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, it differs from most islands found throughout Okinawa Prefecture that were formed by coral reefs development, allowing you to experience a unique landscape. 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. These rocks are intrinsic to volcanic activity, and include basalt and andesite rocks formed by cold hardening lava, and tuff formed by depositing volcanic ash. It is a landscape shaped by millions of years of erosion, and a place where you can feel the development 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 (according to the lunar 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 within 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 development of performing arts on the island.
By air : None
By sea : Tomari Port (Naha) to Aguni Port (approximately 130minutes by ferry)
Area / Population: 7.64 km² / 770 residents