A tiny island surrounded by clear blue waters and secluded beaches, Aka Island is the smallest of the three main islands that make up the Kerama Islands. Despite its size, Aka Island offers exceptional beaches and diving spots that are sure to captivate visitors. With its clear waters, magical coral reefs, and abundant sea life, Aka Island is a paradise for snorkelers.
One of the highlights of Aka Island is Nishibama Beach, which is considered the best beach on the island. With its magnificent one-kilometer stretch of sand, Nishibama Beach is a true gem. The beach is perfect for swimming in the shallows, relaxing in the crystal-clear water, and exploring the wonderful coral reef. To reach Nishibama Beach, visitors can take a 30-minute walk from the port. While there is no reliable public transportation on the island, bicycles, cars, and scooters are available for rent, making it easy to explore the island at your own pace.
In addition to its stunning beaches, Aka Island is also known for its bridge to Geruma Island and Fukaji Island. These islands see fewer tourists but offer some fine beaches that are worth exploring if you’re looking for a more secluded spot. The bridge between Aka Island and the other islands provides a convenient way to access these hidden gems.
As you explore the island, keep an eye out for the statue of Shiro the dog at the port. Shiro was a dog that befriended a female dog named Marilyn on the nearby island of Zamami back in the 1980s. According to the islanders, Shiro would swim the three kilometers between the islands every day to see his sweetheart. Although Marilyn passed away in 1987, their story lives on, thanks to the movie “Marilyn Ni Aitai” (I Want To See Marilyn) that was made about their love story. On Zamami Island, there is a statue of Marilyn looking toward Aka Island as a tribute to their enduring love.
Getting to Aka Island is relatively easy. The island is accessible by high-speed ferry and car ferry. High-speed ferries depart from Tomari Port in Naha to Aka once or twice a day, with the journey taking approximately 50 minutes. There is also a car ferry that leaves once a day and takes 90 minutes. From Zamami Island, there is a ferry to Aka departing four times a day, with the journey taking 15 minutes.
Aka Island offers a unique and secluded experience for travelers seeking a peaceful getaway. With its pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and fascinating marine life, it is truly a snorkeler’s paradise. Whether you’re swimming in the crystal-clear waters, exploring the hidden beaches of Geruma Island and Fukaji Island, or learning about the heartwarming love story of Shiro and Marilyn, Aka Island has something for everyone.
So, if you’re looking for a tranquil escape surrounded by nature’s beauty, Aka Island is the perfect destination. Discover the charm of this tiny island and create unforgettable memories in its clear blue waters and secluded beaches.
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