After the typhoon the sun came back and so did the beautiful colours. Exploring the island we saw how unspoilt it really is with a rugged green interior and beautiful sea all around. We experienced what will hopefully be the last typhoon of the season and then summer really started. Our hotel filled with Japanese families on their summer vacations – everybody there to relax and enjoy the beach.
It’s no surprise we extended our stay by 3 days, something we have done quite a bit on this trip of Japan, but must admit that on this occasion our stay on Amami Oshima was pure self indulgence and the photos are a testament to that, just one beautiful beach after another.
There is a relaxed tropical atmosphere on the island and we explored the beaches round the northern part of the island using a combination of walking, kayaking, cycling and motorbike and hired a car for the south.
The vegetation in the south seemed lusher than in the north but that could be down to it being less developed or simply more remote.
The north though has the better beaches with warm, calm and super clear waters and coarse white sand. A couple of the beaches (Kurasaki, Tomori and the one next to Sakibura) definitely make our top 10.
A number of the locals who we met have moved here from other parts of Japan to enjoy the lifestyle. On the beach we hit it off with Isao and Ayako and their little son who are part of the local surfer community.
Compared to the modern Mediterranean the beaches were pretty deserted and the island overall was quiet. Malene and I often wondered why it was so quiet with only a handful of hotels on the island which is about a third the size of Cyprus. I guess the Japanese don’t have much of a beach culture and when in the sea they love their colourful inflatable rings.
In the hotel we were probably the longest staying guests ever – a total of 11 nights – compared to holiday makers from Tokyo and else where in Japan staying only 3-4 nights. We only saw a handful of western travellers in that time. At the hotel we made friends with Michiko and Tilman and their cheeky daughters from Berlin and Nobu-san with his family from Tokyo.
We were sad to leave and envious of Hannah and Luke who were staying at the hotel as part of their honeymoon and left on the same day as us to head further South to an even smaller and more remote island. Maybe that will be us next time…