While mainland Japan is filled with reports of snow, Okinawa has just begun to cool down. You might be dissapointed to miss summer in Okinawa, but if you think about it the not too hot, not too cold weather is the perfect season to visit! Now you can enjoy the calm weather with "Kaichu Road Cycling." Explore the Uruma island area at your own pace, and take a slow bike ride through Henza Island, Hamahiga Island, Miyagi Island and Ikei Island.
This exciting new activity starts at the "Beautiful Island Road Tourism Information Center," built within the Uruma City Tourism Products Association in the Kaichu Road Park. The center is stocked with rental bikes ranging from XS, S, to M sizes perfect for the whole family.
The wind will call to you, but you must remain patient! First, you have to go to reception. The Agarie Crane Woman created by the "Ichihanari Art Project" stands in reception, wishing you luck on your journey. When you're finished with reception, it's finally time to set off!.... Almost. First, you need to check that your bike functions properly. It's an important step to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.
Now it's time for lift off! It's the start of a fun bicycling trip! Be aware of cars, and bike safely!
First, we head to the Hamahiga Bridge connecting Henza Island and Hamahiga Island. This bridge is around 1,430 meters in length, the longest of the bridges connecting the four islands! It was opened 19 years ago in 1997, and created a huge shift in the islander's lives, who up until this time had only been able to travel to the other islands by boat.
As you bike along to the sound of whistling air and scenery with nothing blocking the horizon, it feels almost like flying through the sky... After enjoying your flight above the sea for a little while, it's time to take a rest at the observation spot at the peak of the bridge. From here, you can see the Chuukai Road. Be careful- its magestic view will make you forget about the time.
After you take a short break and cross the bridge, the road will split in two. The left side will take you to the Higa Area, and the right will lead you to the beach area. If you continue along to the Higa area, you'll find a natural beach near "Shirumichu" where you can enjoy a slightly more quiet, calming atmosphere than the other Kaichu Road beaches.
After passing through the unpaved road and tunnel of trees, you'll continue on to "Shirumichu." This road is not accesible to cars- exploring areas like this, that can only be accessed on foot or bike, is one of the best parts of Kaichu Road Cycling.
Legend says that the Rikyu Gods "Shinerikyo" and "Amamikyo" lived and created children in "Shirumichu", and to this day the area is known as a power spot and filled with people who come to pray or absorb it's energy.
Next, let's head towards the beach area! The thin, winding road flows smoothly beneath your wheels as you glide like a fish through the sea. The village roads are paved by Fukugi Trees to block wind and reduce damage from typhoons- it's knowledge that has been passed through the generations. Its only in places like this where you can feel the quiet breeze and flow of time from generations passed.
If you get hungry from all that excercise, stop by "Marukichi Foods" in the beach area. We reccomend their seaweed croqquets! You may be surprised, but this seaweed filled delight is one of Uruma City's most popular items.
When you bite into your steamy croqquet, the kindly woman of the shop heads to your table for a quick chat. These kinds of interactions with the local islanders is one of the most rewarding and exciting parts of traveling.
After filling your stomach with some delicious croqquetts, enjoy an after meal rest at the "Hometown Beach Shore" by the restaurant. The white sand and sound of waves washing upon the shore will put your mind and heart at ease.
The trip isn't over yet! Now, we head towards Henza Island. The road from Henza Island towards Miyagi Island is lined with mural art drawn by local grade schoolers. Travelers in cars can barely catch a glance of the artwork, but here you have the chance to dismount your bike and walk at your own pace through this adorable art gallery. Each piece is unique, filled with images of family and friends. The young artist's paintings channel the youth and vibrancy of this beautiful island, and will give you the power and energy to finish your bike ride strong.
Our tour guides today are Mr. Hamamoto (left) and Mr. Nakamura (right). The two are also staff members of the Uruma City Tourism Property Association. The two were kind enough to show us their favorite course, so we hope you'll get the chance to try it out! "There are so many places in Uruma City that we want visitors to get the chance to really look at and experience at their own pace. There are many tourists that visit the Kaichu Road because it's a famous driving course, and we came up with this concept because we wanted visitors to travel around the city slowly and truly enjoy themselves", explains Mr. Hamamoto. "There are several places you can't reach by car, and the island is filled with attractions and surprises. We wanted our guest to discover that attraction and feel the wind on their face as they chose their own course, their own destinations, and enjoy every corner of the island" he continues, and it's clear from his speech just how much he loves his town of Uruma.
Our trip is over for now-- we hope you can visit sometime and discover your own amazing Uruma City.
"Beautiful Island Sea Road Tourism Information Center
Location / Uruma City Yonashiroyahira 4 banchisaki
Telephone / 098-978-0077 Buisness Hours / 10:00 AM ~ 3:00 PM
Email Address/ email@example.com
Home Page/http://uruma-ru.jp "