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  • When it comes to beach holidays, azure  blue waters, pristine white beaches  

  • and a laid back atmosphere come to mindOkinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture,  

  • is the country's premiere beach destination, with  numerous islands and seas abundant with coral  

  • and marine wildlife. Less than an hour by  boat from the prefectural capital of Okinawa  

  • lie the remote Kerama Islands, which are set in  the beautiful ocean. The small islands are popular  

  • snorkeling and scuba diving destinationsand are where one can enjoy carefree days.

  • My name is Raina Ongreporting for japan-guide.com,  

  • and in this video, we'll  be going to Zamami Island,  

  • a popular destination in the Kerama Islandsfor a slow and idyllic beach holiday.

  • The Kerama Islands are about 40 kilometers  west of Naha, the prefectural capital of  

  • Okinawa. The only way to access the islands  is by high speed boat or ferry from Naha,  

  • and the closest airport with  scheduled flights is Naha Airport.

  • On Day 1, we take the high speed boat  from Naha's Tomari Port to Zamami Island.  

  • We'll spend the day snorkeling, checking out the  main village and dining at a local restaurant,  

  • and stay overnight attypical island accommodation.

  • On Day 2, we'll hike to a nearby observation deck  

  • before taking the morning boat  back to the main island of Okinawa.

  • So follow along, as we go on an overnight trip to  a Beach Paradise in the Keramashoto National Park

  • Day 1

  • From Tomari Port in Naha, I boardhigh speed boat for Zamami Island.

  • The high speed boat took about 50 minutes,  

  • and here I am on Zamami Island  and ready to start my holiday!

  • Zamami Island is relatively small, and the main  tourist spots can be accessed on foot. However,  

  • a rental bicycle or moped can make covering  travel distances a little less time consuming.  

  • Fortunately for me, the place where  I'm staying also has rental bicycles,  

  • so I head there to drop my bag off  and rent a bicycle for the day.

  • A ten minute ride takes me to the jewel  of Zamami Island, Furuzamami Beach.  

  • This highly rated, pristine white  sand beach has clear blue waters  

  • populated with abundant marine life, and is  a top spot for sunbathing and snorkeling.

  • This is Furuzamami Beach, and it's so pretty!  I mean, just looking at it makes me so happy.

  • During the warmer months from  around April through till October,  

  • rental shops at the beach front open for businessrenting gear like sunbeds, parasols and snorkeling  

  • equipment, so one can turn up empty handed  and still do all the fun beach things.

  • I've got my life jacket and my  snorkel gear and I'm ready to go!

  • The waters near Furuzamami Beach  have a depth of about 2 to 5 meters,  

  • and there is a large coral reef  a few meters from the shore.  

  • While these conditions make snorkeling an  

  • accessible activity for the young and  those who are not confident swimmers,  

  • adequate precautions should be taken as  there is a sharp drop-off underwater.

  • After that refreshing snorkeling experienceit was time to get dry and explore the main  

  • village on Zamami Island. The small  village is where the port and majority  

  • of the island's lodgings and restaurants are  centered. In fact, the main village is also  

  • where a large percentage of the island's  approximately 600 inhabitants reside.

  • This is the largest grocery slash  convenience store on the island,  

  • and where the locals get their daily necessities  from. Let's go inside and check it out!

  • Walking about the village gives one an idea of  the construction and decoration of Okinawan-style  

  • residences. Shisa are the lion-like statues that  are seen at the roof or entrance of many houses.  

  • These shisa, typically found in  pairs, are said to ward off bad luck.

  • You might have also noticed that some of  the traditional looking houses have low  

  • roofs and high stone walls surrounding the  premises, and many buildings tend to have  

  • flat roofs. The purpose for the flat or low roof  construction is to withstand the strong coastal  

  • winds as well as typhoons, which frequently  visit the region from late spring to autumn.

  • After the nice urban exploration of the  village, it was time to have dinner,  

  • and dining out is a great way to sample  the regional and local ingredients.

  • I'm at a Ao No Umi, a restaurant on  Zamami Island and I've ordered some  

  • local specialities for dinner. But before  that, I'm gonna have a drink. Kanpai!

  • Look at this spread I've ordered for  dinner! I'm so excited to eat EVERYTHING

  • We've got mozuku which is a local seaweed and  I have it in vinegar as well as in tempura

  • I've also got half grilled kanpachi  fish head and octopus...deep  

  • fried octopus, local fish sashimi as  well as somen champuru which is cooked  

  • in a typical Okinawan style with  vegetables and a bit of broth

  • And pizza, we've got pizza and its topping is  quite unique, it's got Rafute on top. Rafute  

  • is this simmered pork dish which is so tender  and beautiful. I'm excited to try that one!

  • Day 2

  • I'm at the Takatsukiyama Observation Deck, which  is one of the highest points on Zamami Island.  

  • This is also a great place to see the  sunrise, which is what I did this morning!  

  • And on the other side you get to  look down on the village of Zamami.

  • Following breakfast, I cycle to the Marilyn dog  

  • statue located a few minutes  away from my accommodation.

  • There is a romantic and heartwarming  story behind this dog statue,  

  • and one which was made into a movie in 1988  titled Marilyn ni Aitai or Longing for Marilyn.

  • This is the statue of Marilyn and she is looking  in the direction of Aka Island where her doggy  

  • boyfriend lived. And he would swim 3 kilometers  everyday across the water just to meet her

  • And you might have guessed, there is a matching  statue of Shiro, Marilyn's companion, on Aka  

  • Island. Their love is eternalised in bronzeand their story will be remembered for ages.

  • For my afternoon activity,  

  • I made advance reservations for a guided  half day sea kayak and snorkelling tour.

  • I'm going on a sea kayaking  and snorkeling activity to  

  • that uninhabited island behind me which  is only accessible by tour. Let's go!

  • Having a local guide is indispensable  for those who want to know where the best  

  • places are and learn more about the local flora  and fauna. My tour included all the equipments  

  • like kayaks and snorkeling gear, and all I brought  was my swimming gear and sunny disposition.

  • To bring my time on Zamami Island to a close,  

  • I watched the sunset from the Kaminohama  Observation Deck after that fun tour.

  • As the sun set, I thought about how this  has been an excellent and relaxing trip.  

  • I got to explore the Kerama blue waters  and see a multitude of marine life,  

  • and most of all, got to thoroughly enjoy  the simple island life in a national park.

  • Thanks for joining me. I hope this video has been  enjoyable and perhaps even inspires some ideas,  

  • should you decide to plan  a trip to a national park.

  • For more information about this  trip or to watch another video,  

  • click the links on the screen nowor head over to japan-guide.com,  

  • your comprehensive, up-to-date, travel  guide first-hand from Japan. Thanks for  

  • watching, be sure to subscribe and click the  notification bell for more videos about Japan.

  • Happy travels!

When it comes to beach holidays, azure  blue waters, pristine white beaches  

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Island Paradise in Okinawa | Keramashoto National Park | japan-guide.com

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    Summer posted on 2021/09/23
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