Monday, July 12, 2010

Exploring Zamami Island

I have a new travel obsession.

I want to visit as many Ryukyu Islands as possible. We only have one year more in Okinawa, so there's quite a bit of work to do. We've only set foot on Yoron, Iejima, Ishigaki...

And recently, we added Zamami Island to the list. See picture above. Isn't it gorgeous?

Zamami is simple and unadorned. There are no large resorts, little infrastructure, and few streetlights. Oh you know there's a story to come about the streetlights, don't you? There are, however, small guesthouses which cater to diving enthusiasts and plenty of friendly locals.

We took the 2 hour ferry from Naha on a clear breezy day when it wasn't pouring as usual. We still got sprayed from big swells, but it was great fun to sit on the deck and observe people, secretly snapping photos.

Here is the girl with the dragon tattoo. Can't you just tell that she's beautiful? We watched her unsuccessfully try to enter the restroom for about half an hour. Each time she got close, a faster person slipped by right in front of her. Her bad timing was comical actually.
Here is the first of many napping men we observed on this trip.
Arriving on Zamami, we found pretty much what we expected. Quiet. Relaxation. Contemplation.
Ready to jump in?

The best part of our Zamami getaway is what happened that night. Stay tuned.

Travel Tips
Zamami Island is an easy day trip from Tomari Port in Naha. The Queen Zamami (~5900 yen RT) is 50 minutes long and has three departure times. The Ferry Zamami (~4,000 yen RT) is 2 hours, departing at 10:00 am. Check out the ferry schedule here.

In our case, we took the slow ferry in the morning, spent the night, and then returned by fast ferry home the next day. We paid about 5,200 yen (~$54 US) in fares.

Zamami Island has two beaches good for swimming and snorkeling, Ama (more secluded) and Furuzamami (more touristy). You can rent snorkel equipment, bikes, mopeds, and kayaks in the port area. Consult tourist desk upon arrival.

We moved around Zamami on foot mostly, but in the heat of the day, we broke down and took a taxi for 250 yen (~$3 US). The taxis, which look more like small busses can be hailed at the port or Furuzamami Beach. If you get desperate, you could probably just wave down a car and get a ride that way. Locals were super friendly.


Uncork and Unwined said...

That island looks gorgeous! Yes, we are very lucky to be able to travel to so many different countries, so easily here in Europe. One day though, I would really like to see the part of the world that you are living in. It looks so interesting, unique, and beautiful!

Anonymous said...

This looks wonderful! What can you share about lodging? Reservations? Cost? I was working on our Okinawan bucket list recently and we are woefully lacking in the "other Ryukyans" department! Thanks for any information you feel like sharing!


Becca Runs Sometimes said...

Looks beautiful! Oh, and love how you started doing your "travel tips" section with each post! Such great info.

Eve said...

Thanks Mary, I will have to do this. Your pictures are amazing!


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