Kudaka Island is a small island (about 8 km in circuit) located about 5 km east of the Chinen Peninsula in the main island of Okinawa. It is said that Amamikiyo, the creator goddess, descended out of heaven and began to form the land of Ryukyu from this island, and a lot of Shinto rituals have been performed in the island since the Ryukyu Dynasty era.
After getting off the ferry at Tokujin Port, I walked through a village and headed to Kudakajima Shukuhaku Koryukan (Kudaka-jima Accommodations and Exchanges House) where I’m staying for the night. Kudakajima Shukuhaku Koryukan is located on the edge of the village, and it’s a long walk from Tokujin Port.
It was before 3:00 p.m. when I arrived at Kudakajima Shukuhaku Koryukan. It seemed that an event for the celebration of the former New Year was held in the hall in the first floor, and there were many people in the facility. After checking in, I left my baggage in my room, took a breath, and then went outside to look around the island.
Kudaka Island is quite small and it takes only several hours to walk around the whole island. If you don’t take time to relax on beaches or at other places, I think three hours is enough for taking a quick walk around the island. And If you want to use a bicycle, you can rent one at one of stores renting bicycles around Tokujin Port. Kudakajima Shukuhaku Koryukan rents bicycles as well. I don’t like riding on a bicycle much, so I decided to look around the island on foot.
First, I headed to the east (south) side of the island where many beaches are located. Be careful that there is no vending machine, store, or toilet outside of the village.
Walk in the direction to the sea from Kudakajima Shukuhaku Koryukan, and the first beach you will find is Piza Beach (Pizahama). The beach is also close to Tokujin Port where ferries from the main island of Okinawa arrive. A small path surrounded by trees leads to the beach.
There is also a beach called Ichaziki Beach (Ichazikihama) next to Piza Beach, but these two beaches are mostly connected in the afternoon, so it is difficult to distinguish these two beaches. There are two entrances which lead to the beaches.
A country road continues along the sea in the east (south) side of Kudaka Island. Walk along the road, next you will find Tachi Beach (Tachihama).
Next, there is Ishiki Beach (Ishikihama). Ishiki Beach is the most famous beach in Kudaka Island. It is said that a jar containing the seeds of five grains drifted to Ishiki Beach, therefore the beach is said to be the birthplace of five grains.
After leaving Ishiki Beach and walking for a while, next you will find Shimashi Beach (Shimashihama). There are several beaches lined up in the east (south) side of Kudaka Island, but they are just separated by rocks, and there is not much big difference between these beaches.
Next, there is Upama Beach (Upamahama), which is famous as the star sand beach. It is the biggest beach in Kudaka Island.
Many people visited Kudaka Island on this day for the former New Year celebration, but I rarely met people except in the village. I only saw two couples riding around the island by bicycle on the way.
The scenery of Kudaka Island somehow reminded me of Hatoma Island or Tarama Island, which are other isolated islands of Okinawa.
After Upama Beach, there is one straight road which leads to Kaberu Cape in the northern (eastern) edge of Kudaka Island. Kaberu Cape is said to be the place where Amamikiyo, the creator goddess, descended, and therefore it is regarded as one of the most sacred places in Kudaka Island.
After Kaberu Cape, I walked back the one straight road and then headed to the west (north) side of Kudaka Island which leads back to the village.