Zamami-jima Island Takatsukiyama Observatory Nordic Walking Trail
Time Required: 47 min. Distance: 3 km
The gorgeous view from Takatsukiyama Observatory
On this course, your destination is the Takatsukiyama Observatory (131 m). From this viewpoint, the Kerama Blue Sea and the islands dotted in it are a panorama so beautiful it will take your breath away. Although this uphill course can be challenging, the trail through Takatsukiyama Garden is surrounded by a colorful tropical scenery of trees and seasonal flowers, so it is well worth the trek to see the view from one of Zamami-jima Island’s best vantage points.Experience exhibits about the surrounding natural sights such as Akan’s scalable volcanoes—Mt. O-akan and Mt. Me-akan—and lakes Akan and Onneto. In addition, get up-to-date information about seasonal flowers, brown bear sightings and more. Information is available in multiple languages.
Nordic walking originated in Finland and its popularity is increasing, not only in Japan but also worldwide. Using a pair of special poles while walking to work the upper body’s muscles vigorously, it places less of a burden on the knees and lower back than regular walking. It is ideally suited to paths with several uphill and downhill sections.
Looking north from Takatsukiyama Observatory
Looking east from the Takatsukiyama Observatory, you have a panoramic view of Agonoura Bay. White sandy beaches, the elegant curve of the green mountains, and a sea dotted with islands make for a splendid view. In the past, when Agonoura Bay was a trade hub with China, the peaceful sheltered bay was used as a port to wait until the winds settled. In the community of Asa, old stone walls still surround the residences and homes with traditional red-tiled roofs still remain, letting you slip back into the past.
The curving coastline of Furuzamami Beach
From the second observation deck, you can see the white sands of Furuzamami Beach. The beauty of the beach, which received a two-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide, will surely ease away the troubles of everyday city life. From late December until April, humpback whales visit the waters of Kerama. We suggest using a pair of binoculars to try and spot some of these magnificent marine mammals from the observation deck, which has a panoramic view of the southern seas.
A view of the village on the way back from the observatory
Passing the second observation deck and taking the path back down to Takatsukiyama, there is a spot where you can see the entire village of Zamami, the course starting point. From here you can look back on the port where you arrived, the path you climbed, and the townscape of the village. It is also enjoyable to take a leisurely stroll through Zamami Village.