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I crossed the Kaichu Road across the Katsuren Peninsula, past the Hamahiga Bridge towards Hamahiga Island. Usually visitors choose to drive down this road, but today I chose to walk slowly, entrusting my body to the slow flow of island time, camera in hand as I explored the island- here, surrounded by peace and quiet, I caught a glimpse of the real Hamahiga Island.

When you walk along the coastline, a natural beach appears. The quiet sounds of the waves lapping against the beach reverberate out to sea, where you can see the ocean skyline dotted with adjacent islands.

A fishing boat heads for open sea-- maybe it's going to harvest seaweed?

On days of low tide, you can walk a bit farther towards the sea. This area, normally covered by the sea tide, has been etched with beautiful patterns by the waves.
To the side of the beach stands a large rock with a fantastical atmosphere. The surrounding sea water is so clear, it looks like spring water.

Next, I visited the prayer place of "Shirumichu". Here are the ruins of where the Gods who created the Ryukyuu Islands, Amamikyo and Shinerikyo once lived. It's a famous "power spot", and is said to bless visitors with many children. Even on extremely bright sunny days, the sundappled forest gives the place a sense of mystery.

When I turned my camera towards the sky, I could see young tree leaves glowing bright green in the sunlight. The large and small branches growing from the thick tree trunks look like natural artwork. It's time to move on however-- our island walk is far from over.

After Shirumichu, I tread along a farm road boardered by fields.

The roadside is blooming with pale colored flowers. When I looked closer, I could see the small shapes of bees, working hard to harvest nectar. I guess there's no holiday for working bees-- good luck my little friends.

Hamahiga Island is filled with all sorts of plants, tilting gently in the warm ocean wind.

I followed the breeze at my own pace, continuing towards the village.

The town is filled with houses from long ago, the streets dotted with buildings of red, white, and cement coloured tiles, the colours giving each house its own individual taste.
A shiisa statue stands above a roof with a funny expression- near by, a cute bird cuddles to the roof. The two were so close, I took a picture at once! I suppose you can only see scenery like this on an island walk.

The old stone hedges give voice to the villages history and personality.

In just one trip, I fell in love with parts of the island I never would have seen or felt trapped inside a car. The four Uruma islands of Henza, Miyagi, Ikei and Tsukenoshima each have their own unique scenery and nature to offer. No matter where you may be staying, I hope you can take the time for your own exploration. Make sure to bring your camera! Now, I wonder where I should go next...?

"Hamahiga Island 浜比嘉島
For information about Uruma City tourism, check here! ↓
The Institute of Uruma City Tourism Product Association
Telephone / 098-978-0077
Home Page / http://uruma-ru.jp/
※Photos: Masahiro Higashi (13th, 14th, 16th photos) "

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