Blessed with a coastline fringed by crystal-clear waters and coral reefs, Kouri-Jima is an idyllic destination for swimming, snorkelling and diving. The tiny tropical island lies off the north coast of Okinawa in Japan and is affectionately known as “Love Island”.
Things to do in Kouri-jima
Explore the labyrinth of coastal caves, tidal pools and unique rock formations that span Tiinuhama Beach. Visit at low tide when you can venture out onto the rock platform to get a photo with the famous heart-shaped rock and find sea creatures hiding in the rock pools.
Visit the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and explore over 75 tanks full of deep-sea creatures, including whale sharks, manta rays and dugongs. Be thrilled by flipping dolphins in the Okichan Theatre, walk above the huge Kuroshio Sea tank and get up close with Okinawa’s shallow-water marine life in the touch pools.
Stroll across the second-longest toll-free bridge in Japan. Kouri Bridge stretches two-kilometres across the bay and is a fabulous place to watch the sunset. Keen to see what lies beneath the sea? Scuba dive the USS Emmons, a World War II ship that sunk off the coast of Kouri-Jima in 1945.
For bird’s-eye views of cobalt seas, climb to the top of Kouri Ocean Tower. The 82-metre-high observation tower houses the Kouri Island Museum, where you can learn more about the local history, as well as the Shell Museum displaying over 10,000 seashells from around the world.
Getting around Kouri-jima
Kouri-Jima is a small island connected to Yagaji Island and Okinawa by the Kourie Bridge. Okinawa Airport is located in Naha, at the northern tip of Okinawa. A rental car is the most convenient option for exploring Kouri-Jima.