The best of the islands of Irabujima and Shimojishima
This tour takes you to Irabu Island. First stop at Irabu Ohashi bridge which is the Longest Toll-free Bridge in Japan opened in 2016. After passing bridge, you'll stop at Sawada Hama where is listed as one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in Japan, offers truly breathtaking views of the setting sun. When the ocean settles back, reveal a rough landscape scattered with large boulders deposited when a powerful tsunami struck in 1771. Next stop is The Shimoji airport. This was also known as a 'training airport' for pilots. Finally, you'll visit at “Toori-ike Pond” which deeply attracts you with its mysterious atmosphere.The pond with such a unique, irresistible presence is designated as national scenic beauty and national natural treasure.
Two big open mouth holes on the spacious plateau of rugged Ryukyu limestone hold cobalt blue water quietly and solemnly. Its blue black color makes you feel like being absorbed into the water or even eerie, which might have created some legends including “yunaimata (mermaid) legend” and “stepchild legend.
What we will see
• Irabu Ohashi bridge
• Sawada Hama beach
• Shimoji airport
• Toori-ike Pond
What we will do
• The first stop on our tour takes us to the Irabu Ohashi bridge connecting Miyakojima and Irabujima in the Okinawa Prefecture inaugurated in 2016. The bridge is 3,540 metres long in total and is the longest toll-free bridge in Japan. On sunny days, it offers amazing views of the shimmering emerald green seas.
• Once over the bridge, we stop at the Sawada Hama beach, one of the 100 Best Beaches in Japan offering breathtaking views at sunset.
• When the ocean water is calm, it is possible to admire the rugged landscape dotted with large rocks that were deposited here during the violent tsunami that hit the area in 1771.
• We continue with the Shimoji airport on the island of Shimojishima.
• The airport was originally used to train commercial airline pilots. It was completed in 1971 and opened officially in July 1973.
• The last stop on our tour is Toori-ike Pond whose mysterious atmosphere attracts many visitors. Thanks to its irresistible uniqueness, it was designated as a “national scenic beauty” and “national natural treasure”.
• Two large openings on the vast limestone plateau of the Ryūkyū contain tranquil cobalt-blue waters.
• The dark blue almost black water gives the impression of being surrounded by a mysterious atmosphere that gave life to legends such as that of the “yumainata” (mermaid) and the “stepchild” legend.
What you need to know
• Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. • We recommend purchasing Japanese Yens on board. • Guests with mobility problems and those in wheelchairs will be assisted while getting on and off the coach. • Itinerary sequence may vary without prior warning.
English & other European tour guides are subject to availability.