The Amami Islands will challenge your notions of Japan with its gleaming white-sand beaches, translucent water and lush subtropical forests. Amami Oshima is the most developed island and a great base to explore the archipelago.
Beautiful beaches fringe Amami Oshima and lure sunseekers in with its powder-soft sand and crystalline water. Tomori Beach is one of the most popular stretches of sand. Bask in the sunshine or rent snorkelling gear and explore the coral reefs just offshore.
Kayak tours are the best way to explore the mangrove forests on the eastern side of Amami Oshima. You can paddle deep into the mangroves and spot rare animals such as the Amami rabbit and Ryukyu robin.
Enjoy “keihan” chicken rice at restaurants across the Amami Islands. The dish is a local specialty and features slices of chicken served on white rice and topped with mushrooms, ginger, green onions, omelette strips and “nori” dried seaweed. A flavourful chicken broth is poured over the dish to create a colourful soup.
The Amami Islands are part of the Ryukyu Islands chain. Direct flights run between Osaka and Amami Oshima. Alternatively, ride the bus or bullet train to Kagoshima, then transfer to a ferry. Local buses are a fast and affordable way to get around Amami Oshima. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore the island at your own pace.