Sightseeing spots on Days 3 and 4
Cape Miyako (skipped due to rain)
Amami City Museum (it was closed)
On the third day, it rained as the weather forecast predicted. However, the rain is on and off, so if I'm lucky, I might be able to go sightseeing as planned.
12. Cliffs of Dokubama
Naon, Yamato, Oshima District, Kagoshima 894-3212
I drive through the mountains for a while so I can enjoy the subtropical rainforest atmosphere. On this trip, I couldn't plan to go to the popular Kinsakubaru Virgin Forest. (a tour guide is required), so I stopped the car several times and took a walk to feel the power of the forest.
Even along the road, I could see how the symbolic plant, the Hikagehego (tree fern), was growing in colonies. Atmosphere that dinosaurs with long necks suddenly appear and start eating these.
There is a mysterious animal sign. It looks like a mouse with a two-tone tail. I want to see it!
I stopped at the Dokubama Cliff. Hmm, well, it's so so. Yesterday, I just saw the spectacular view of the Honohoshi coast, so my eyes are quite spoiled. It's scary to get used to beautiful views. It is said that it was created by a big earthquake in the Kamakura period. Its height is 170m.
I passed a shrimp farm on the road. I wonder if the prawns I ate the other day also grew up around here. I had intended to go to Cape Miyako, a popular scenic spot, but it started raining heavily when I arrived, so I gave up.
Museums and art galleries are places where you can go sightseeing even in the rain. I went to Amami City Museum. However, it is closed on Tuesdays even though it is a weekday. (Monday was a public holiday so they were open even though they are normally closed, so it seems to be a substitute holiday.) The only thing I could see was an old folk house sample in the Amami region next to the parking lot.
13. big2 (Big II Amami shopping center)
580 Nakagachi, Tatsugo, Oshima District, Kagoshima 894-0106
I'm starting to feel down a bit because my sightseeing plan is not going so well today. I pick myself up and headed to a home center called big2 to buy souvenirs. That's right, it's a home center like Home Depot. Amami doesn't have a lot of souvenir shops, so this home center is a popular spot to buy souvenirs.
It has a large selection of souvenirs. You can also eat light meals. This place is a home center but clearly targets tourists too. What? There is a sign that says "Butterfly House". Apparently there is a greenhouse with butterflies.
Surprisingly, there is a small botanical garden and a facility for breeding butterflies. You can enter the butterfly hut freely by putting 200 yen into the box. This swallowtail butterfly is Idea leuconoe, isn't it? It's selected as "Butterfly of Okinawa Prefecture". Amami is in Kagoshima Prefecture, but I guess they also live on this island.
14. Shimadofuya (soybean curd restaurant)
1561-6 Nakagachi, Tatsugo, Oshima District, Kagoshima 894-0106
I got some energy from the butterflies and bought the souvenirs I wanted, so I'm going to have lunch. Headed to a restaurant specializing in island tofu called Shima Doufuya. This is a popular restaurant and reservations are not accepted. I saw pictures online and it looked delicious. I really want to eat lunch here!
When I arrived, it was full and there were about 4 groups waiting. The turnover was quite fast, and it took about 20 minutes to get the table. I ordered the standard lunch set. It was a lot of food and delicious! On the side table, they offer boiled tofu, soy milk and fermented sake called Amami Miki for free. Delicious yuba furikake (dried tofu skin sprinkle for rice) was sold at the souvenir corner in the store, so I got it immediately.
1435 Sedome, Tatsugo, Oshima District, Kagoshima 894-0102
Now that my stomach is full, I continue the rain sightseeing. Next, I visited Hamachidorikan.
A large liquor store where you can tour the factory of brown sugar shochu, and there is also a restaurant. First, when you enter a liquor store, you will find a lot of shochu and its samples for tasting. It's a great selection. Oh no! I'm driving, I can't drink these here.
There is a time schedule for the factory tour by a guide, but you can freely visit without a guide. Unfortunately, it was a little off from the guide time, so I went in the factory by myself.
16. Kagoshima Prefecture Amami Park
1834 Kasaricho Oaza Setta, Amami, Kagoshima 894-0504
Sightseeing in the rain continues. Next I went to a place called Amami Park, which was built at a cost of 7.8 billion yen. I read the official business report, and it seems that it is built and operated to be a place for locals to interact and a tourist information base.
When you enter the large dome that stands out, there is a large space like the inside of a baseball stadium. Models and promotional videos of islands are lined up. There is a reproduction of an old folk house in Amami. I didn't go to the artist's museum in another building. I wasn't sure if the locals wanted this facility or if tourists would like to visit here.
17. Denpaku Komichinukeru-sunahama-no-yado (traditional house inn)
I was really looking forward to tonight's inn, an old folk house refurbished.
I've worked in Shikoku region to launch similar businesses in the past, so I'm curious how Amami did it.
This time, I will be staying in “Denpaku Komichinukeru-sunahama-no-yado”. (Denhaku means traditional lodging facilities, and the rest means "inn with a backyard little pass to the sandy beach") The inn's promotional video was very attractive. Another type of inn directly facing the beach which I was most interested in had already been taken, so I chose this one.
The size is smaller than other inns they have, but the atmosphere looks good. I was also very interested in an inn with a weaving machine, but it doesn't seem like I can actually weave, and it's too big, so I didn't go there this time.
No matter which inn you stay at, the place to check in is not the old folk house, but Denhaku's headquarters. The staff will drive together to the old private house where you will stay. When I arrived, I was kindly given a detailed explanation of the house.
"There are no restaurants around here. Even supermarkets are almost sold out of cooked meal boxes in the evening." Yes, I already know Amami's eating out situation. Hahaha.
It's raining lightly, so it's nice to have a house where I can relax quietly. I was curious about this house so took a closer look at the refurbished interior and the backyard. It is simple and clean, while still retaining the atmosphere of the past. There are plenty of cooking utensils and tableware, and good amenities are placed.
30 seconds walk from the backyard to the beach! If the weather is good, I would like to dive into the beautiful sea. There seems to be the Amami's Largest Banyan Tree nearby, so I went to see it while taking a walk.
2995 Kasaricho Oaza Tekebu, Amami, Kagoshima 894-0506
There is a huge tree with tropical feeling. This tree is named Maehida Gajumaru. It's about 400 years old. It is located at the entrance of someone's private land, so I visited it quickly and returned to the beach. I went to the far end of the cape. Beautiful giant clam shells were on the beach, it was a nice rainy walk.
When I went back to the inn, I realized how this old folk house was protected by the windbreak forest. The wind is quite strong on the beach, but there are three layers of banyan trees and banana trees planted in the backyard, so I hardly feel the wind. It's so quiet. I can even barely hear the waves.
Since there is a kitchen, I decided to cook tonight. I drove to the supermarket to buy ingredients for dinner and breakfast. While having drinks at the living room relaxing, I thought about the peoples' lives who used to live in this house.
18. Kasarizaki Lighthouse (Dream-fulfilling Turtle)
Kasaricho Oaza Yo, Amami, Kagoshima 894-0621
I had a good sleep in a quiet old folk house. After returning the house key to the Denpaku Head Quarter, headed to Kasarizaki Lighthouse, Dream-fulfilling Turtle. My Peach flight back to Osaka is at 11:30am, so I don't have much time.
It's raining lightly and the waves are pretty rough. There is a stone statue of a turtle with a sign "Dream-fulfilling Turtle", but since it's ugly, I try to ignore it and enjoy the scenery. The steep stairs leading up to the lighthouse look fun, so I should climb them. If you climb the thin, thrilling and steep stairs, you will be greeted with a spectacular view. I'm glad I climbed without being lazy!
Before getting on the plane home, I was able to see another spectacular view of Amami. Later when I saw the pictures I took, I realized that volcanic pumice stones were floating in the water. (2022-March) When the tide is high, the pumice washed up in the shallows seems to go back to the water and float again.
I visited the Amami island for the first time in this trip, I thought, "Amami Oshima is quite different from the Yaeyama Islands." Similar tourism PR methods are used, but the atmosphere is not the same as Ishigaki Island or Iriomote Island. If I come back to Amami Oshima again, I want to come when it's hot enough to swim without a wetsuit. If it's a hot season, I'm sure I will see more animals and beach creatures.
Time seems to solve the lack of shops, restaurants and hotels. Currently, large-scale redevelopment of Amami City's port has been underway for several years. Until that is completed, it will be a place to enjoy nature. I hope Amami city hires a real professional to preserve beautiful landscape.
This concludes my Amami Oshima travel review. Thank you for reading.
Please visit my glass jewelry shop from the link below.