An East Asian Galapagos with its untouched nature
Amami-Oshima Island which is situated between Kagoshima and Okinawa Prefectures has a distinct culture influenced by both the mainland and Okinawa where you can see untouched Mother Nature and many species of indigenous plants and animals. The island has also been dubbed as the East Asian Galapagos Island. The northern part of the island has abundant level farmland and a beach resort where you can see a beautiful clear blue ocean and white beaches along with glittering coral and sea turtles. The southern part is mostly mountainous terrain where in the Amami Woods, you can view the Natural Monuments of the Amami rabbit, the Ryukyu long-haired rat, the Lidth’s jay and other indigenous species along with wild birds, insects and reptiles.
A paradise with mangroves, a primeval forest and the beautiful sea
The must-see spot when touring Amami-Oshima is the Quasi-national Park Mangrove Virgin Forest. Located in the center of the island, the forest covers 71ha right by the estuary of Sumiyoshi Town and boasts being the 2nd-largest mangrove forest next to Nishi-Urashima in Japan. It’s possible to join the 1-hour long canoe tour on the day of your visit but advance reservations are recommended. Also, there is a natural primeval forest teeming with subtropical plant life, and the Kinsakubaru Primeval Forest with its many nationally-designated Natural Monuments in the form of its flora and fauna has a popular 3hr-long exploration tour which is held twice a day. The Cape Ayamaru Tourist Park which is 8 minutes away from the airport by car has an observation point with a beautiful view of glittering coral reefs, Kasarisaki, Tomori Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Tomori Beach, which is closest to the airport, is wonderful for its very clear blue waters and white sands, and it is said to have the most beautiful view of the sea in Amami-Oshima with gentle waves where you can enjoy swimming during the summer. A beautiful and popular spot to catch the sunset is Ohama Beachfront Park which includes a swimming area and a small aquarium, and it is also a place where you can catch sight of sea turtles. At night, you will be enveloped in the starry sky.