Tokunoshima Island 徳之島
Tokunoshima is home to stunning coral coasts and a rare form of bullfighting
Tokunoshima Island, the second largest of the Amami Islands, is located halfway between Amami Oshima and Okinoerabujima approximately 489 kilometers south of Kyushu and 100 kilometers north of Okinawa. Despite its distance from the mainland, the island is still part of Kagoshima Prefecture. Attractions include snorkeling, diving, and a form of bullfighting known as togyu or bull sumo.
How to Get There
Located off the coast of Okinawa, Tokunoshima is accessible by airplane or ferry.
Flights connect Tokunoshima to Kagoshima, Naha, and a few of the other Amami islands via Tokunoshima Airport.
The island has two ferry ports, one in Tokunoshima and one in Amagi. The port of Kametoku in the town of Tokunoshima has regular services to Okinawa, Kagoshima, and Kobe. The smaller Hetono seaport, located in the town of Amagi, has ferries to Kagoshima and Amami Oshima.
As in standard sumo, bulls in togyu are ranked according to ability
Goat is one of the island's culinary specialties
Land of the bull wrestlers
One of Tokunoshima's main cultural attractions is togyu or bull sumo. While the idea of bullfighting conjures up images of Spanish matadors and bloodied opponents, this more genteel event sees bull pitted against bull in a short fight for dominance. Togyu has a history on the island of over 500 years.
Tokunoshima has a beautiful coral coastline, and the island's beaches are hard to rival. There is good surf to be had as well as the potential to snorkel and scuba dive. Each June, the island hosts a triathlon that is open to the public. There are also three golf courses on the island for those looking to tee off. However, hiking is uncommon due to the presence of habu, Japanese pit vipers.
Enjoy the beach
The island's beaches are stunning, including Aze Prince Beach and the caves of Innojofuta Beach. To the north of the island is Mushiroze Beach, an excellent spot for fishing made up of flat stone slabs.