Kerama Islands [慶良間諸島]

Kerama Islands
Kerama Islands

Diving spot around Kerama islands
Diving spot around Kerama islands

Map of Kerama Islands

Kerama Islands are located about 40 km west of Naha city in Okinawa Island.

There are over 20 islands in size from small to large, and most of them are surrounded by coral reefs.

The sea around Kerama islands has the world's leading transparency.
Therefore, these islands are known as one of the popular spots of scuba diving and whale watching.

Of course, the beautiful nature is very precious.
So this water area has been inscribed as a registered wetlands under the Ramsar Convention.

And the wild deer living in these islands is an endemic species.

It is said that the deer was brought back from Kagoshima Prefecture by a royalty of Ryukyu Kingdom in the middle of the 17th century and the species has become dwarf in the isolated islands.

Zamami Port in Zamami Island
Zamami Port in Zamami Island

Sea around Kerama islands
Sea around Kerama islands

In 1945, U.S. forces left from Guam island and attacked these islands first on March 23.

They landed on here on March 26 and occupied three days later.

Japanese army had announced that American army tourtured the captives to death brutally to all Japanese people.

So about 600 Japanese soldiers in the islands killed themselves in groups before they became captives.
Of course, the announcement was the biased education by Japanese army.

There are still the traces of the war and the cenotaphs are dotted in the islands.

Only five islands have residents.
They are Tokashiki, Maejima, Zamami, Aka and Geruma Islands.
(Maejima has only a few residents.)

There are two routes of ship from Naha Port to Kerama Islands.

One is the route to Tokashiki Island.

Another is the route to Zamami and Aka islands.
Aka Island and Geruma Island are connected with a bridge.

But there are no method to come and go between Tokashiki Island and the other islands.
When the visitors go to the other islands from Tokashiki Island, they must go to Naha once.

These islands have no large hotel or ryokan.
There are many small minshuku (Japanese style inn) or resort inns around the main ports.

Tokashiku beach in Tokashiki Island
Tokashiku beach in Tokashiki Island
Photo by Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau

Aharen beach in Tokashiki Island
Aharen beach in Tokashiki Island
Photo by Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau

Tokashiki Island (渡嘉敷島) is the largest island in Kerama Islands and is about 9 km north to south and the width is 1.5 to 2.5 km.

The main village is on the northeastern coast, and there is a port.

The main beaches are Tokashiku (渡嘉志久, about 3 km from the port) and Aharen (阿波連, about 5 km from the port) on the west coast.

No route bus is operated in this island.
But paid courtesy bus to the beaches are waiting at the port when a ship comes in the port.

If you stay in a minshuku, maybe you can visit the beaches by the small bus of the minshuku.

Furuzamami beach in Zamami Island
Furuzamami beach in Zamami Island
Photo by Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau

Ama beach in Zamami Island
Ama beach in Zamami Island
Photo by Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau

Zamami Island (座間味島) is located about 5 km north west of Tokashiki Island.
It is about 5 km east to west.

The main village is on the southern coast, and there is a port.

The main beaches are Furuzamami (古座間味, about 1 km from the port) and Ama (阿真, about 1.5 km from the port).

There are small Gahi Island (嘉比島) and Agenashiku Island (安慶名敷島) to the south of Zamami island.
These are uninhabited islands, but they has beautiful beaches.

To these islands, small boats are operated.

Nishibama beach in Aka Island
Nishibama beach in Aka Island

Wild deer in Geruma Island
Wild deer in Geruma Island

Aka Island (阿嘉島) is about 4 km south of Zamami Island.

There is popular and beautiful Nishibama (北浜) beach about 2 km north of the port.

Geruma Island (慶留間島) is just to the south of Aka Island, and is connected with a bridge.

The island is mountainous, and has no beach.
We can see the wild deer often in this island.

How to get here

To Tokashiki Island

By Ferry, 1 hour and 10 minutes from Naha Tomari Port. (It is operated once a day)
By high-speed ship, 35 minutes from Naha Tomari Port. (It is operated 2 or 3 times a day.)

To Zamami and Aka Islands

By Ferry, 1 hour and 30 minutes to Aka Port, 2 hours to Zamami Port from Naha Tomari Port. (It is operated 1 or 2 times a day.).
By high-speed ship, 50 to 70 minutes from Naha Tomari Port. (It is operated 2 or 3 times a day.)
Some ships arrive Zamami first, and the others arrive Aka first.

Hotels in Kerama Islands

Hotels in Tokashiki Island Hotels in Zamami Island

Other Tourist Attractions in Okinawa Prefecture

South part in Okinawa Island

Middle and north part in Okinawa Island

Other islands of the prefecture

Return to Okinawa Prefecture Return to Kyushu Region

Other prefectures in Kyushu Region