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Ufudaki commands great view on Kohama Island

Date Posted: 2012-07-27

Editor’s Note: Okinawa’s beautiful southern islands are being showcased in Japan Update each week. This week, venture into the culture and beauty of a tiny Yaeyama Island called KOhama, only a half-hour from Ishigaki.

Sightseeing: Kohama island is fun and easy, as it is located at almost in the middle of the Yaeyama archipelago. The 99-meter high hill “Ufudaki” sits in the middle part of Kohama island and offers a look around the island from atop the hill. A lot of traditional events are held on Kohama throughout the year, but especially popular is the “Ketsugan festival” coming up in August, when the lunar year is big, and a lot of traditional performances are dedicated to the God. Attracting a lot of attention is the “Ketsugan Festival” with the performance of Kohama island, one the most important intangible cultural assets in Japan.

Of course you can enjoy a simple Okinawan view at Kohama island, but there also is a huge resort facility where visitors can enjoy a resort atmosphere too. For sightseeing, appreciate the old Okinawan style red tiled roofs, private houses and huge sugar cane fields.

When the weather is fine, you can see eight other remote islands from Ufudaki except Yonaguni island. There are a lot of diving spots, and also you can enjoy marine leisure activities inside the resort hotel facilities.

Sugar road

The long straight road from middle village to Haimurubusi takes visitors toward the south west. Both sides of the road are surrounded by sugar cane fields, and you might think about your life when you walk there. A pine tree cove about midway through the fields is also impressive.

To make that Kohama visit, take the express ferry with its 25-minute ride, or a regular ferry with a 35-minute ride from Ishigaki island. The Express ferry runs12 times a day from Annei sightseeing company, and eight times a day from Dream travel company. If take your car on a ferry, use the car ferry running four times a week from Dream travel company.

More info on Kohama is at http://www.ishigaki-japan.com/islands/kohama

When visiting Okinawa’s southern islands, check with th Okinawa Tourland Hotel Booking site, http://eng.tourland.co.jp for special prices and deals on hotels, transportation and acitivies.

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