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Nakajin bridge links village and island

Date Posted: 2005-01-06

A dream is about to come true in northern Okinawa.

Kouri Great Bridge is to open next month, linking Yagaji Island with Nakagin Village. The bridge has been under construction for more than a year, and will ease stress on area residents, particularly during typhoon seasons. Heavy traffic in the area has taxed the ferries, and left people without transportation during bad weather.

People are now excited and happy that the bridge is almost ready. They are comfortable now that emergencies can be dealt with in simple fashion. People dependent on agriculture for a living are also pleased because they’ll be able to transport goods directly from the island without expensive ferries. The ferries transit Nakagin and Kouri island, berthing at Unten Harbor.

Some are sad to see the ferries lose their place in the community, but are glad the two kilometer bridge will make life easier for the 120 families that make up the 350 in the Kouri community. They see great financial savings during the July through October sea urchins harvest season. Urchins are expensive, fetching high prices similar to caviar.

Kouri Island calls itself “The Island of God” and have an ocean festival known as Unjamin, held annually during Obon.

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