- Great Drives to the Nearby Islands of Okinawa. Part I: Hamahiga Island
- Great Drives to the Nearby Islands of Okinawa. Part III: Ikei Island
Great Drives to the Nearby Islands of Okinawa. Part II: Miyagi Island
post : 2019.05.27 10:00
Following Part I of the Great Drives to the Nearby Islands of Okinawa, this article will introduce you to Part II, Miyagi Island, also referred to as Takahanari. The Kaichu Doro situated at the central east coast bridges the main island of Okinawa to its outer island of Henza Island, and as you continue on from Henza Island, you’ll see the scenic sight of Miyagi Island.
The population of Miyagi Island is 700 residents (in 2015), and the name Takahanari means tall or elevated distant island, and comes from the fact that Miyagi has a higher altitude than the string of islands nearby. As you drive along the picturesque route, you’ll see for yourself the fantastic view of the crystal clear seas and brilliant sky that extend as far as you can see.
Hamahiga Island seen from a high point on Miyagi Island
The dynamic view of contrasting colors of deep green of the tropics and the expanse of the beautiful blue sea with its gradation of hues is a sight that keeps people coming to Miyagi Island. The drive is so scenic you’ll want to park your car for a moment to take it all in. Miyagi Island offers natural and untouched beauty of nature throughout the island.
When talking about Miyagi Island, we can’t leave out Kafu Banta, a great spot with a breathtaking view! In the Okinawan language, Kafu means happiness, and Banta means cape.
Kafu Banta seen from Nuchi Una, situated within the grounds of a salt factory, Nuchi Masu, on Miyagi Island
I can’t think of places on Okinawa Island that boasts such a spectacular sight of coral reef.
There must be countless tropical fish of various brilliant colors swimming among the beautiful coral reef. I couldn’t help but hope that we can protect this beautiful, abundant coral forever.
Akuna Hama, located on the east coast of Miyagi Island
After enjoying the scenery of Kafu Banta from Nuchi Una, let’s head on out to a “secret beach”! Continue on the road that takes you to Ikei Island, and take a right turn at the red vending machine and continue along a narrow farm road to reach Akuna Hama. The road gets rough along the way, so if you’re worried, park your car at a spot where you can turn your car around, located mid-way, and walk down the hill for a few minutes to the beach. Akuna Hama is popular with surfers for its comparatively big waves. On days when the wind is right, you’ll see surfers gathering on the beach clad in their wet suits and surf boards under their arms. The water gets deep pretty quickly when you walk out and the winds are high, so it’s good for surfing, but if you have children with you, I recommend you enjoy the shallow waters closer to shore. You’ll see little fish and hermit crabs in the highly transparent waters in the shallows, and splashing around in the water will make you feel like a kid again, too.
On the beaches of this island that’s blessed with rich nature, sea turtles come to lay their eggs. The sigh above says, “Sea turtles came to lay their eggs here on May 19. Let’s all watch over them and protect them.” Seeing the sign, I couldn’t help but nod in agreement, “Yes, that’s right. Let’s watch over them.”
Next is Ukuno Hama, located just next to Akuna Hama (about 5 minutes away by car). Both Akuna Hama and Ukuno Hama are located in slightly hard to reach places, but if you look closely, there are small, handmade signs placed along the farm roads that lead you to these beaches. Take it slow and easy and enjoy the adventure in reaching there.
As you approach the beach, the bright blue ocean gently welcomes you.
When we got there, there were some people enjoying SUP (stand up surfing) and just lazily floating on the water. Even at the peak of the season, this beach sees no congestion so you can enjoy this wonderful place like a private beach. It’s shaped a little like an inlet, so I got the impression that the waves here at Ukuno Hama were a little calmer than at Akuna Hama.
Miyagi Island offers untouched nature for you to enjoy. It lacks showers, trash bins, washrooms and other conveniences, but this is nature at its best. That’s likely why the sea turtles come to lay their precious eggs here. This is a great place to enjoy and appreciate the blessings of nature and enjoy the ocean to your heart’s content.
Next in our series is “that” island, the island located the farthest.
Okinawa CLIP photo writers, monobox (Tetsumasa & Kozue Kawano)