- A Relaxing Stroll in the Residential Area of Ishigaki Island
- Snorkeling Tour at the Spectacular Hateno Hama in Kumejima (Kume Island)
[The World of Okinawa’s Seas] The Seas of Akajima in the Kerama Islands
post : 2019.05.21 17:00
Approximately an hour away from Naha on a fast ferry, Akajima or Aka Island is centrally located among the Kerama Islands. Many tourists from mainland Japan and around the globe flock to this tiny island which has a population under 300 inhabitants, to enjoy the spectacular seas that surround it.
You will fall in love with Nishihama, a stretch of white sandy beach where the cobalt blue of the ocean washes to its shores. Maja has gained popularity in the last few years as the location offers a great chance to encounter sea turtles. Hizushi is a hidden treasure, and Kushibaru is hard to reach with its steep mountainous roads, but is accessible by car within about 15 minutes and well worth the trip. These locations offer great snorkeling points.
One of the biggest attractions about Akajima is that you can directly access the beautiful seas of Kerama without even stepping on a boat.
We may simply think coral is coral, but there are actually two different groups to coral. One is the corallite that make up coral reefs, and the other is the jewelry corals. Corallites grow quickly in shallow waters while the jewelry corals grow slowly in deeper waters. The corals that we enjoy seeing while snorkeling are corallites.
According to the 2008 reportn by the Akajima Marine Science Laboratory, there are 14 families, 59 genera, and 248 species of corallites in the waters surrounding Akajima and the Kerama Islands.
There have been 400 species of corallites confirmed to inhabit the waters of Japan, and so this means there are approximately 62% of domestic corallites bursting with life in the seas of the Kerama Islands.
What makes Akajima so great isn’t just in its fantastic waters with colorful and energetic corals. The night skies that cover the island together with the soothing sounds of the waves are full of dazzling stars surrounding the Milky Way. You can visit Akajima on a day-trip, but I highly recommend you spend a night on the island to take in the spectacular starry sky as you listen to the waves wash gently on its beaches.
Well, what are you waiting for? Pack up your snorkeling gear and go find your perfect paradise and enjoy a relaxing day at the beaches on Akajima!
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Mika Asaka