Kouri Island, accessible by car, is a popular yet secluded island. Located in northern Okinawa, it is a part of Nakijin Village. Your anticipation rises as the spectacular views stretch over the emerald blue ocean on the two-kilometer Kouri Bridge. This alluring outer island is filled with beautiful natural beaches, cafés, and magnificent views. A TV commercial was filmed in one its scenic spots. Kouri Island is often dubbed as the “Island of Love” since there is an old folklore that tells the tale of a romantic story of the Okinawan version of “Adam and Eve”. We shall introduce you the island’s charms.
Opened in 2005, the Kouri Bridge spans 1,960 meters between Kouri and Yagaji Islands. Crossing the bridge is like driving on the blue ocean; you may sense exhilaration. It is one of the most popular and attractive destinations for great scenery.
The natural white, sandy beach next to the crystal clear waters is situated at the foot of Kouri Bridge. It’s one of the charming beaches that are often found in remote islands. Next to the bridge is the Fureai Square, provided with a shop, showering and restroom facilities. During the off-season, it’s nice to enjoy a beachside stroll while taking in the scenery. This area is bustling with tourists and locals, regardless of the season.
Chigunu Hama is a 3-minute drive from Kouri Bridge. Because there isn’t a sign, look for a small beach below a large rock called Shirasa Cape near the seawall adjacent to Kouri Port. Atop Shirasa Cape stands a stone inscription indicating the spot where the Fire God had descended from heaven. It conveys the mythological tale of a man and a woman who were believed to be the ancestors of people. Additionally, the locals celebrate Unjami, a sea festival, on the first day of boar that falls after the Bon Festival on the Chinese lunar calendar. Please observe respectfully because the locals consider this a sacred site.
Tiinu-Hama is situated in the north of the island which is opposite side from Kouri Bridge. It is a10-minute drive from the bridge and 8-minute drive from Chigunu-Hama. It’s famous and popular because it was used in a scene by a Japanese idol group for a TV commercial.
Most people visit Tiinu-Hama to see the heart-shaped rock outcroppings. These heart-shaped rocks, coupled with the fact that Kouri Island is known as the “Island of Love” has made the island a popular destination for lovers, and has become a “power spot” for love. Although swimming is not prohibited, swimmers should be cautious of jagged rocks and sudden depth changes since it is an undeveloped, natural beach. The heart-rock outcroppings may look different depending on the tide. It’s better to visit during low tides.
A white cone-shaped tower catches your eye when crossing the Kouri Bridge. That is the Kouri Ocean Tower. 82 meters above sea level and built with an observatory on the top floor, it commands a panoramic view of Kouri Bridge and the surrounding ocean. Enjoy a comfortable, safe ride on a driver-less cart to the observation area while cherishing the subtropical plants and ocean blue.
There are many unique souvenir items and sweets offered in the gift shop. Kaboni is produced from locally grown pumpkins of Kouri Island. The pumpkin paste’s natural sweetness is very delicious and could be addicting.
For lunch, we recommend Napoli pizza, which is baked in an authentic oven at 500 degrees Centigrade at “Restaurant Ocean Blue”.
The Shrimp Wagon is the van with the pink and blue logo parked in the Kouri Beach parking lot. They specialize in garlic shrimp, specialty food of Hawaii’s Oahu.
4 flavors are available for your garlic shrimp: Original, spicy, butter lemon and mix. All of them go very well with garlic. Every bite is filled with savory salt and flavor. Their recipes and spices are unique to the shop. They adhere to methods especially in Kouri Island, using Nakijin awamori for flavoring their shrimp. The garlic shrimp is perfectly suited to the tropical getaway that Kouri Island exudes.
A one-minute drive from Tiinu Hama, on a plateau is a café. Its charm lies in the amazing views from both the window or terrace seats. There is nothing to block the panoramic view of the blue ocean.
Not only view, but also food is great as well. The café offers a variety of Yambaru pork dishes. The most popular dish is the 100%Yamabaru Shimabuta Pork Hamburger Steak (¥1350). The simplicity of salt and pepper enhances the best flavors of local pork that are packed with succulent flavors. The “set” dishes are generously portioned and complemented with salads made with locally produced northern Okinawan vegetables. They offer a wide variety of drinks including smoothie made from local fruits.
Naha・Kokusai Street Area
Nanjo City・Yaese Town・Haebaru Town・Yonabaru Town