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September 16, 2005

Nishihama Beach, Hateruma-jima

I’ve just returned to Ishigaki, one of the larger southern islands of Okinawa, from three days on Hateruma-jima – Okinawa’s (and therefore, by default, Japan’s) southernmost island. It’s a beautiful place, with a population of a few hundred people and probably a similar number of goats, and not much else apart from the whitest, cleanest beaches and bluest sea and sky I’ve ever seen, even in Okinawa. Very good home-made ice-cream too. I went and stood on the cliff-edge at the southernmost point of the island, and was for a few minutes the furthest-south person in Japan (people in boats don’t count, ok?)

Back from the south, tomorrow I’m taking the ferry four hours west to Yonaguni, Japan’s westernmost island – from which I’ve heard that Taiwan is sometimes visible on a clear day. I’m hoping to dive to the kaitei iseki (海底遺跡) – the pyramid-like formation on the sea-floor just off Yonaguni’s south coast. I will also try and find a place where I can be (for a few minutes anyway) the furthest-west person in Japan.

posted in Okinawa3 comments


  1. Posted by graeme — September 26, 2005 at 2:33 pm

    wow! those are some fantastic photos you have! i`m looking forward to seeing more. it`s a shame about not seeing the ruins, but you still made it to yonaguni! i`m so impressed, and insanely jealous!!!

  2. Posted by Desi — May 27, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Iva,
    Amzing pictures of hateruma!!
    I have a question, where did you stay? I am planning a trip this july and it’s hard to find the accomodations…
    best regards Desi from Amsterdam

  3. Posted by lva — May 29, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    Hi Desi,

    Thanks. I stayed in a little guesthouse very near the port, and about 5 mins walk from Nishihama beach. I think the place was called Nishihama-sou (西浜荘), or something similar, but I could be wrong (it was getting on for two years ago now…) Anyway, Hateruma is a lovely little island, and Nishihama beach is possibly the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to. Have a great time!