Get lost on a tropical island

by Robert Kodama
To get a taste of being castaway on a tropical island, take a trip to the uninhabited island of Nagannu in the Okinawa prefecture of Japan. 
This island is ideal for anyone who yearns for the tropical paradise of a Caribbean island without the bombardment of tourists ruining the peaceful atmosphere. The process of going to this island may appear as if you are going on a tourist package (unfortunately, this is the only way onto the island), but once you arrive it is quite easy to give yourself the illusion of being alone and at peace. A castaway. 
You will need to book a ticket online through the island’s website. The ticket will provide you with transport by boat from Tomari Port in Naha City. With a ticket at hand, ensure that you arrive at the port in good time. Board the boat and off you go to paradise. 
The package includes a BBQ feast and other optional activities such as an ocean walk to feed the tropical fish without the need for the skills required to swim. You may join other tourists while they gobble down the food provided and enjoy the activities they have opted to pay for. However, the true gem of this island can be felt once you walk away from the bustle of other tourists. There is a beach where most of the tourists relax, get a tan, and go for a swim. Just walk away from all the people and soon enough you’ll hear the sounds of civilisation fade away. 
The ground begins to get rockier the further you walk towards the edge of the island. The sun burns down onto your skin and there is nowhere to hide. The sand adds to the extreme brightness on the island as you balance your way down to the water. Bottles and other debris washed up onto the island is rather unfortunate, but somehow compliments the Hollywood glamour of an uninhabited island. 
The voices of others will become a distant blur and instead, the sound of the water gently caressing the rocks take over. Just listen to the waves crashing, caressing, wearing the rocks down over the years to come. Close your eyes and block out all other noise. Feel the gentle air wash over you. Remember the illusion of being a castaway. The fantasy of getting away from it all just to be abandoned on a tropical island has finally come true. Open your eyes and let the royal blue colours of the ocean flood into you. Taste the salt of the water and the air while you finally grasp a sense of peace you haven’t felt in a long while during your busy daily lives. Allow yourself to forget the worries of missing deadlines and making payments. This is what life should be about, and here you are given the privilege to taste the potential of achieving just that. 
For those wishing to fill their time on the island with activities, the ocean walk is recommended. A little daunting at the beginning, you are required to wear a large helmet and a tube poking out of the top and into a generator will ensure that you are still breathing underwater. Heavy out of the water, it begins to feel a lot more manageable once you are underwater. However, do take care as it may still feel awkward to move around with the helmet on. The air pressure inside keeps the water out, but if you tip your head in any direction, water will seep inside. The views of the ocean from the helmet, however, is nothing short of stunning. The clear window provides an uninterrupted view of beautifully saturated colours of tropical fish and corals. Though you may not be alone doing this activity, it does offer a different kind of a peaceful atmosphere. Sound is almost blocked except for the echoes of sound bouncing around your helmet and in the water. Your eyes are presented with serene beauty that is unlike what you can see on land, or even at an aquarium. Get close to the fish by accepting the invitation to feed them as well. The tropical fish living in these waters seem to know what they are doing and their confidence to swim and eat from your hands is both alluring and unusual. 
Most of the trips and packages offered are either a half-day, a full day, or an overnight package. The type of tour also depends on the season. All the activities are optional, and the fees are added onto the base price of the ticket. You must book the package in advance of going to the port. Shade is unavailable on this uninhabited island except for the dining area, so ensure that you take sunscreen with you. 
Please visit the island’s homepage for more information and to book tickets/packages. 
TEL: 098-860-5860
The website is only available in Japanese.

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