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  • (upbeat music)

  • - Far removed from mainland society,

  • over 50 kilometers away, to be exact,

  • the Oki Islands are a group of 180 islands

  • that lie in the sea of Japan,

  • on the coast of Shimane Prefecture.

  • Only four of the islands are inhabited,

  • with a total population of around 20,000 people

  • divided amongst them.

  • Some people might think that

  • living so far away from the mainland is inconvenient,

  • but for the residents of this island,

  • they have everything they need.

  • Today, I'm visiting the island to meet with some locals,

  • to learn about the special bonds they have with the islands.

  • Hey guys, how's it going?

  • It's Mikayla, and I have just arrived in Ama-cho

  • on the Oki Islands off of Shimane Prefecture,

  • and to get here, it took about,

  • maybe seven and a half hours.

  • So over the next few days,

  • we're gonna be exploring the Oki Islands,

  • here off of Shimane Prefecture, especially here, Ama-cho,

  • and I'm really excited.

  • But first, it's been a long day,

  • I need to check into my hotel and eat something.

  • So, I'm gonna go do that.

  • I checked into Nakamura Inn,

  • one of the most famous bed and breakfast spots in Ama-cho.

  • This type of stay is definitely geared towards

  • people who want to connect with locals.

  • It feels like you're having a fun sleepover

  • at a friend's house.

  • Oh, and your friend is an amazing chef.

  • These are self-sustaining islands.

  • There's an abundance of seafood

  • in the pristine waters surrounding the island.

  • And they can grow their own beef too, called Oki beef.

  • Normally, in remote island communities, they rely on

  • infrequent shipments from the mainland for groceries.

  • But here, the servings are very generous

  • and utilize the vast array of seafood available.

  • Look at this oyster, because this oyster is huge.

  • It's bigger than my hand.

  • Well, I'm so hungry

  • and we are having dinner at Nakamura Yukon

  • which is known for their excellent energy and hospitality.

  • And you have to see what they're wearing.

  • I had read reviews that stated that the Nakamura's

  • were extremely welcoming towards their guests,

  • but I really didn't expect what happened next.

  • (band playing rendition of "O Canada")

  • - Two, three, four...

  • - ♪ O Canada! ♪

  • Our home and native land! ♪

  • The enthusiasm for my culture was profoundly touching.

  • A tradition that began a few years back,

  • when Micronesian ambassadors visited the island

  • and stayed here at the Nakamura Inn.

  • After experiencing the same warm hospitality in Ama-cho,

  • it was later decided that Ama-cho would become

  • Micronesia's official host town in Japan

  • during the Summer Games.

  • And the two would work on building

  • strong Japan, Micronesia relations together.

  • (laughter) (cheering)

  • Thank you!

  • (acoustic guitar music)

  • Good morning, everyone.

  • So, I just got on the ferry.

  • I'm heading over to Nishino Shimo,

  • which is an island just beyond,

  • and we're gonna look at some incredible scenery today.

  • We're so lucky with the weather.

  • It's beautiful this morning.

  • Absolutely beautiful, warm.

  • And I brought my drone,

  • and I don't get a lot of opportunities to fly the drone,

  • so I'm really looking forward to getting out there

  • as soon as possible, catching this brilliant morning light

  • and seeing the islands from a different angle.

  • Boy!

  • It's so translucent.

  • Beautiful, clean water.

  • (speaking Japanese)

  • Today is a full day of sightseeing around the islands,

  • but we're hoping we can get some interviews

  • with a few of the locals about the kind of lifestyle

  • they have here, while we're at it.

  • It's gonna be a busy day, but these views make up for it.

  • We can't get into the parking lot,

  • 'cause there's too many horses.

  • Oh no.

  • (laughter)

  • He's looking right at us!

  • (speaking Japanese)

  • (laughter)

  • - Kobayashi-san showed us around Nishinoshima,

  • including the gorgeous and fairly new

  • seaside community library, Ikaaya,

  • which is island slang for "Ikouyo", or "Let's go".

  • This spacious library is flooded with natural light

  • and filled with resources for children and adults alike.

  • Complete with a comfortable coworking space

  • for remote work and study as well.

  • The library is also currently holding

  • a Micronesian photo exhibition.

  • Further celebrating the relationship between Micronesia

  • and the Oki Islands.

  • With so much natural beauty,

  • it's no surprise that the islands have been registered

  • as a UNESCO World Heritage Geopark.

  • Even though these islands are far from

  • the typical tourist routes,

  • everything feels extremely well-maintained

  • and cared for by the locals.

  • There's also a large community

  • of younger residents on the island,

  • which not only brings fresh energy and ideas

  • to the island community,

  • but also helps breathe new life into old traditions.

  • (speaking Japanese)

  • They're live-streaming their trip,

  • so that viewers at home can travel

  • without leaving the house.

  • (chuckles)

  • - The island work experience program

  • currently has around 20 young workers

  • between the ages of 20 and 24,

  • visiting the island on short-term work contracts.

  • Compared to office work in larger cities,

  • participants can experience working rewarding jobs

  • that make a direct impact on their community.

  • - Thank you!

  • Bye.

  • Okay guys, we have just arrived back Ama-cho's court,

  • and we're going to go ahead and take lunch,

  • which is great timing,

  • because I am very, very hungry.

  • I always try to be a little bit more adventurous

  • when eating somewhere new.

  • And knowing that the seafood on this island

  • is fresh and plentiful,

  • I decided to try the Kanshimame Zukeron.

  • A unique combination of marinated squid, raw egg

  • and a mixture of ginger and onion over rice.

  • The squid is fresh and sweet

  • and the flavor combination is...

  • Well, unlike anything I've ever tried before.

  • For what it's worth though, I would eat this again.

  • (calm music)

  • It truly feels like something out of Jurassic Park,

  • with all these cliffs.

  • There's so much going on here.

  • As the sun was setting,

  • we hit one more scenic spot on the island.

  • The Akiya Kaigan Coast features gorgeous, bright blue waters

  • and jagged, red rock cliffs.

  • But that's not all,

  • this area is known as a romantic power spot for couples.

  • See if you can guess why.

  • (speaking Japanese)

  • After meeting with the Mayor of Ama-cho,

  • I headed back to Nakamura Inn,

  • to find that one of Amo's barbecues

  • was happening right before my eyes.

  • With fresh fish, squid and shellfish from the ocean,

  • the Nakamuras were cooking up a storm

  • and it wasn't just for me.

  • Students living on the island were also invited to drop by

  • and help themselves to some free food, as well.

  • I couldn't help but think that

  • this sense of community is one of

  • the most precious things here on the island.

  • (speaking Japanese)

  • In the early morning, I checked out from the Nakamura Inn

  • and said my goodbyes, and then headed down to the port

  • to catch the early ferry back to mainland Japan,

  • before returning to Fukuoka.

  • Locals were gathered, preparing colorful ribbons,

  • but, at this point, I wasn't really sure what they were for.

  • I said goodbye to the locals who have been so good to me

  • during our three-day trip,

  • and then dashed onto the ferry where I found,

  • you guessed it, the ribbons.

  • It's an island tradition to send off

  • close friends and family with colorful ribbons like these,

  • allowing you to hold hands with your friends and family

  • for just a little while longer.

  • This tradition is beautiful

  • and I was really touched that they made some ribbons for me.

  • (speaking Japanese)

  • - So, for those of you wondering

  • if the paper falls in the water,

  • they make sure it doesn't.

  • And they're cleaning it up on the other side, too.

  • - [Cameraman] Please do not cry!

  • (mimics sobbing)

  • (speaking Japanese)

  • - I had so much fun during my stay here

  • and I learned so much about a place

  • that I didn't even really know existed before.

  • I can't wait to come back.

  • I want to come back in the Summer, when it's nice and warm

  • and I want to jump in this gorgeous, blue water.

  • And now that I've made a bunch of friends,

  • I can't wait to see them again.

  • Bye bye!

  • This has been one of those trips where I leave

  • thinking that I'm definitely coming back someday.

  • Preferably in the Summer, because I want to swim

  • in that beautiful, blue water.

  • Thanks so much for watching,

  • and I hope that this has inspired you to visit

  • the Oki Islands off of Shimane Prefecture someday as well.

  • It's definitely worth the long trip.

  • Check out my other videos to see more videos

  • from around Japan.

  • Bye.

(upbeat music)

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B1 island speaking japanese ama cho japanese prefecture

3 Days in A Remote Island Village in Japan - 本州から3時間離れた隠岐の島

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    Summer posted on 2021/03/24
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