An Island of the Gods in the Middle of the Miyako Blue
Ogami Island is located approximately 15 minutes by boat to the north of Miyako Island, and when viewed from Miyako Island and Ikema Island, the island is seemingly floating in a sea of Miyako Blue . Ogami Island is also known as Uganjima or “the island of the gods” and has always been a spiritual place amongst the Miyako Islands. There are a number of sacred sites scattered across the island that have been highly regarded since ancient times, some of which are closed to the public, so it is recommended to find a guide to assist you around the island when sightseeing.
Although it is a small island, when you look at the island from a distance, you can see that it is elevated towards the center like a mountain. The view from the observation deck at the highest point at the center of the island is magnificent. The observation deck will be off-limits during the Uyagan festivities, which take place five times a year between July and December, determined by the Okinawan lunar calendar. In addition to the observation deck, there will be other sites that will become off-limits during the festivities, so please check in advance and have a guide with you to assist your travels around the island.
The Oddly Shaped Rock (Nocchi)
On the west coast of Ogami Island, you will find many strangely-shaped rocks known as “nocchi.” The waters surrounding Ogami Island face the sea where the currents are strong, this has caused parts of the rocks below the water’s surface to erode, resulting in mushroom shaped rocks that can be seen near the shore during low tide. The tide weakens enough in places with well developed coral reef, creating a sight rarely seen on the other islands of Miyako. The nocchi rocks continue to erode as we speak, slowly transforming by the moment.
Kakidako, the Island Specialty
One of the specialty products of Ogami Island is smoked octopus, known as kakidako. On the small isolated islands, the fishermen cannot go out for their catch during poor sea conditions, so the seafood caught each day has traditionally been smoked and preserved. However, due to improved transportation and the advancement of food preservation techniques, Kakidako is no longer as common as it once was. Nevertheless, you can find some at Opuyu Shokudo, the only diner on the island. The local octopus of Okinawa is quite tender, which prevents it from becoming too firm when smoked, giving it a nice texture that will have you asking for more.
Access to Ogami Island
By air : None
By sea : Shimajiri Port (Hirara, Miyako Island) – Ogami Port (approx. 15 minutes)
Ogami Island Basic Information
Area / population: 0.24km / approx. 35