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Dress up in a kimono at Chura Sakura! Enjoy a stroll around Okinawa in a rental kimono!
This is Ishii from Okinawa Holiday Hackers!
Today I’m introducing
the island you can see across the ocean from Churaumi Aquarium
Its name is “Iejima”
Iejima is a solitary island with 4,534 residents (*as of Sept 2019) which is reachable by a 30-min ferry from Motobu Port in the northern part of the main island.
The “Ejima Lily Festival” held yearly in the first week of May is one of Okinawa’s top events – it’s so popular that long lines form at the ferry port ^^
Today I’m going to introduce
5 must-visit spots for your Iejima trip(╹◡╹)ﾉ
The first place I’m going to introduce is GI Beach, reachable 8 minutes by car from Ie Port, where the ferry docks
It’s an untouched, natural beach without man-made structures like showers or toilets or shops
GI Beach is relatively closer to the harbor than the other spots, so we headed straight for it after arriving at Ie Port. When we went there, no one else was there, so we had the still quiet and breathtaking view special to this outlying island all to ourselves ♪
It’s great to go there right after landing on Iejima like we did, but you might also consider heading there last, as a closer for your trip to Iejima
＜Basic Information about GI Beach＞
|Parking Lot||Yes, free parking|
|Map Code||553 123 514*74|
|Notes||This is not a designated swimming zone, so there are no lifeguards or jellyfish nets. You are swimming in the ocean at your own risk, so have fun but keep safety a priority.|
The second place I’m introducing is Nyatiya Cave, a sacred spot important to the locals who live on Iejima
It’s right next to GI Beach, which I introduced earlier, and can be reached in 1 minute by car.
It’s a spacious cave with considerable depth, so it’s also called “Senningama” (Cave of A Thousand Men). Nyatiya Cave served as an air-raid shelter which helped many local residents survive the Battle of Okinawa, where Iejima was a fierce battlefield.
▼Go deep into the cave, and you’ll find a large hole that connects to the ocean
This hole is said to, depending on the tides and the light, resemble the shape of a heart or a fetus captured on ultrasound. When you go to Nyatiya Cave, try to see what shape it looks like to you♪
▼The stone with a legend that says it blesses people with children
Inside the cave, there is a stone called the Bijiru-ishi. It is said that a woman who prays while holding up the stonewill be blessed with child.
It’s also said that when picking up the stone, you’ll have a boy if the stone is heavier than you thought it would be, and you’ll have a girl if it’s lighter than you thought it would be.
Locals testify that the predictions are often correct (╹◡╹)ﾉ
I picked up the Bijiru-ishi so that I could be blessed with children. It was heavier than I thought, so… big chances of having a boy…!?
To the ladies that think “I want to have kids!!!”, definitely come to Nyatiya Cave to pick up the Bijiru-ishi!
After you’ve finished picking up thte Bijiru-ishi, put it back to its proper original place.
＜Basic Information for Nyatiya Cave＞
|Parking||Yes, free parking|
|Map Code||553 122 534*58|
|Notes||This is a very important prayer spot to locals. When visiting, please mind your manners and refrain from fooling around or making noise.|
The third place I’m introducing is Wajii, an important water source that sustained the lifestyles of Iejima residents back in the day.
It got its name from the fresh water that gushes from the water’s edge beneath the cliffs.
Nowadays, water pipes from the main island are Okinawa are laid on the seafloor so there’s no worry about water shortage. But clean, fresh water still gushes forth from the spring, which is used as drinking water even now (╹◡╹)ﾉ
▼Local soda “Ie Soda” made with Wajii water
I’ll introduce the varieties of Ie Soda and where you can get them shortly after♪
＜Basic Information About Wajii Viewpoint＞
|Parking||Yes, free parking|
|Map Code||553 215 391*3|
Iejima Beach is the number one crowd-drawing beach on the island!
It’s designated as a swimming zone, with a lifeguard and jellyfish nets during the swimming period so that you can enjoy yourself without worry.
▼Found the swing set I see often on Instagram^^
Iejima Beach has shops, where you can find the “Ie Soda” I mentioned earlier (╹◡╹)ﾉ
There are 4 varieties in total〜♪
From the left
Green Marsu Soda
Salted soda with Wajii salt and Ogimi shikwasa juice
Pink Dragon Soda
A shocking pink-colored soda made with Iejima dragonfruit juice and purple sweet potato coloring
Black Cane Cola
Black sugar coke made at a black cane sugar factory in Iejima
Soda made with lactic acid, in the image of the Easter lilies that announce spring in Iejima
＜Basic Information about Iejima Beach＞
|Swimming Period||May 1st-end of November|
|Parking lot||Yes, free parking|
|Entrance fee||adults 100 yen/children 50 yen|
|Map Code||553 129 577*53|
|Notes||Please note that snorkeling is not allowed.|
The last place I’m going to introduce is the rocky mountain that towers over the central part of the island and leans towards the east, with an elevation of approximately 172 meters. The islanders call it “Gusuku” or “Gusukuyama”, but people outside the island know it as “Iejima Tacchu.”
Anyone can climb Mt. Gusuku.
I tried climbing it too♪
You can see a sight reserved for climbers of Mt. Gusuku, a 360 degree view of all of Iejima, so I’d definitely recommend that you climb it when you come to Iejima!!
＜Basic Information About Mt. Gusuku Trailhead＞
|Parking Lot||Yes, free parking|
|Map Code||553 157 782*46|
|Notes||There are bathrooms and shops next to the parking lot.
Be sure to use the bathrooms and buy a drink from the shops before climbing. I also recommend that you bring a hat to shade you from the sun and a towel to prevent heatstroke.
That’s a wrap for the 5 must-visit spots for a trip to Iejima ^ ^
Iejima is an outlying island that you can enjoy even as a day trip, so definitely come and experience a different atmosphere from the main island〜♪
■Search for hotels near Iejima
Born in Osaka, I was raised in Saitama. My horoscope is Cancer. It is pretty hard to imagine myself commuting to work on a crowded train every day, so I decided to move to Okinawa. And now I am kinda annoyed at kyphosis.