Okinawa has to be one of the most stunning places I have visited in the world. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities of Japan, Okinawa is a paradise with friendly locals, endless beaches, and a perfect climate.
Okinawa consists of one big island and several smaller ones. If you are visiting Okinawa, you will no doubt begin your visit in Naha, the capital city of Okinawa. By all means, spend a few days in Naha and enjoy the tasty food, fun nightlife, and great shopping streets.
But if you want to truly get away from it all, head to the Kerama Islands, of which Zamami Island is one of the most popular. It’s a small island with only a few accommodation options. This article will tell you about one guesthouse which I would highly recommend to anyone and which will make your trip absolutely unforgettable!
Zamami Island is part of the Kerama Islands Group, which sits only an hour away from Naha by ferry. It is a small island with a population of around 600 people, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in gorgeous secluded beaches and wonderful natural scenery!
Most visitors tend to go to Zamami Island for just a day, as it is so accessible from Naha. In a day you can rent bikes or snorkels from rental shops by the dock, go to the beautiful beaches of Ama Beach which has sea turtles, or Furuzamami beach which has amazing coral life, and kick back for a few hours before getting the ferry back.
However, I would highly recommend staying here for a night, or even two nights if you really want time to explore this magical place and the secluded smaller islands surrounding it. There are plenty of things you can enjoy, such as whale watching (in the winter), cycling around the island, and getting smaller boats to nearby islands such as Akajima Island and Geruda Island.
If you do decide to stay a night or two, consider staying at this amazing guesthouse I discovered on my travels!
Guesthouse Nakayamagwa is a wonderful little place just a five-minute walk from the main dock on Zamami. It is situated down a beautiful quiet path and has a lovely little garden you can relax in any time of the day.
Rooms here are very traditional with tatami flooring and futon bedding, but they are very spacious and comfortable. Air conditioning and free wifi are included in the stay, and the lovely staff speak English and are more than happy to give advice on things to do, places to eat, etc!
Although there is no food served at this guesthouse, there are shops and lovely restaurants nearby where you can get what you need. Nearby the guesthouse is a bike rental shop, and places where you can book yourself on to boat trips and tours! In the evening, there are some great restaurants and drinking spots nearby, and the beach is only a short cycle away!
I had an absolutely perfect experience staying here and would recommend it to anybody who wants friendly staff, convenient facilities, and access to all the island has to offer!
— Michael Lynch (@RyukyuMike) June 29, 2017
Getting to Zamami Island from Naha couldn’t be easier. Just go to Tomari Port, which is the main port in Naha and walking distance from the city center. From there, you can book yourself a ticket on the Queen Zamami, which is a high speed ferry going to Zamami Island, Aka Island. A return ticket to Zamami costs 5,970 yen.
Do consider getting there early in the morning, as there are only a few departures a day and during peak seasons such as national holidays it may be fully booked! If it’s booked out, there may be the option of getting on to the Ferry Zamami, which is a bigger, less frequent ferry which takes two hours to get to Zamami.
For a timetable and a full price list, go to the official website page here.
Zamami Island is well worth a trip if you are in Okinawa. It is a real escape from city life and has beautiful blue waters you can gaze at forever. Guesthouse Nakayamagwa is one of the few hotels available on Zamami and I would highly recommend it to anybody looking for a traditional and friendly stay in a paradise setting!