Kohama Island has muscled it’s way into the top five most beautiful places I have ever been. This place is GORGEOUS!
It’s a small island near Ishigaki, Okinawa, which probably has more tourists than residents. Two resorts take up a big chunk of the Island, and I stayed at the bigger one, Haimurubushi. The beauty of Kohama island is that it’s not so crowded. I’ll admit, we visited the island off season, right before Golden week so I’m sure that had something to do with it. But it’s also not that well known.
There isn’t so much to do there besides relax, and that was fine with me. In fact one of my best memories of the vacation was lying in a hammock watching the sun turn the clouds orange as it set, the sounds of tropical birds calling, as if I was inside one of those “soothing sounds of nature” CDs. It was unreal. But we did get off our butts long enough to take a day trip to a sandbar to go snorkeling.
It was also fun to ride around the island to visit the one convenience store,, the site of the TV drama Churasan, and Mt. Ufudaki. The weather was perfect: warm but not humid. And the sky was so clear and blue, it just made everything on the island look so…happy. Riding around on the electric bicycle rented from the resort, I couldn’t keep the smile off my face.
But the highlight of the trip? Stargazing, though it wasn’t easy to make it happen. Haimurubushi’s beach is about ten minutes walk from the rooms, which normally wouldn’t be a problem. But the path there is unlit, and surrounded by tall grass where all kinds of creatures quacked, and croaked and chirped and rustled, and we had only a tiny, blue lantern that cast moving shadows as its light it hit the bushes.
But my friend and I just laughed about how creepy it was, and how were were such big babies, that is until the bushes on the left side rustled, and then the right, and suddenly I remembered something about an endangered jungle cat that was supposed to live in Okinawa…
Heads down, it was all business as we speed-walked until we finally saw the lights that designated the beach’s seating area, and then heard the sound of the waves. And when we stepped onto the sand and looked up, it was worth it.
The sky was dusted with stars, so many I had to wonder where they all came from. Where they really just always there, impossible to see because of the city lights? We stared up in awe, the only sound the soft rush of the waves against the shore. Had we been living under this fairyland this whole time? And on top of that, the moon was red that night. It shone above the ocean like a ruby, leaving a shimmering, crimson ray of light on the water.
I would go back tomorrow if I could. So if you ever have a chance to visit Japan, and Okinawa, I highly recommend Kohama Island.