A Quiet Island Where Time Flows More Slowly
Kurima Island is a small island located to the southwest of Miyako Island with a circumference of roughly 9 kilometers. Even though it is an island, it is easily accessible by car across the Kurima Bridge located close to Yonaha Maehama Beach. With a length of 1,690 meters, Kurima Bridge connects the islands in a straight line, and when viewed from above, the sea surrounding Miyako is truly impressive. On sunny days you can enjoy the beautiful gradience of the Miyako Blue in its prime. There is one village on the east side of the island, while the remainder is mostly cultivated land. Despite being separated from the larger Miyako islands, more people are relocating to Kurima Island because of the convenience it offers, as well as fulfilling their dream to live on a remote island. In recent years, fashionable cafés and sundry shops have opened, and the island’s popularity amongst tourists is growing rapidly.
Ryugu Castle Observatory—The Orange Building Visible from Maehama Beach
The building with an orange roof at the eastern-end of the island is a three-story observatory modeled after the Ryugu Castle, as its name suggests. As a prominent observatory, it can be easily spotted by looking towards Kurima Island from Yonaha Maehama Beach on Miyako Island. The observatory offers an impressive panoramic view of the Kurima Bridge, and a great perspective on the changing gradient of the Miyako Blue as it extends across the sea to Yonaha Maehama Beach. It is also possible to see the entire island from this point, making it the first sightseeing location you would want to visit when you set foot on Kurima Island.
Fashionable Cafés and Sundry Shops
While only a small island, a wide variety of shops have opened on Kurima Island in recent years, including fashionable cafés offering menus featuring local fruits and vegetables, as well as shops selling miscellaneous goods made from materials collected on the island. You can also find souvenirs based on eco-friendly ideas unique to small islands with few supplies, such as the Shisa made using red roof tiles discarded from old traditional houses. The island offers the chance to take a bit of time out and explore the various options till you find your favorite shop.
Nagamahama Beach, the Hidden Beach
While the eastern coast of Kurima Island facing Miyako Island consists of a high cliff, there are several beaches on the west coast. Among them, Nagamahama Beach is known for its spectacular sunset view. Although the entrance to the beach is difficult to locate amongst all the vegetation to be found between the beach and village, the sense of excitement at arrival is like no other, and it feels like the perfect hideaway beach. There is nothing to block the scenery in front of you to the west, making it the best location for viewing the sunset over the horizon.
Access to Kurima Island
By air : None
By sea : None
Kurima Island Basic Information
Area / Population: 2.84km² / ~165 people