Updated: Nov 26, 2021
The Okinawan Islands are famous for pristine beaches and wonderful landscapes. However, while most people will have heard of famous islands like Ishigaki and Miyakojima, fewer people know about Okinawa's true treasure.
Welcome to our second #tabitabitravel blog post, and today we are flying to Kumejima in Okinawa prefecture.
Kumejima is to the west of the main island of Okinawa, about 30 minutes by plane or 3 hours by ferry from Naha. There are many stunning places to visit, and the island is also famous for its miso cookie souvenirs! It is so beautiful that the Okinawa government has designed the entire island as a protected national park.
The name Kumejima means long rice island. Despite being a tropical island, it has a lot of fresh water and has grown rice for centuries sustainably. This blog post will look at the five best places to visit and stay during your visit!
Was once voted as the most beautiful beach in Japan, Hate-no-Hama is truly a sight to behold. Hate-no-Hama is a chain of 3 uninhabited islands stretching off the east coast of Kumejima. Once there, you have 360-degree views of the fantastic clear waters and pure white sand in all directions.
To access the islands, you need to take a boat with a local tour operator. While visiting the islands, you can walk around, sunbathe and snorkel! There is a small reef next to the island, which you should certainly check out!
This rock formation is not just an impressive natural feature; it is also a 'power spot'. In Japan, power spots are places where you can feel and connect to the spiritual and supernatural parts of the world. In this case, Mifuga is famous for being a place that brings good luck in conceiving children.
Hiyajo Banta Cliff
The Hiyajo Banta Cliff stretches for about 2km across the Northeastern part of the island. From the observatory building, you can get an excellent view of the cliff, as well as the rest of Kumejima. You will be able to see Hate-no-Hama in the distance, and on a clear day, you can also see the outline of the main island of Okinawa. The platform boasts many beautiful views that the government also designated as a 'cultural property' of Kumejima. Given it's only accessible by road and is at a high elevation, we recommend that you drive there!
Kumejima boasts a ludicrous number of scenic beaches, and Eef beach stands strong amongst them. Recognised as one of the best beaches in Japan, it stretches for 2km across the Southern part of Kumejima. During the day, you will be taken away by its calm emerald waters, and by night you can gaze at the stars in the night sky. Situated very close to one of the main towns on Kumejima, you are also within reach of many restaurants and hotels.
Bears Stay Kumejima
We stayed at the Bears Stay apartment complex which is only a few minutes walk from Eef beach. The complex opened in March 2021, so all the apartments are newly renovated with modern facilities.
Explore our 360 Virtual Tour of the property by clicking the image below!
Kumejima should be at the top of your travel list if you like pristine landscapes. What makes it stand out compared to other places in Japan is that crowds of tourists don't plague it. We have listed our five favourite places; however, there are numerous spots to visit and things to do. Enjoy!