The Kerama islands, famous for their spectacular blue waters, are located about 30 miles west of Naha. Made up of over 50 islands, the largest are Tokashiki, Zamami and Aka. We decided to make the trip to the least developed of the 3 – Aka island. With a local population of under 300, Aka island is a quiet, un-developed place with an off-the-beaten-path feel. We took the Ferry Zamami which passes some spectacular scenery during the 90 minute trip. Alternatively, the Queen Zamami takes only 50 minutes and leaves twice a day from Naha.
If returning to Naha on the ferry the same day, you’ll get 5 hours of exploring time. It’s enough to see a few locations around the south of the island unless you have transport. We went to Aka Beach first, admittedly not the best beach on the island (I think Nishibama Beach is known to be better) but it is closest to the ferry port. It’s also a great place to see the local Kerama deer, a protected species and fairly tame as long as you don’t get too close. We saw about a dozen along the length of the beach and this is where we spent most of our time – deer-spotting on a tropical beach isn’t something you can do everywhere. There is also the hike up to Amagusuku Observatory where you’ll get decent views of the ocean and Tokashiki in the distance.
So if you’re looking for something a bit different, maybe a break from snorkelling or swimming or have kids that love animals, a day trip to Aka island to see the wild deer is definitely recommended!
Aka, Zamami, Shimajiri District, Okinawa 901-3311
Ferry Zamami departs Tomari Port (Naha) – 10:00 / arrives Aka Port – 11:30 / departs Aka port – 16:30 / arrives Tomari Port (Naha) – 18:00
Parking available at Tomari Port (Naha)