The Great Charm of My Special Power Spot, Kumejima Island
post : 2020.01.14 23:00
One of the advantages of being a photo writer is the opportunity to visit the outer islands. In 2019, I had the chance to visit Kumejima Island three times, and also a trip out to Miyako Island and Ogami Island.
People around me often say, “It must be great to get to go to the outer islands. I wish I could tag along with you.” Of course, my trips out to the islands are for work, and not play. Reporting on the outer islands isn’t all sugar and spice, because I’m usually on a very tight schedule, and at nights…well, it’s not uncommon for me to have a simple, microwaved dinner from a convenience store.
Still, it’s a great chance to visit the smaller islands. I want some time free of work while there…so, I always make a point of getting up early. Especially on my trips to Kumejma Island, I get up before sunrise, grab my camera, iPhone, and wallet and hop in my rental car to head to a special spot.
This special spot is my favorite place on Kumejima Island, the Tun-naha Garden. This is great spot off the beaten path, rarely introduced in travel guides. A local islander told me about this place.
The view from Tun-naha Garden is spectacular! With Hateno Hama and Eef Beach, and on sunny days, you can also see the neighboring islands. There’s a gazebo within the compound and locals come to relax here during the day, but there’s never anyone around when I go early in the morning. I’ve been there about eight times to catch the sunrise, and always have the place to myself.
The early morning sky gradually lightens and is colored brilliantly as the sun rises. The luxury of having such a lovely place all to myself…Simply breathing the air makes me feel like my body is being cleansed from the inside.
Years ago, I wasn’t too fond of the countryside, but as I get older, I’m feeling the comfort that they offer. Kumejima Island in particular seems to really fit my needs, and I feel refreshed and energized just being there. My body and soul seem to recuperate while I’m on the island, and so this must be my special power spot.
Another thing that I look forward to when I go to Kumejima is the spicy miso soba noodles with bean sprouts offered at the popular, local Okinawa soba restaurant, Yangwa. The big pile of bean sprouts on the noodles are only available on Kumejima, a type called Sokei bean sprouts. The juicy sprouts that are quickly stir-fried are probably delicious even without cooking them. They have a great, crispy texture and when I first had them, my opinion of bean sprouts totally changed.
Another dish that I simply can’t go without while there, is the Umibudo omelet. It’s a perfect balance of slightly salty Umibudo, known as green caviar, and their popping texture with every bite, and the eggs. This dish is usually available at the izakaya pubs on the island, so if you get a chance, give it try.
As I sit here writing this article about Kumejima, I have a sudden urge to hop over to the outer islands. I hope I’ll get to go this year♪ Besides Kumejima Island, which I just love, I’m also interested in visiting Yonaguni Island and Iheya Island, too.
Do you have an Okinawan island that you’d like to visit?
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Sachiko Tachi