Central to this region is Kume Island which is approximately 30 minutes from Naha by plane. Here, you can see magnificent works of art only nature can create. “Hate-no Hama” is an island of only sandy beaches and is admired for having the most beautiful scenery in the East. “Tatami Ishi” is lined with “turtle shell rocks” and the finest never-ending white sand can be seen at “Eef Beach”. Another feature of this region are the many specialty products such as “Kumejima Tsumugi”, a famous textile, said to be the root of tsumugi textile and the nationally famous Awamori spirit, “Kumejima no Kumesen”. The allure of the islands near Kume Island is also overwhelming. On Agumi Island, you can see nature untouched by man while almost all of Tonaki Island is a prefectural nature park.
Hatenohama is a narrow 7-kilometer long beach along the east side of Kume Island. The beach is surrounded by pure-white sand and an emerald green ocean as far as the eye can see. The contrast between the white and azure is said to be the most beautiful in the East, and the beach is most suitably called a tropical paradise. It’s only 20 minutes by tour ship from “Tomari Fisharena”, Kume Island’s port. During the beach season, parasols and beach mats are available for rent. When you’re here, you’ll forget about time.
Tatami Ishi / Rare Natural Rocks of Art
Tatami Ishi is a series of odd-shaped rocks protected by the prefectural government along the south coast of Nishi-Ou Island, east of Kume Island. More than 1,000 pentagonal and hexagonal rocks that look like turtle shells connected to each other appear at low tide. This series of odd-shaped rocks is also called “turtle shell rocks” formed when gradually cooling lava splintered into rock. Wave erosion has worn the rocks down nearly flat over the years. Such formations are extremely rare in the world and are truly natural works of art.
Eef Beach / White Sand Beach with Shoals and Calm waves
Eef Beach is a representative beach of Kume Island. The fine pure-white sand extends for as long as 2 kilometers. Its beauty, selected as a “Best Beach 100 of Japan”, continues to attract visitors. Since the sand at the bottom of the sea continues offshore and is covered with shoals, you can walk far offshore at low tide. The calm waves are another feature and the beach is excellent for swimming. Dive shops, etc. line the beach. Eef Beach is also known as a mecca for marine sports such as snorkeling and windsurfing.