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Exhilarating drive course “Kaichu Doro,” which cuts through the marine blue water
post : 2015.03.19 19:00
“Kaichu Doro” is a 4.75km causeway that connects Yokatsu Peninsula in the central part of mainland Okinawa and Henza Island floating in Kin Bay.
You will feel so refreshed when you drive through the Kaichu Doro while viewing blue water stretched out both sides of the road! This is a popular spot in Okinawa.
At the halfway point, you can find “Umi no Eki Ayahashi-kan,” where you can enjoy shopping and meals. The building was modeled after “maaran sen,” a wooden ship which was used to transport goods in the old times.
On the first floor of the Ayahashi-kan, they sell a wide variety of local products suitable for souvenirs such as shikuwasa ponzu (Okinawan lime-based sauce), Ougon imo (golden-colored sweet potato) from Ikei Island, etc. In the back of the floor, there is an ocean view restaurant.
The second floor has “Ocean Culture Museum,” where materials related to the maaran sen are permanently displayed, and you can deepen your knowledge on history and ocean of the local area.
When you go out on the deck, you can savor a panoramic view of Kin Bay!
It would be the best view of the very transparent water from the highest point at the Kaichu Doro.
Though the Kaichu Doro is well-known as a popular sightseeing spot now, the construction tells the history of Henza Island itself.
They had a long way to the completion of the road.
Before the construction of the Kaichu Doro, the transportation methods between Henza Island and the mainland Okinawa is to wade in shallow water or to go across by truck at low tide, or go across by ship at high tide.
Due to its inconvenient life, the people on the island buttressed their desire to construct the Kaichu Doro day by day.
That’s how they started constructing the causeway by themselves in 1961.
Surprisingly enough, they dug up stones of the island, carried them manually to drop them into the water in order to build the foundation of the Kaichu Doro.
It must have been a very tremendous work; however, they sincerely wished to make their island to be connected to the mainland Okinawa no matter what it took.
Even though a typhoon came and interrupted the progress, finally in 1966, they completed a 210m road of concrete. At that time, an issue of invitation of an American oil company brought up, and the islanders requested that the company expand their business to Henza Island. The construction of an oil terminal and a refinery on the island is decided.
The oil company funded the construction of the road for nothing. That’s how the Kaichu Doro was completed.
Since I knew the history, I feel the blue of water that I look down from the Kaichu Doro even much brighter.
It is because I might not have been able to see this fantastic vista without a strong passion of the Henza people.
At the halfway point, a sand beach is stretched out, and you can enjoy swimming there in a hot season.
Thinking of its history when you drive across the Kaichu Doro, the beauty might stick in your mind.
Address: Yonashiro Yahira, Uruma City, Okinawa
◆Umi no Eki Ayahashi-kan
Address: 1F Yonashiro Yahira, Uruma City, Okinawa
Business Hours: 9:00 to 19:00（to 18:00 in winter）
Opens 365 days a year
◆Umi no Bunka Museum (Ocean Culture Musium)
Address: 2F Yonashiro Yahira, Uruma City, Okinawa
Business Hours: 9:00 to 17:00（Last Entry:16:30）
Closed on Mondays（or Tuesday if Monday falls on a holiday）, the following day of holidays (including June 23)
Okinawa CLIP Editorial Department (Text and Photos by Akiko Ono / Photos by Taiki Gushiken)