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Fill Your Hearts with Light. Encountering Clownfish at a Hideaway Beach on Kurima Island
post : 2021.02.06 19:00
Along the coast of Kurima Island, which is accessible from Miyako Island across the Kurima Ohashi Bridge, I found a hidden gem; the Nagamahama Beach.
I turned the wheel at the last minute when I spotted a sign so small that I almost missed it. Past the sign, I encountered a colorful sight that looked as if even the bright rays of the sun were reflecting off of them. The reddish soil, fields of sugarcane, the windbreaking trees that protect the coastal area, and the brilliant blue seas sparkling behind them. The narrow path that extended towards the water would attract anyone who stood there to continue further.
I wondered what awaited me at this beach that I had just come across. I parked my car by the trees and began walking towards the sea, feeling the familiar excitement I feel when treading along a white, sandy path.
Suddenly, the greenery opened up to show me 180 degrees of breathtaking horizon. The transparent waters pushed gently along the shores and receded rhythmically, and the beach was a glistening white. I could almost hear the coastal vegetation like the palm-like Adan (pandan) and Monpa (velvetleaf soldierbush) trees swallowing up the bright sunlight.
Off in the distance is the graceful arc of the Irabu Ohashi Bridge.
By the windbreak trees was a gentleman selling shaved ice, iced coffee, and other treats from his small mobile shop, and he kindly gave me the scoop on the area. Just a short swim from the beach with my snorkels, I found a reef inhabited by schools of clownfish, just as the man had told me.
The beach has no facilities but is equipped only with a ring buoy for rescue from the water, and a bottle of vinegar, just in case you get stung by a jellyfish. You’ll find no lively beach houses bustling with people and music, but just the precious silence and serenity of mother nature. As I gazed out at the horizon with its never-ending shades of blue, I understood how the forefathers of Okinawa believed that “the paradise of Nirai Kanai exists beyond the seas.”
This is a beach highly recommended to simply enjoy gazing out at sea and taking in the peaceful and calm atmosphere.
*Note: The tidal currents can get very strong. There are no designated swimming areas and no lifeguards at the beach. If you choose to swim in the waters, be sure to take extra precautions.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Aya Asakura