Zamami Island

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There are beautiful beaches such as Furuzamami Beach and Ama Beach, and many tourists visit the island
There are beautiful beaches such as Furuzamami Beach and Ama Beach, and many tourists visit the island

Zamami Island is one of the Kerama Islands in the Nansei Archipelago in Japan in the Pacific Ocean.

It is known for its beaches, coral reefs and diving spots. Located about 30 kilometers west of Okinawa Island, it is part of the Zamami Village, attached to the Shimajiri District of Okinawa Prefecture.

Today Tourism, which employs 92% of the population, is mainly seaside. From January to April many visitors also come to observe the humpback whales  that breed in the Kerama Islands.
beaches
The island has about twenty beaches, those of Furuzamami and Ama being the most popular. From June to September the average temperature of the water is 29 ° C.
Zamami Island  is the second largest of the Kerama Islands. It is a top rated beach destination.

Access : Coordinates: 26.229167, 127.303333 / Tomari Port – Zamami Port – Around 50 minutes by high speed boat, around 2 hours by ferry – Zamami can only be reached by boat. Two different fast and comfortable ferries depart from Naha several times a day. The Queen Zamami needs 50 minutes for the crossing and the regular ferry two hours.

Getting around : Bicycles, cars and scooters can be rented on the island. If you have at least half a day and no problem with hills, the island can be well explored by bike. Taxis and a bus service to the two main beaches, which can be reached also by foot.

Highlights :

  • Ama Beach, located near the campsite, is less touristy and does not have live coral reefs. In summer you can see sea turtles at high tide.
  • The Furuzamami beach, about 900 meters long and classified two Michelin stars, is the one where most of the tourism is concentrated because of the water activities – snorkeling, diving, jet-ski-  and infrastructures  – restaurant, parasols – proposed. It has many coral reefs a few meters from the beach and waters that offer great visibility – up to 40 meters . In particular, there are clownfish.
  • Observatories : There are also a number of observatories spread across the hilly island which offer views of the island and the surrounding coastline : Inazaki Observatory , Kaminohama Observatory , Takatsuki Observatory , Chishi Observatory ,
  • Marilyn statue , The island is famous for the love story of Marilyn and Shiro, which was the subject of a film : Marilyn ni aitai, released in 1988. These two dogs fell in love in 1986 but were separated when the master of Shiro settled on the neighboring island of Aka. Shiro then decided to swim three kilometers to their beloved. In the evening the dog returned to his master. Shiro traveled several times a week until her death in 1987. Marilyn died in 2000. Since then, there is a statue of Marilyn on Zamami-jima, facing that of Shiro on Aka-jima.
  • Kerama Marine Culture Museum , the Oceanic Culture Museum which displays about 1,000 items including daily commodities and fishing equipment of the maritime people of Southeast Asian countries, the Native Okinawan Village which is a reproduction of private houses and kitchen garden of the Ryukyu Islands from old times, and the Omoro Botanical Garden which raises and exhibits 22 types of representative plants that appear in the most oldest song collection of Okinawa “Omorosaushi”.

Activities : Dive Into Okinawa’s Incredible Kerama Islands Marine Park / snorkeling / Boat charters – Catamaran Cruises / swimming / marine activity tours / shopping / glass boat rides / sea kayaking / Camping / Geocaching / round trip around Zamami to watch whales / Swim with sea turtles

Events : Zamami Festival : on the third Saturday of August and includes performances such as Eisa drum dancing, local musicians, and fireworks / Sabani Race : traditional Okinawan boat runs the last weekend in June.

Go next : two small uninhabited islands of Gahi and Agenashiku / Akajima , an island belonging to the group of Kerama Islands in Okinawa Prefecture / Okinawa Island / Miyako jima island 

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