We love everything to do with beautiful Kouri, particularly the location! Kouri is a wonderfully scenic 45-minute drive from Nago, past Ojima and Yagaji islands and over its impressive bridge. Ojima is tiny, but Yagaji is much larger. Enjoy the pretty rolling hills and farmland, but watch for signs. It’s easy to get lost, but the area is stunning.
The water is practically transparent, changing from icy blue to turquoise, a great spot for snorkeling or swimming (please keep to roped-off safe areas). Right after you get off the beach, go left to find a small parking area with access to a small, pretty beach. It’s popular with tourists, so it’s usually full of life!
Drive past here to see fields, mausoleums, cute houses, and my favourite spot on Kouri: Heart Rocks. Follow the heart signs, down a questionable little road (it’s part of the adventure, trust me), into one of the car parks, both about 200-300 yen per hour. Walk down a small inclined path to the hidden beach. The sand feels creamy-soft between your toes. You’ll get a view of Heart Rocks as you descend, a pair of eroded rocks that look like the shape of hearts! It’s the reason Kouri is known as “Love Island” throughout Japan. During low tide, the beach reveals rock pools teeming with azure fish, starfish, sea cucumbers, crabs, and more.
Panoramic ocean views
Another point of interest is the observatory. Kouri Ocean Tower boasts the best views on island, and has a shell museum, restaurant, and shop. At 82 meters above sea level, you get a fantastic panoramic outlook. The shell museum is fascinating too, with over 10,000 species from all over the world. Hungry? Stop by the restaurant, and enjoy one of their specialty Neapolitan pizzas! Crisp and delicious.
Scream for ice cream!
Hot Okinawa weather got you down? There’s a Blue Seal on island. For anyone unfamiliar, this is a local brand of ice cream. They also do crepes! I’m a big fan of the mint chocolate chip ice cream, and also the fruity crepes, refreshing on a humid day.
Show Kouri some love this summer and visit!
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