Treasure Islands - Oki Islands
Travel to the spectacular Oki Islands and experience an array of outdoor activities. The crystal clear blue waters around these islands make for amazing water sports and sightseeing cruises. The mountainous terrain and dramatic rocky coastlines make for the perfect place to hike or stroll through the green farmlands. Plan your trip carefully and discover the many outdoor treasures of the Oki Islands.
What marine sports are there on offer?
Tours are run by D-Style. They take you to secret locations along the Kuniga Coast where you can first learn how to snorkel (if you are a beginner), then enjoy looking at the many different kinds of fish, shells, seaweed, rocky formations and more. http://okidstyle.com/
Club Noah Oki offers diving lessons (for beginners) and diving excursions for more experienced divers. This club is the first place in Japan to offer night diving, where a lantern is placed on the sea, and fish gather and swim around the bright light – this is where you swim with the fish! http://www.oki.club-noah.net/
Club Noah Oki offers daytime guided sea kayaking trips along the Kuniga Coast, where you can get up close and discover the rugged coastline and sea caves. In the evening, they run a guided evening kayak trip, which is timed so that you can watch the sunset over the Sea of Japan. This is my favorite activity, and can be enjoyed anytime from spring – autumn. http://www.oki.club-noah.net/
There are two main swimming beaches in Nishinoshima, both of which are very popular in the summer. Sotohama Beach can be reached by local bus (200 yen one way) and is open for swimming July – August. There is a small shop there that sells takoyaki and ice cream. The rocky shore at Mimiura Beach is a great place to snorkel, swim and have a BBQ. There is also a campsite here – 1000 yen/one tent site.
Where can I hike?
If you like mountains, hiking and shrines, then I recommend climbing Mt. Takuhi (425m). Half-way up this mountain is the impressive Takuhi Shrine. The main shrine building is the oldest in the Oki Islands and is listed as a National Important Cultural Treasure.
Kuniga Coast Hiking Trail
The 2.3km course from Matengai Cliff (257m) to Tsutenkyo Arch is listed as one of the Top 100 Walking Tracks in Japan. The stunning views along the trail, horses and cows grazing peacefully in the fields, yellow Oki dandelion, purple Oki thistle flowers and so on will impress you for sure.
Where can I go cruising?
I recommend seeing Nishinoshima from the land and the sea. There are scheduled sightseeing boats from April – October that take you through Funabiki Canal and along to the best places of the Kuniga Coast, such as Matengai Cliff and Tsutenkyo Arch. If the sea conditions are right, you might be lucky enough to go through the 250m Akekure-no-iwaya Sea Cavern. This is amazing! The Oki Seaside Hotel Tsurumaru offers night cruising from May – October. Gaze at the stars, search for phosphorous plankton, and enjoy a short cruise on the calm inner sea.
Whatever you do in Nishinoshima, I am sure you will be impressed by the sights of this “treasure island”. For more information, check out the Nishinoshima Tourism Association Website: www.nkk-oki.com
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