Kume Island is approximately 30 minutes by air from the main island of Okinawa. During the dynastic era of the Ryukyu Kingdom, Kume Island was regarded as especially beautiful among the numerous islands, and praised as “Kumi no Shima (Island of Ryukyuan Beauty)” for its abundant nature. Almost the entire island has been designated as a prefectural natural park, from the stunning contrast between the bright white sandy beach stretching nearly 7 kilometers on the eastern shore and the emerald green ocean, the sand island of Hate no Hama Beach, to the unique paving stones that resemble turtle shells covering the sandy beach. Kume Island has very distinct scenic attractions to offer. In addition, the Kuroshio Current off the coast of Kume Island harbors a rich fishing ground, making the island quite popular among fishermen as well. Utilizing the deep seawater, Kume Island is also known for the farming of Japanese tiger prawn and sea grapes, which attracts avid foodie travelers.
On Kume Island, there is a spa facility built around the concept of a “bade,” a traditional German bath therapy, that uses mineral-rich deep seawater pumped from 612 meters underwater off the island’s coast. Furthermore, the island offers a wide range of relaxing beauty treatments, including facials that generously incorporate locally-sourced ingredients. Indulge in the abundant nature on Kume Island, and enjoy the slow pace of time found here that allows for a special moment to heal the fatigue from everyday life.
With its abundance of water, Kume Island is also known for its tasty traditional Okinawan liquor awamori and high-quality agricultural produce. In addition, the island is renowned for their farming of sea grapes and Japanese tiger prawn using deep seawater that is rich in minerals and pure, both of which Kume Island boasts the largest production in Japan. Also gaining popularity is Kumejima Akadori,a type of branded chicken raised on feed that contains unrefined awamori dregs and Okinawan herbs. There is also abundant seafood to be caught in the rich fishing grounds, making Kume Island one of the gourmet islands of Okinawa.
During the Ryukyu Kingdom era, Kume Island flourished as a key part of the trade routes between Mainland China and the Kingdom. On the island, there are four castle ruins including Uegusuku, Gushikawa, Tonnaha, and Chinaha, and from these ruins, coins and porcelain from Mainland China have been discovered, highlighting the prosperity of the time. Among these ruins, Uegusuku Castle stands at an altitude of approximately 310 meters, the highest point in Okinawa, and from here you can overlook nearly the entire island. On a sunny day, you can even see Hate no Hama Beach and the surrounding islands, making it quite the scenic spot.
Airplane: Haneda Airport – Kume Island Airport (In operation between July 17th ~ August 31st)*Direct flights from Tokyo (approx 2 hours 35 minutes)
Naha Airport – Kume Island Airport (approx 30 minutes)
Ferry: Tomari Port (Naha city) – Kanegusuku Port (Kume Island) (approx 3-4 hours by ferry).
Size / Population: 59.11km² / approx population of 8,228 people.