Aguni Island is located approximately 60 kilometers northwest of the main island of Okinawa. The island features a complex topography. Although the western coastline of the island consists of high cliffs, it gradually lowers towards the eastern coast, where sandy beaches surrounded by developing coral reefs can be found. Because Aguni Island was formed by deposits of volcanic activity millions of years ago, differing from most islands found throughout Okinawa Prefecture that were formed by developing coral reefs, you can experience a unique landscape throughout the island. In the village, the original scenery of Okinawa still remains, with a windbreak forest of fukugi trees and red tile roofed dwellings surrounded by limestone walls, allowing you to slip into the past and experience Okinawa as it once was.
Throughout Aguni Island, evidence of volcanic activity can be found. At “Yamatugaa” and “Yahija Coast” on the southern part of the island, you can view both black and red, and brown and white bare strata. Looking at the rocks that are reminiscent of the volcanic activity, including basalt and andesite rocks formed by cold hardening lava, and tuff formed by depositing volcanic ash, and the landscape shaped by millions of years of erosion, you can feel the breathe of our dynamic planet Earth.
As of today, there have been over 220 species of wild birds observed on Aguni Island. Among them, only 20 of these bird species find sole habitat on the island, with a majority of them being migratory birds. With abundant natural environments including ponds, forests, sandy beaches and cliffs for these birds to call home, Aguni Island can be called a “wild bird paradise.” In addition, because it is a rich natural island with very little artificial lights, you can experience the attractive night sky fully illuminated with shining stars. The Aguni Village Tourism Association has a large transportable astronomical telescope and also organizes starry sky tours.
On Aguni Island, there is a traditional event that runs from New Year’s Eve through New Year’s Day on the old calendar, known as “Maasuyaa (salt selling).” While delivering salt to each house, the locals pray for sound health and fertility with various types of dance and song passed down by each region. There are multiple theories of its origin, but it is said that because large amounts of salt are necessary for New Year’s Day celebrations the custom of selling the salt evolved simultaneously with the performing arts of the island.
By air : None
By sea : Tomari Port (Naha) to Aguni Port (approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes by ferry)
Area / Population: 7.64 km² / 770 residents
If you need more information, Ask Be.Okinawa Multilingual Contact Center.