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What to Do in Yoron

Yoron is a twenty square meter island located quite close to Okinawa but technically a part of the Amami island chain and Kagoshima prefecture. With a population of just 6,000 people, Yoron is truly an ocean paradise off the beaten path.

  • Snorkel in the clear waters

    Snorkel in the clear waters

    Snorkel in the clear waters

    The remote location of Yoron Island creates the perfect setting for clear, turquoise beaches. Since the island is so small, it is easy to access the beaches from any point on the island. Snorkeling is a popular activity for most visitors. Since the waters are unpolluted and relatively people-free, fearless sea life swim close to shore and ocean plants are vivid and alive. Yoron is also a popular diving spot for those certified. Small groups travel into the middle of the ocean to mingle with the vibrant wildlife. Some lucky divers might even see a turtle! Snorkeling gear is easily accessible and available for rent in most guesthouses and hotels.

  • Experience Beach-ception at Yurigahama Beach

    Experience Yoron’s hidden beach

    Experience Yoron’s hidden beach

    The most popular spot on Yoron Island is Yurigahama Beach, a hidden sandbar that appears depending on the ocean tides, or a beach inside a beach. About 1.5 kilometers from the coast, Yurigahama is a pristine and quiet beach straight out of a tropical fairy tale. Snorkeling on the beach is recommended to get up close and personal with Yoron’s wildlife. Each grain of soft, white sand is uniquely shaped like a star. This sand is considered lucky, if one collects the same number of grains as their age then they will have good luck. Yurigahama can be accessed via boats arranged through guesthouses or hotels.

  • Listen to live Ryukyu music

    Listen to live Ryukyu music

    Listen to live Ryukyu music

    Ryukyu is the historical name for the islands between Japan’s Kyushu and Taiwan, including Amami’s Yoron. The aboriginal Ryukyu culture is still prevalent in Yoron to this day and visitors can learn about it through their music. Kariyushi is a live cafe that specializes in Ryukyu music. The small yet spacious venue provides plenty of space to drink and dance with the music. The band uses traditional instruments like the Okinawan three stringed sanshin to play folk songs. Kariyushi is the perfect place to spend a quiet evening after the sun sets.

  • Yoron Folk Village

    Yoron Folk Village

    Yoron Folk Village

    For a cultural centered day check out the Yoron Folk Village. The folk village contains a small, hands on museum where visitors can experiment with the island’s way of living. The museum section gives visitors a look at how the islanders lived before mainland Japan’s modernization and industrial movement arrived on Yoron. Before electricity arrived on the island, the Yoron locals survived on tools made from the island’s sugarcane supply, wood and various sea items. The museum also has a preserved, traditional thatched roof house that visitors can enter. The goal of the museum is to preserve Yoron’s cultural history and educate outsiders on the sustainable practices and traditional ways the locals lived in the past.

    Yoron Folk Village

    Yoron Folk Village

  • Enjoy the local cuisine

    Enjoy the local cuisine

    Enjoy the local cuisine

    The local food of Yoron is seafood based. The sashimi is fresh and caught daily, and the platter comes with labels, in Japanese, so diners can easily identify which fish they are eating. The cuisine is influenced by both Okinawa and Kagoshima, with plenty of seafood and seaweed in every dish. Be sure to try yusen, an alcoholic drink with a brown sugar base, that is passed around the bar and communally drank. This practice, called yoron kenpo, creates unlikely bonds between strangers. Most of the restaurants and bars can be found in Chabana, the mini downtown of the island.

  • Beach hop around the island

    Beach hop around the island

    Beach hop around the island

    Yurigahama might be the most famous beach on the island but there are still plenty more to be discovered. Oganeku beach is famous for its white sand and clear waters. The two kilometer beach is the perfect way to spend the day snorkeling, swimming or just sunbathing on the soft sand. There is also a campsite on the beach for those wanting to spend the night. There are over 60 beaches on the island, each featuring Yoron’s white sand and clear waters. All of them are spectacular and most of them are empty.

  • Watch the sunset

    Watch the sunset

    Watch the sunset

    The sunset is one of Yoron’s most breathtaking sights. It is picturesque from any of the beaches or from Chabana, where the sun sets straight into the ocean. For a more personal spot with less people try the island’s highest point, near the castle ruins. Located only 97 meters above sea level, the castle ruins are a good place to indulge in some local history and watch the sun set into the ocean, ending a perfect day in paradise.

    与論島
    Address
    鹿児島県大島郡与論町
    Phone
    Hyakugo ke Hama
    Address
    Kagoshima Prefecture Oshima-gun Yoron-cho Oganeku coast offshore
    Phone
    0997975151
    Izakaya Hyokin
    Address
    Kagoshima Pref. Oshimagunyoronchou Chahana 2297-1
    Phone
    0997973557
    raibu cafe kariyushi
    Address
    Kagoshima Pref. Oshimagunyoronchou Chahana 130
    Phone
    0997974432
  • Yoronminzokumura
    Address
    Kagoshima Prefecture Oshima-gun Yoron-cho, Higashi-ku, 693-2
    Phone
    0997972934
    Oganeku Kaigan
    Address
    Kagoshima Prefecture Oshima-gun Yoron-cho
    Phone
    0997975151
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