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Ugu no Hama Beach on Agunijima (Aguni Island) is a Little Known Coastline with Unspoiled Nature
post : 2019.05.31 23:00
Approximately 60km northwest of Naha, the isolated island of Aguni floats quietly on the waters of the East China Sea. It takes about 25 minutes by air and two hours by ferry from Naha to reach this rustic island that is still very little known. On the island, there are spots that offer great sights, like the unique scenery formed by volcanic deposits on the western side of the island, and the natural Ryukyu limestone caves to the north. Above all, though, the biggest recommendation is definitely the untouched beauty of its seas.
Ugu no Hama is a long stretch of beach that extends approximately one kilometer and is located at the easternmost edge of the island. As you can see in the picture above…well, there’s really no need to explain. The brilliant white sand is something the locals are proud of.
From parking to showers and bathrooms, all of the facilities are available for use without charge, and anyone is welcome to come enjoy the area. Being on the east coast, the beach is a great place to view the sunsets.
What’s also another interesting thing about this beach is that the locals have varying names for it. Even within the same village, the reference to the beach is different according to neighborhoods. In the east and west districts, the beach is referred to as Ugu, while in Hama district, people call it Nagahama (and at the entrance, there’s a sign that says Aguni Swimming Area, but since there are no lifesavers and other staff to watch over the safety of the beach-goers, “Swimming Area” has been deleted).
The water is just amazing, glistening under the sun in hues of emerald-green…The transparency level of the water is very high and will take your breath away. Because the island still remains off the beaten path unlike the Kerama Islands, and other islands that surround the main Okinawa Island, and also because it’s not that easy to get to, Aguni Island sees only a few tourists even during the peak season. This special environment, referred to as “the solitary island in the distant seas”, has managed to maintain its beauty, protected from people and pollution.
The formation of the gentle reefs that surround the island makes it a perfect place for people to play in the water, as it is shallow for quite a distance. You’ll see the local kids splashing around in the waters during the summers. The beautiful sandy beach is definitely pleasant, but in the waters off the south side of the beach (to the right in the picture above) is a stretch of abundant coral reef with breathtaking sights of fish! You will surely want to go snorkeling here. You’ll be welcomed by butterflyfish, spearfish, wrasses, parrotfish, clownfish, and various other colorful fish.
Just another reminder, though, like mentioned before, there are no lifesavers or other safety personnel so you are responsible for your own safety when going in the water. Be sure to wear life jackets (rentals are available at the Aguni Village Tourism Association), and never go in the water alone. Needless to say, it is very dangerous to go outside of the reefs, so be sure to stay within the reef.
The beautiful scenery of the ocean is something so tightly linked with traveling in Okinawa…The luxurious resort beaches with the manmade beauty is lovely, too, but spending some time on the quite shores of an isolated island definitely has its perks, too.
Ugu no Hama
Location: Shores of Aguni Village, Okinawa Prefecture
Telephone: 098-896-5151 (Aguni Village Tourism Association)
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Kiwamu Ogawa (Qey Word)