Okinawa Tourism Information:AquaticSportsMeetonTonakiIsland

Aquatic Sports Meet on Tonaki Island

post : 2014.06.22 18:00

Tonaki Island is located 58 km northwest of Naha City, and faces Kume Island to west , mainland Okinawa to east, Aguni Island to north, and Kerama islands to south.  Thus, Tonaki is located just in the center of the three islands, and a small island with its population of about 430.

In a spring tide in late June to early July, an aquatic sports meet is held on Tonaki Island.

Why an athletic meet on the water?  Since when has it been held?

They say that the aquatic sports meet started in 1919 (8 in the Taisho Era). 

During the Taisho Period (1912-1926), the skipjack fishing became the main industry on the island.  Such a living on the island had given children access to the sea from their earliest childhood, and that’s how their aquatic sports meet started.

The aquatic sports meet has been designed for children on the island, not for tourism purpose; however, tourists can observe the event.

The aquatic sports meet is held in the high tide of a spring tide because most of the events of the meet are held in the water.

“Tamaire (putting the ball in the basket),” “kibasen (cavalry battle),”an obstacle race, “takaratori (a team game that appears to be a cross between tag and baseball),“ a swimming relay race, etc., each of which is held in the water. 

The last event of the meet is an aquatic tug of war, where adults from the cheering groups also join the children in the water.  They are divided into two teams for pulling the rope into their territory, but their minds are becoming one.  

 “Consider the sea as dojo (training hall) and train body and mind of children on the island,”which has been the aim of the aquatic sports meet from the start.

The children having a lot of fun in the water shine dazzlingly like the sea around Tonaki.

“The 96th Aquatic Sports Meet”in 2014 is to be held on Saturday, June 28.  It is a curious, more-than-fun athletic meet that you cannot see anywhere else.

Please use this opportunity to trip to Tonaki Island.

Tonaki Island Aquatic Sports Meet

Date: 8:30 to 13:00 Saturday June 28, 2014
(Since the meet starts in the morning, it is highly recommended that you arrive on the island the day before the meet.

Location: Agari-hama Beach, Tonaki Island (a 10-minute walk from the ferry terminal)

Official Website

Access: Take a ferry to Kume Island and stop at Tonaki Island.
       (Required time: about 2 hours)

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer  KUWA