Experience the Crystal Clear "Kerama Blue"


The Kerama Islands consist of over 20 islands of varying sizes, located 30-40 kilometers west of Naha City. Well known for the clarity of its world class oceans - the vibrant colour being termed “Kerama blue” - these islands are a haven for snorkelling and divers as the underwater scenery is unlike anywhere in the world. Tropical fish and other sea life swim throughout the coral reefs, in water so clear you don't even need to be in it to see this! Magnificent views abound from the observatories on Tokashiki Island, Zamami Island, Aka Island, and Geruma Islands, with early mornings or evenings being the best time to experience the morning sun and moonlit night reflecting off the sea.

Most Popular of the Kerama Islands

[Access: 50 minutes by express ferry from the main island of Okinawa]

Zamami Island is the second largest of the Kerama Islands. Well-known for its beautiful white sand and clear waters, the island's most popular beaches are within walking distance from the village which surrounds the port. Observation decks provide uninterrupted views of the Kerama Island landscape from the forested interior of the island. The stunning Kerama Blue sea is designated as part of a national park and offers marine activities year-round and whale watching in the winter.

Island highlights include:

Furuzamami Beach 

Located on the southeastern side of the island, Furuzamami Beach is the more popular of the two main beaches on Zamami Island. Clear waters and abundant marine life can be found near the shore providing excellent snorkeling and swimming opportunities. There are rental shops with beach gear and snorkeling equipment, a beach hut that also sells food, and toilet and shower facilities nearby.

Ama Beach 

Ama Beach, the quieter of the two main beaches, is located on the southwestern side of the island facing the two uninhabited islands of Gahi and Agenashiku. Sea turtles swim in the waters around Ama Beach on occasion. The waters here are relatively shallow, and those who want to see coral and fish would have to swim or walk further out from shore. Toilet and shower facilities are available near the beach; however, food options are limited.

Marilyn's Statue

Among the many locations to enjoy the sunset on Zamami Island, the view of the sunset from Marilyn’s Statue, which is a short walk from the port, is highly recommended. Shiro would swim across the sea from Aka Island to visit Marilyn who lived on Zamami Island. The movie based on a true story about the dogs that lived on the island became a hit in Japan. Marilyn’s Statue on Zamami Island gazes into the direction of Shiro’s Statue on Aka Island. Taking in the sunset while thinking about the scrupulously pure love between Shiro and Marilyn will take the beauty of the view to a whole new level.

Takatsuki Observatory 

The Takatsuki Observatory stands on the hill above Zamami Village and offers views of the village and port in one direction and of the tail end of Zamami Island in the other.

Kaminohama Observatory 

The Kaminohama Observatory is about 1.5 kilometers from Ama Beach. It offers panoramic views of the southern coastline of Zamami Island as well as a view of the two uninhabited islands, Gahi and Agenashiku.

Inazaki Observatory 

The Inazaki Observatory is located on the northern side of Zamami Island, offering panoramic views of the rugged northern coastline. It is about three kilometers from Zamami Port and takes about an hour to get there on foot.

The Gateway to the Kerama Islands

[Access: 70 minutes by ferry from the main island of Okinawa]

Tokashiki Island is the largest of the Kerama Islands. Although slightly lagging behind Zamami's popularity, Tokashiki offers several nice beaches while its interior is mostly covered by forested hills and offers a few hiking trails and observation decks. Tokashiki Island features a rugged landscape with well-developed forests where visitors can enjoy not only marine activities, but also trekking and nature walks. 

Island highlights include:

Aharen Beach

Aharen Beach is the bigger of the island's two main beaches, located about 4.5 kilometers south of Tokashiki Port. The white sand beach draws sunbathers, and the waters are separated into swimming and snorkeling zones. Rental shops, beach huts, restaurants, and toilet and shower facilities can be found near the beach, and various tours are available from tour companies and accommodations nearby. Next to the beach is the Kubandaki Observatory with views of the surrounding coastline.

Tokashiku Beach

Tokashiku Beach is the smaller of the two main beaches on Tokashiki Island. Swimming and sunbathing are popular activities at the beach, and there is a separate area for snorkeling. Toilet and paid shower facilities are available nearby, and rental equipment and tours are available from a tour and accommodation facility by the beach.

Aharen Garden Observatory

The island’s southern-most observatory is located on the edge of a cliff at the end of a gentle sandy path that leads you through Ryukyu Island pine trees. Approaching the observatory, it feels as if you are about dive into the sea. The sheer cliff has a rugged and variegated rock face formed from years of erosion. From the observatory, you are able to look out over the sea’s endless horizon, accentuated by the unique contrast of the cliff’s oddly-shaped outcroppings and the vast ocean.

Mountains and Villages Overflowing with Nature

While the Kerama Blue is an obvious draw card calling visitors to Tokashiki, the island also offers abundant nature comprised of a range of mountains that exceed 200 meters in height spanning the central to northern regions. Seasonal flowers grow in abundance; from Easter lilies in the spring to winter cherry blossoms and Kerama azaleas in the winter. Bougainvilleas bloom all year round, and vividly green Chinese fun palms flourish. Tokashiki Island is a place that not only allows visitors to enjoy the sea, but also the abundant nature that the mountains have to offer.

A Treasure Trove of Amazing Sights

[Access: 50 minutes by high-speed boat, around 90 minutes by ferry from the main island]

Aka Island is the smallest of the Kerama Islands, designated as a national park. The island has a circumference of approximately 12 kilometers, and rental bicycles are a convenient and popular option for accessing beaches and sightseeing. Connected to Geruma Island by bridge, the short ride over is worth it for extended sightseeing. Diving is the perhaps the biggest attraction around Aka, as coral reefs surround most of the island, with calm waters and abundant colourful tropical fish. Swimming with sea turtles is not unheard of on Aka Island and uninterrupted views of the Kerama Island landscape can be viewed from both the large bridge at the entrance of the idlans, and from observation decks dotted around the island.

Island highlights include:

Aka Bridge

You cannot miss the bridge on Aka Island. Linking the Island to other smaller islands in the Kerama region; Geruma Island and Fukaji Island, the ride across to explore these mostly uninhabited and secluded locations is worth it.

Nishibama Beach 

A stunning powder-white stretch of soft sand (crushed coral) along a clear turquoise shoreline, Nishibama Beach is a natural beach that extends for approximately 1 kilometer along the coastline. A popular snorkeling spot, here you can view colorful coral and tropical fish. The beach has shower and toilet facilities, and the uninhabited Agenashiku, Gahi, and Amuro Islands spreading around the beach make for a picturesque landscape.

Statue of Shiro

If you've already visited Marilyn on Zamami Island, be sure to pay a visit to the statue of Shiro the dog staring toward Zamami Island. Shiro would swim across the sea from Aka Island to visit Marilyn who lived on Zamami Island. The movie based on a true story about the dogs that lived on the island became a hit in Japan. Shiro’s Statue on Aka Island gazes into the direction of . Marilyn’s Statue on Zamami Island. 

Sango Yuntaku Kan Visitor Center

A place where you can learn about the ecology of corals and their charms. Sango Yuntaku Kan Visitor Center specializes in coral reefs, exhibiting in-depth information about these amazing habitats. The center is located adjacent to Akajima Port's ferry terminal and is the perfect place to get information about Akajima Island and the many other islands of Keramashoto National Park. The center aims to educate visitors about coral reefs and their remarkable attributes, as well as why we need to preserve these important and wonderful ecosystems. Learn all about coral through multilingual exhibits, videos and photography displays. From the sheltered terrace outside the center, you can admire the stunning blue color of the ocean that the Kerama Islands are famous for, fondly known as "Kerama Blue."

Isolated Island Surrounded by Rich Nature

[Access: 50 minutes by high speed boat & 90 minutes by ferry from the main island of Okinawa]

Part of the Kerama Islands, Geruma Island is the smallest of the inhabited islands and is connected to Aka Island by bridge. It is simple, un-touristic and feels like a time slip to a simpler age. The village of Geruma is tiny - you can walk around it under 5 minutes! What it may lack in convenience, it definitely makes up for in peace and serenity. Crossing the Aka Bridge you can stroll through the quiet village and fields with the Fukugi trees standing tall, time flows slowly, creating a somewhat nostalgic feel. The nature on the island remains untouched, as it is a protected area for the local Kerama deer population, which have been designated as a National Natural Monument.

Island highlights include:

Takara Residence

This is a small exhibit of a very old Okinawan house, which was owned by a merchant of the Ryukyu Kingdom. With its unique limestone walls and “hinpun” (a privacy wall that stands before the entrance), this prestigious residence built in traditional Ryukyuan architectural style has been nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property. Despite being exposed to fire during World War II (Look for bullet holes in the walls as a reminder of the horror of the Pacific War), the building has maintained its original appearance and is considered a valuable cultural property.

Maehama Beach

The beach at the front of the village is not a tourist sun bathing beach. It is a beautiful spot, but don’t expect parasols and cocktails. If you go snorkelling you can see lots of interesting sea-life. But be warned, there are no lifesavers. 

Home of the Kerama Deer

During the Ryukyu Kingdom, Kerama deer were brought from the Satsuma Province (Kagoshima Prefecture) and released in the Kerama Islands. Not long after, the deer became an endemic wild species adapted to the island. Because both the population and environment are limited, the deer have been designated as a National Natural Monument and a protected species. With large eyes and a white heart-shaped pattern below the tail, the deer carry a distinguishable cuteness.

Spectacular Sunsets

Geruma Bridge, the bridge connecting Geruma Island to Fukaji Island, is a spectacular location to view the sunset. Although the direction in which the sun sets varies depending on the season, a beautiful, scenic sunset can be seen throughout the year. There is very little traffic over the bridge in the evening, so it may be possible to have an uninterrupted view of the setting sun. Try also taking a stroll around the island, and you’ll surely find your own favorite sunset spot!

Fukaji Island’s View Point

If you cross the bridge from Geruma to the uninhabited Fukaji Island, you will find a barely used airport and a viewing point. Wonderful views can be found here. The gate to the airport closes at around 6pm usually.