus is located about 30~40m from terminal.
When you get out from central exit of port terminal, turn left and go straight.

View around the bus stop is like bellow.
(When departure time comes, you can see other customers would arrive.👍)

Shuttle bus usually arrives 5 to 10 mins before departure time.

Because maximum capacity is only 10 people, we'd recommend arriving there earlier.
You can wait sitting on bench near bus stop. ☺

Bus stop at Sanei Ishigaki city store:In front of the store entrance

It takes about 10min from port to Sanei store♪

Where you get out of the bus is where you ride on when return.
Here's a sign and time table, so you cannot miss it!

Let's take a picture of this time schedule, so that you can check it during shopping.☆

Let's go bulk shopping!

Ishigaki island is an island, but it's a big central city of Yaeyama islands. 🏢

There're Max Value, Don Quixote and Village Vanguard in Ishigaki.
So you can get whatever you need for everyday life☆(´∀`)b

As developed more and more recently, commodity price of Ishigaki island is almost the same as that of main island of Japan. ✨

Yes!! It's very helpful and wallet-friendly~~!!!! (≧▽≦)💕

Including the above, the reason why island residents buy in bulk is bellow.
We would like to...

  1. get grocery and commodity at lower price
  2. prepare vessel cancel (especially western Iriomote, Hatoma and Hateruma island)
  3. make enough stock for typhoon

Almost all family have 2 refrigerators or 1 refrigerator and 1 freezer(big one!).

And usually freezer is packed with meat and fish! (This is why sometimes we can get frozen (& forgotten) boat meat for free ( ´艸`) lol)

Because grocery is expensive in island, most of us buy it in big volume in Ishigaki.

We do love vegetables and fruits.

So whenever we come to Ishigaki, we get vegetables and fruits a lot and enjoy cooking them for some days~🍴(≧▽≦)💕

Request shipping at store!

You might think of questions like this;

"When you buy in bulk, can you take all of your baggage with you??" 💼

Actually, because we visit Ishigaki island only 1 or 2 times per month, we do shopping in huge volume every time. ( ̄▽ ̄)👛

In this case, it'd be very troublesome and hard work to take all luggage whenever you go.

To solve this problem, almost all the island residents make use of "shipping" service!

Shipping is the service of stores and they deliver what you bought to the vessel of your request.

Using this service, you don't have to take heavy baggage or huge item with you during whole stay in Ishigaki.

It is very helpful and useful especially when you want to go another store or have other plans.

All you have to do is get on the scheduled vessel and receive all baggage at the port of destination. ✨

Shipping is a very convenient system which enables you to go around Ishigaki without paying attention to your baggage.

Let me explain in details showing you an example of Sanei super market.

Check the conditions of shipping

Ship company has rules to receive baggage.
So, you need to pay attention to rules and conditions to request shipping.

Here's an example of shipping conditions of Sanei supermarket.

<example of shipping conditions>
・what you buy at other stores cannot be accepted
・no flammable item (such as gas cans and fireworks)
・no fragile item
・stores take no responsibility for lost, theft and fall from vessel

We can't do anything about fall from vessel... just hope ship clerk fasten well our baggage (;^ω^)💦

Make a payment at checkout counter for shipping

In case of Sanei supermarket, some checkout counters are for shipping and some are not.

If you make a line for not-shipping checkout, you need to go back to the end of shipping checkout.💦

So please look around counter and pay attention to the notice! (・ω・)/✎

Or you might recognize it because there're lots of yellow baskets near the shipping checkout.

Be aware of deadline!

When we went Sanei store for the first time, we didn't know there's a deadline for shipping and got panicked a little. (^^;)

In order to make the baggage shipped, there's a deadline to pass checkout counter.⏰

Departure of vessel Deadline of checkout counter
between 14:00 to 15:00by 12:00
between 15:00 to 16:00by 13:00
between 16:00 to 19:00by 14:00
the following dayby 20:00

Be aware of this deadline so that you can get your baggage when you get off the vessel at destination.

For us, the final vessel to Uehara port Iriomote departs at 17:30.
So we need to finish shopping by 14:00 if we want to get on the same boat.

To tell you the truth, this is a little troublesome...( ̄▽ ̄)💦

I do understand it takes time to pack our groceries and deliver them to port.
But we are short of time especially when we arrive Ishigaki around noon..💨

We hadn't known this and arrived around noon.
That time, we were rushed and couldn't enjoy Ishigaki stay at all.( ;∀;)

So one more tip is, you'd better go to Ishigaki early in the morning to enjoy shopping!

When cargo vessel, choose your convenient day

Except for perishables, daily necessities and electronics are shipped by cargo vessel.

You need to check the shipping condition and schedule too for this case.

Different from groceries, they won't go bad.
Therefore, you can ask for cargo vessel of your convenient day. 🚢

If something come up and it turns out you can't make it, all you have to do is calling to the store by 1 day before shipment.

Many stores would change the shipping date.

Volume should be as much as you can load your car☆

The final step of shopping!

When you come back to island, let's help unloading from the vessel first.💪🚢

(Review : Stores are responsible for delivering to port and "loading" to ship not "unloading".🌴😉)

Finished unloading all the luggage, look for your baggage and take it to your car by yourself.

As for us, Akihiko mainly take baggage to our car. Thank you so much, Akihiko! 💕(≧▽≦)💕

Like this. 💪

Then we drive back home and take all the stuff inside of house.

This is the big shopping day of island residents~.🌛

How do you feel for those? Can you live in island??