While a popular resort destination, Kohama Island, located approximately 30 minutes by regularly scheduled ferry from the Ishigaki Port Outlying Island Terminal, is also a peaceful island that preserves the old-fashioned Okinawa landscape. Located almost in the center of the Yaeyama Islands, Kohama Island is where you can enjoy marine sports such as diving and snorkeling, or explore the Sugar Road, a single path running through a sugarcane field, or spend time in the village, or do all these things. You can even savor the resort setting from a beach next to a resort hotel. This is the perfect island for those looking to enjoy island time without any commitments.
Mount Ufudaki, with an altitude of 99 meters, is located in the center of the island. It is the highest point on the island, and you can get a panoramic view of all the Yaeyama Islands, with the exception of Yonaguni Island, from the observation deck at the summit of the mountain. Beyond the green forest of Kohama Island lies the blue sea with its rich color gradations spreading out to the Yaeyama Islands. The beautiful scenery from the observation deck will fill the hearts of visitors with a sense of boundlessness.
It is a long-held tradition on Kohama Island to wear kimonos hand-dyed with indigo during the local spiritual events, which continues to be practiced by the islanders to this day. From sowing the seeds of Indian indigo (plants such as Indigofera suffruticosa) to be used for dyeing, to weaving the indigo-dyed yarn to make kimonos, the entire process is wholeheartedly done by the people of Kohama Island.
KBG 84 (Kohama Island Elderly Women’s Choir) is a musical “idol” group with an average age of 84, formed by grandmothers living on Kohama Island. You must be at least 80 years old to join, and the average age of the members is 84. The catchphrase of the group, all originating from Kohama Island, is they are “the idols closest to heaven.” In 2015, the group made their mainstream debut and regularly perform songs and dances on the stage at the island’s events and festivals, recently becoming more active, they have performed both domestically and internationally. The bright smiles of the grandmothers are amongst the highlights of Kohama Island.
By air : None
By sea : Ishigaki Port – Kohama Port (about 25 minutes by high-speed ferry)
Taketomi Port – Kohama Island (about 20 minutes by high-speed ferry)
Ohara Port (Iriomote Island) – Kohama Island (about 30 minutes by high-speed ferry)
Area/Population: 7.85 km²/Approximately 570 people