Aguni Island (粟国島 Agunijima) is a 7.6 square kilometer island home to about 800 residents. It is a beautiful island not too far from Okinawa hontō (the main island), and famous for its salt and chalky white walls of volcanic rock from when it was a volcanic island tens of thousands of years ago. It is located approximately 60 km northwest of Naha City, and can be reached by a 2 hour 10 minute ferry.
There is only 1 boat a day. It leaves Naha Tomarin Port at 9:55 AM and arrives in Aguni at around 12:10. The return trip departs Aguni at 2:10 PM and arrives in Naha Tomarin Port at 4:15 PM. This is definitely the nice way to travel. The ferry is large and very spacious, with regular seats on the upper floor and a sleeping room on the lower floor. Depending on the weather, the ride can be a little rough but it is well worth it. An adult round trip ticket for the ferry costs 6480 yen.
※ If you are a resident of Aguni, you may have a discounted fare to make trips to Okinawa hontō. Please ask your coordinator or local port if this is an available option.
※※ As of April 1, 2018, flights to Aguni via small aircraft have been suspended. You can check for flight services here: Dai 1 Air (Japanese website)
WHERE TO STAY
Once on the island there are numerous places to stay. Puchi Isa Hotel is located right near the port. There are however numerous minshoku (Japanese Inns) available for people.
HOW TO GET AROUND
There are buses that run through the island and most likely places to rent scooters or bicycles. Taxis are available demand-only, which means you must call and make a reservation beforehand. You can learn more about the bus and taxi service here: Aguni Access. (The pdf about the taxi service is only in Japanese.)
For dining, there are usually café/dining areas where you stay, but if you chose to venture out, there are a few restaurants. One in traditional Okinawan Fare called Nabi, and another is Marusan, a Chinese restaurant. And of course, there is Paru, the karaoke parlor that is open from around 7:30 PM to when the last customer leaves.
THINGS TO DO
Aguni is home to beautiful cliffs and just as lovely coast. You can walk along sandy beaches or rocky water edges. There’s also Mahana observatory where you can climb up and get a good view of the sea. On a clear day, you can even see all the neighboring islands (Tonaki, Kume, Zamami, and Tokashiki). There are also beautiful caves on the northern parts of island, which are located directly behind the island temple.
For more cultural activities, you can tour the ancient ruins of a castle that once stood on Aguni during the Ryukyu Kingdom, visit the salt factory, where famous Aguni salt is produced, or seasonally visit the sugar refinery, where brown sugar is produced. Lastly, there are numerous festivals throughout the year that you can enjoy, such as the dragon boat race to celebrate the lunar New Year and so on. Check with the OkiJET on the island or the island’s website (Japanese website) to find out more about events on Aguni.
No matter what you end up doing, whether it’s sightseeing, relaxing at the beach, or enjoying eisa and drinking with the locals, you’re bound to have a great time on Aguni!
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