Sightseeing spots on day 2
Let's start the second day.
A YouTuber active in Amami said, "The weather forecast in the Amami region is unreliable," which was true on this trip. The forecast for the day was cloudy with occasional rain, but it turned out to be sunny all day. I'm excited because I can go to the mangroves in nice weather. Total driving time today is about two and a half hours.
8. Kuroshio Forest Mangrove Park
It takes about 1 hour from the Amami Crater area to Kuroshio Forest Mangrove Park. Here you can experience canoeing at a low price.
The canoe experience takes about an hour, so it is recommended for those who don't want to spend too much energy for canoeing, and for those with children.
It is held 5 times a day. I participated in the earliest experience at 10 o'clock.
They also offer SUP experience (Standing board).
Since I arrived early, I explored the mangrove park. You should look at the Ryukyu sweetfish in the fish tank, the canoe boarding area, and the view from the observatory.
From the observatory on the hill, you can see the mangroves that you will be going out by canoe in advance. Most of the park is a putter golf course, and although there is a "mangrove pond", it is a shallow pond with no living things.
About 15 people attended this session. After receiving the paddles and life jackets, we had a little paddling practice time. I left my camera and smartphone in the car because it was written in the management blog that I should leave my mobile phone in the locker, but our guide said, "You can take it as you wish at your own risk." Since I don't have time to return to the parking lot, I won't be taking pictures during the tour.
You can choose between a single or double canoe. If you are with a child, I recommend that the child sit in front and the adult in the back. However, for elderly couples, it may be better to ride alone instead of two.
It is natural way of thinking for those who are not confident in their arm strength to choose a two-seater. However, when rowing by two people, the movement must be synchronized, so it becomes difficult to control. I got an impression that two-seater canoes were crashing into mangrove often.
I brought water shoes and participated in swimming clothes. You can borrow sandals like Crocs from the facility for free. Some of the participants are not dressed for canoeing, like girls wearing long skirts. Even though it is a short canoeing experience, people should consider their own safety.
It's been a long time since I've been in a canoe. Last time was Iriomote Island. The feeling of floating on the water and the feeling of moving on the surface of the water with own rowing is very pleasant. The water level was high since it was almost high tide, so the river was wide and easy to canoe. When the water level is high, it's easier to canoe, but the shallow waters where we can see creatures such as gobies and fiddler crabs are submerged, so there is a dilemma that is not suitable for observing creatures.
I tried my best to look for creatures, but I couldn't find gobies or crabs. I think I saw a few fish swimming.
The distance traveled in this canoeing experience is short. The area itself where mangroves are formed is not so large.
The mangrove park canoe experience is a reasonable (2000 yen) short tour that children and the elderly can participate in. Children will be very satisfied, and even adults will be satisfied if they want to make memories of canoeing in the mangroves of Amami Oshima. If you want to paddle a lot, go many places, and take lots of pictures, you might want to find a guide company that offers half-day tours.
9. Setouchi Sea Station (Umi no Eki)
Ominato-26-14 Koniya, Setouchi, Oshima District, Kagoshima 894-1503
Even after finishing the canoe, it is still around 11:30. The next destination is Setouchi Sea Station (Umino Eki). This port is almost at the southern end of Amami main island.
After having lunch here, I will board the underwater exploration ship Seto. I've been on a glass-bottomed boat in Kabira Bay on Ishigaki Island several times, but Seto is a semi-submersible boat that allows you to see the underwater from the side, so I'm looking forward to it. When I made a phone reservation when leaving Mangrove Park, they taught me the transparency level of the sea for today.
Seafood rice bowl is recommended for lunch at Setouchi Umi no Eki. I read in some blog posts that the seafood rice bowl here is delicious. I'm having trouble deciding between the restaurant on the first floor with a fish tank ("Kairiki", a direct store of the Setouchi Fisheries Cooperative Association) and the restaurant on the second floor (Umi no Eki Seafood Restaurant). The second floor seems to have a better view, so I went upstairs. If you want to eat a lot of local tuna, the first floor might be better.
I ordered a regular size seafood bowl. Fresh sashimi is on top of rice, and it is delicious. I'm about to get on the ship, so I try not to eat too much food. I had some time before boarding, so I went to a nearby supermarket.
I walked along the harbor and was amazed at the transparency! It's so clear that I can't tell how deep it is. It should be quite deep, but I can clearly see the bottom. I haven't seen a harbor with clear water like this since I went to Hateruma Island in Okinawa.
And a lot of big fish are swimming. There are big sea bream and colorful large tropical fish. There is a sign that says that locals are feeding fishes here. That's why no one is fishing. It's great that the whole community is making it possible to see pretty fishes at any time.
Even before I got on the underwater exploration ship, I was able to see a lot of fish and highly transparent water, and my expectations rose at once. It's even more so since I haven't seen many sea creatures since I arrived in Amami yesterday. There is a lone building at the port with the words "Marine Taxi" written on it. Perhaps, if you use this, you may be able to go to other ports or islands immediately without waiting for the ferry.
While eating brown sugar ice cream, I wait for departure at the place with a big tuna monument. There is a sign saying Amami is the Japan's number 1 black tuna farming area. I never knew. I don't remember seeing rafts here for aquaculture in the sea. I would love to go see it.
10. Undersea Exploration Ship Seto
Ominato-26-14 Koniya, Setouchi, Oshima District, Kagoshima 894-1503
Several underwater exploration ships Seto were moored right in front of the tuna monument. Now it's time to board! Only 5 guests will be on board at this time. You can admire the scenery from the deck until the ship reaches the exploration spot. At a place not too far from the shore, an announcement was made, saying, "We have reached the exploration area, so please go downstairs."
Oh, it feels like a submarine. The cabin is dark so that we can see underwater clearly. I can see a lot of variety of corals and fish! I don't plan on snorkeling or scuba diving on this trip, so I'm glad I got on board. The ship continues to move, and the scenery changes rapidly.
Even though this area is not so far from the shore, there is such a wonderful underwater scenery. Probably, you can come from the shore with a small charter boat and go snorkeling.
11. Honohoshi Coast
Sokaru, Setouchi, Oshima District, Kagoshima 894-1523
I've already done canoeing and underwater exploration, but the sun is still high, so I'm heading to another destination. Next is Honohoshi Beach, which is said to be a power spot. It takes about 20 minutes’ drive from Setouchi Sea Station. I couldn't see the coast from the parking lot, and it felt more like a forest along the beach.
As soon as you walk towards the sea, the view opens up greatly. Such a different atmosphere compared to the ones I visited so far. Although it is a beach, the ground is covered with pebbles instead of sand.
Every time the waves crash, there is a rattling sound of rolling pebbles. It is very quiet, and only the sound repeats, creating a mysterious landscape. You can see why it is called a power spot.
The entire beach is covered with cobbles, not just part of it. As you pass through caves and rock holes, you'll discover several connected shores. Hey? Something white moving on the cliff...?
It's a goat. Why are you here? ? Did you escape from somewhere and become wild? It is very dexterous moving over cliffs and eating grass.
Honohoshi Beach is a very large place, but there were only about 10 people. I stopped by the Manenzaki Observation Square on the road. There is a sign that introduces Amami Hoshizorafug, a rare fish that makes "crop circles". I saw postcards of this fish here and there. It seems that they live only in the Amami region. (Torquigener albomaculosus)
12. Former Army Ammunition Warehouse Remains
540 Tean, Setouchi, Oshima District, Kagoshima 894-1531
There is still time until dinner, so I head to the former army ammunition warehouse ruins that I was personally interested in. Although there is a road sign, I was worried many times whether it was really here, so I post pictures of the road. I don't think this is a major tourist spot, but it's a recommended place for people who like historical heritage.
As you walk right beside the driving school, you will see a concrete square hole on your left. There is a sign that you can turn on the light yourself and enter without permission. Even though it doesn't have a door, there are no signs of bats or wild animals, and it was somewhat clean.
Of course, no one was there, and it was pitch black inside. I'm scared, so I turned on the light and went inside. This is like a different dimension, like a scene from a sci-fi movie. I think this place would be an interesting movie set. It seems that during the war, this area did not become a battlefield.
Since I was able to do a lot of sightseeing today, I will head to an inn near Setouchi Sea Station. There are very few accommodations around here, so I stayed at a business hotel. Along the way, I saw a colorful vending machine selling local fresh juice, so I bought some. It had a strong flavor and was delicious.
Well, I wonder if there's a place in this town where we can have dinner. I wandered around town for about 30 minutes, but I couldn't find a restaurant that tourists could easily enter. Once again, no place to eat dinner. There is almost nothing left in the supermarket lunch box in the evening. I had no choice, so I bought some food from a convenience store and ate it on a bench in the harbor. I actually enjoyed doin so.
Well, it's starting to rain a bit, so I'll go to bed early today!
Amami Oshima Gallery 2
Please visit my glass jewelry shop from the link below.