Walking on Drift Ice
Aside from its pristine beaches and mangrove forests, Amami Oshima is home to an array of other features that make it an interesting place to visit. One such feature is the island's flora, which includes giant ferns that contribute to Amami Oshima's jungle-like appearance. There are various elevated observation points on the island that afford great views of the surrounding lush landscape.
Although some are accessible by the island's bus network, the easiest way to get to Amami Oshima's attractions is by rental car. Below is a list of some more of the island's attractions:
Hours: Always open (interior closed to the public)
The lighthouse stands on the island's northern tip, approximately 30 minutes from the airport and 75 minutes from downtown Amami City by car. The building itself cannot be entered, but visitors can walk to its base via a steep trail leading up the cliff in about 5-10 minutes. From there, visitors are afforded nice views of the surrounding coast.
Hours: Always open
15 minutes north of the airport or an hour from downtown Amami City by car, this oceanfront park contains an observation deck with good views of the coast, a children's play area and a concrete jetty stretching out around 20 meters into the ocean. By bus, it is an 80 minute ride from central Amami City by a bus bound for Sani (1300 yen one way, one bus every 90 minutes).
Hours: 10:00 to 16:30 (a few irregular closing days)
Admission: 200 yen
Saigo Takamori, one of modern Japan's founding fathers, hid on Amami Oshima for three years from the Tokugawa government he later helped toppling in the Meiji Restoration. His former residence is open to the public, exhibiting photos and equipment used by Saigo. The museum steward gives explanations in Japanese.
Amami City (also commonly referred to as Naze) is the largest town on Amami Oshima. Its compact downtown area features an interesting variety of bars, restaurants, shops and city hotels.
These two neighboring peaks in the south of the island, around 50 minutes from Setouchi by car, can be driven up; however access by bus is not provided. Nice views over the island can be enjoyed along the road from multiple spots near the peak of Yuidake. Near the peak of Kochiyama, an observation tower with beautiful views is located a 10 minute walk from the nearest parking lot.
20 minutes from Setouchi by car, this unique beach is characterized by its giant, water-smoothed pebbles that cover the shore between rugged cliffs on both sides. Nearby toilets and a sheltered area make the grasslands behind the beach a nice place for camping.
information source: japan-guide.com