Top 5 Popular Spots in Amami Oshima, a Southern Paradise with Ancient Nature
Amami Island, which rests in southern Kyushu, is the second largest remote island in Japan. This island is filled with nature and has a forest, which serves as the home of rare species of animals, a mangrove forest, and coral reefs. This article introduces 5 of the must-see places on the island.
What kind of place is Amami Oshima?
This is a remote island nestled between Kagoshima Prefecture and the main island of Okinawa. Amami Oshima enjoys a warm subtropical climate throughout the whole year. This place is labelled as a southern paradise due to its beautiful mangrove forests, extremely clear sea water, coral reefs and tropical fish, alongside the rich nature.
Most of the island is comprised of a forest with a lush amount of trees. The island has its own ecosystem and is the home of endangered animals unique to the place such as the Pentalagus furnessi.
1. Kuroshio Forest Mangrove Park
This park is where you can find the second biggest area with mangroves. It would be a must-try to join in the "Canoe Experience" (Adults 2,000 JPY, Elementary to Middle School Students 1,800 JPY ※Includes entrance fee), where you may row a canoe along the river as you gaze upon the mangrove forest and the animals living there up close. You may also view the forest from the observatory along the walking path. You may also learn about endangered species such as the Paltivelis ryukyuensis at the exhibit.
Entrance fee: 500 JPY for Adults, 300 JPY for Small Children, 100 JPY for Infants
2. Tomori Beach
It would be a good idea to visit Tomori Beach in the northern part of the island in the Kasari area if you are interested in beautiful oceans. Here you may experience the white sand, coral reefs, and extremely clear waters, which you can only find at this island. The sea here is also known as "blue angel" due to how its waters change from emerald green to cobalt blue depending on the lighting. Tomori Beach may be famous as a swimming spot, but visitors need to practice caution as the rip currents tend to be strong.
3. Kinsakubaru Forest
This is a deep forest that spreads across Naze, Sumiyoshi, and Yamato Village in Amami City, where you may find a huge number of broad-leaved subtropical trees remaining. You may also find endemic species as well as natural monuments such as Japan's biggest Pteridophyte and the Cyathea lepifera (brush pot tree). This forest also serves as the habitat to the Amami rabbit, although they are difficult to spot in broad daylight.
4. Heart Lock
You may find a heart shaped tide pool amidst the Kasari area, which comes with an airport, and the Naze area. The heart lock is a popular coast at the eastern side of the Tatsugo Akaogi, which you may only view during low tides. Please make sure to check the condition of the tides if you are to visit! Please be reminded that you may not be able to see the tide pool in the summer due to the tides.
5. Arangachi Waterfall
This is one place you must definitely visit in the village of Uken in the southern part of the island, where you may experience beautiful and mysterious nature. The Arangachi Waterfall receives its headwaters from the sacred mountain of Mt. Yuwandake, and is an iconic representation of the beauty of waterfalls, with a throw of about 30m. You may access the waterfall basin by foot. Furthermore, the surroundings have been developed into a park to ensure that you may enjoy nature as you gaze upon the strong waves of the waterfall and the sound of the water.
Aside from the places you must visit on this island, please also watch out for the traditional culture such as the "Shima-uta", which is a unique way of chanting. You should also give the local cuisine a try, such as the chicken, which is served with rice and chicken broth.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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