Okinawa Tourism Information:SabaniSailing&PaddlingRaceonZamamiIsland

Sabani Sailing & Paddling Race on Zamami Island

post : 2014.06.21 21:00

Zamami Iland is located at a distance of about 35 km west from Naha Tomari Port of mainland Okinawa.
There is a race to paddle across the distance on the wilderness of sea by traditional Okinawa sailing boats called Sabani.

“Lift a Sail and Paddle.”
Because of this traditional style, the competition is called “Sabani Hanso (Sailing & Paddling) Race.”     

The race season is around after the rainy season when kaachibee* blows (late June).
Every year this event is held around this time and it celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.

*kaachibee: strong damp southern to southwesterly wind blowing right after rainy season in Okinwa

Sabani boats were used for fishing as well as for transporting materials on Zamami Island.

Having sabani boats fully loaded with watermelons harvested on the island, islanders went across the sea to mainland Okinawa to peddle their produce.

This race has recreated the scene showing how our ancestors paddling across the sea by sabani boats in our time.  

“Sabani Hanso Race” in 2014 is to be held on Sunday, June 22.    

On the previous day, Saturday, June 21, a pre-race “Maririn Cup” is to be held on Zamami Island.  Participants race from Zamami Port to an uninhabited island Gahijima Island then to Furuzamami Beach. (The goal point on Saturday will be the starting point for the Sunday race.)

Recently more and more tourists have been coming to the island just to see the starting scene of “Sabani Hanso Race.”  (On the morning of the race day, a ceremony by kaminchu (a spiritual leader of the island in charge of religious rites) is held to pray for safe race.)

Why don’t to come to Zamami Island to enjoy this competition that excites your spirit of romantic adventure around the ocean?

Date: Starts at 8: 30 AM, Sunday 22 June, 2014
Location: (Start Point) Furuzamami Beach, Zamami Village
                  (Goal Point) Off the breakwater, Naha Port
Official Website:

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer   KUWA