Okinoerabu Island (Okinoerabujima)

Okinoerabu Island, located in the Amami Islands of japan, is a breathtaking destination known for its deep blue waters, coral reefs, pristine beaches, and iconic limestone cave system. This southerly island, situated between Tokunoshima and Yoron Island, is home to around 12,000 people and is approximately 536 kilometers south of Kyushu. Part of the island is within the borders of the Amami Gunto National Park, showcasing its natural beauty and ecological significance.

The island is renowned for its extensive collection of limestone caves, with an estimated 200 to 300 caves scattered across its landscape. These caves are considered natural treasures and offer a unique experience for visitors. The combination of natural beauty and local mysticism associated with the caves makes them a must-see attraction during a trip to Okinoerabu Island.

One of the most popular caves on the island is accessible to the public. A 600-meter section of the cave system is open for exploration, allowing visitors to witness breathtaking stalactite and stalagmite formations. The caves are adorned with detailed signboards written in Japanese, providing valuable information about the geological wonders and historical significance of the caves.

In addition to its limestone caves, Okinoerabu Island is a paradise for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. As a coral island, it boasts an abundance of marine life and vibrant coral reefs. Snorkelers and divers can enjoy encounters with turtles, sea snakes, sea cucumbers, starfish, octopus, stingrays, and even reef sharks in the crystal-clear blue waters surrounding the island. The diverse flora and fauna make underwater exploration a captivating experience.

Recently, caving has gained popularity on the island. Visitors can embark on guided underground cave tours, venturing deeper into the island’s natural wonders. This thrilling activity allows participants to explore hidden chambers and discover the secrets that lie beneath the surface.

For those who prefer to stay above ground, Okinoerabu Island offers stunning hiking opportunities along its cliffs. The rugged coastline provides a picturesque backdrop for leisurely walks and hikes, with the chance to stumble upon hidden beaches tucked away between the cliffs. Wanjo Beach and Yakomo Beach are among the most popular beaches on the island, offering Japanese beach infrastructure and campsites. However, for a quieter and more secluded beach experience, Sumiyoshi Beach is a hidden gem with pristine coral reefs and tranquil surroundings.

To reach Okinoerabu Island, there are two main transportation options: ferry and airplane. The port of Wadomari, located in the town of the same name, provides regular ferry services to Okinawa, Kagoshima, and other islands in the Amami Archipelago. The smaller port of China in the town of China also offers ferries to Kagoshima and other Amami Islands. Okinoerabu Airport, situated on the outskirts of Wadomari, connects the island with Naha, Kagoshima, and several larger Amami Islands, providing convenient air travel options for visitors.

In terms of accommodations, there are various options available on Okinoerabu Island. From traditional Japanese inns to modern hotels and guesthouses, visitors can choose the type of accommodation that suits their preferences and budget. The island’s hospitality ensures a comfortable and enjoyable stay for all guests.

While Okinoerabu Island is a hidden gem in the southern region of Japan, it is important to note that the information provided may be subject to change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is advisable to check the official website for the latest updates and travel restrictions before planning a trip to the island.

In conclusion, Okinoerabu Island offers a unique blend of natural wonders, cultural heritage, and outdoor adventures. Its limestone caves, pristine beaches, and vibrant marine life make it an ideal destination for nature lovers, snorkelers, divers, hikers, and explorers. Whether you’re seeking tranquility on secluded beaches, marveling at the beauty of underground caves, or immersing yourself in the rich biodiversity of the surrounding waters, Okinoerabu Island promises an unforgettable experience. Plan your journey to this southerly Japanese island and discover its hidden treasures for yourself.

Address And Maps Location:

Oshima-gun, Kagoshima-ken

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