A spot that you cannot miss on a tour of the Oki Islands
The Oki Islands, which consist of approximately 180 islands of varying size, have been designated as a UNESCO Geopark, and among these islands, the island of Nishinojima is popular for its picturesque spots to enjoy Mother Nature. Matengai Cliff is a central spot along the 7km-long Kuniga Coast located on the northwestern part of the island, and at 257 meters in height, it is a massive precipice. In contrast with its rough appearance soaring vertically, the top part of the cliff which includes the observation point is a grassy area where many cows and horses run freely. However, it is the spectacular view from its 257-meter height which leaves legs a bit wobbly.
The walking course that has been selected as one of the Top 100 Nature Trails in Japan
The Nishinoshima Walking Course that has been selected as one of the Top 100 Nature Trails in Japan covers a gentle hilly area which is 1.8km long (a 30-minute walk one way) extending from the top of Matengai Cliff down to Kuniga Coast Park which has the natural bridge of Tsutenkyo. You can enjoy a hike with a variety of changes including a view of the group of natural strangely-shaped rock outcroppings including Matengai, Tsutenkyo and Tenjokai, and the sight of cows and horses walking leisurely by. But the sunsets are especially attractive. The sight of the sun sinking into the sea and especially catching the sun lowering itself on top of Kannoniwa (Kannon Rock) is a must-see moment.
Seeing spectacular scenery from an excursion boat
There are 2 courses on the excursion vessels touring the Kuniga area. One 90-minute route departs from Port Urago and tours the Kuniga Coast while the other 2-hour and 10-minute course departing from Beppu Port also tours the coast but also cruises by the Higashi-Kuniga Coast on the eastern side. During the tranquil time on the sea, all of the cruises include a tour of 3 caves. Among these caves, the 200m sea tunnel known as Akekure-no-Iwaya can be navigated through. It’s very thrilling to go through the tunnel that is barely wider than the ship itself. You will also come across famous sites in turn including Tenjokai, Ryugu-jo, Otohime Goten and Kannoniwa.