Nature’s Mystery of Ojima Island’s Tatami Rocks
Kumejima Island is a popular remote island surrounded by beautiful oceans and a long history. It lies 100 kilometers west of Okinawa’s main island and is accessible by a 30-minute flight from Naha Airport or a 3-hour ferry ride.
There are numerous tourist spots on Kemejima Island, including Hatenohama Beach, known as the ‘ultimate beach’, and The Uezu Residence, a Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property. However, the one attraction that is not to be missed is the ‘Tatami Rocks’, also known as ‘Kiko-Iwa’ (Tortoise Rock).
This is a wonderful area that spreads along the west coast of Ojima Island, connected to Kumejima Island by an underwater road.
What makes this most interesting is that the ‘tatami rocks’ are usually hidden at the bottom of the ocean. These rock formations, which only appear from the ocean at low tide, were created when lava was cooled by the ocean water and hardened.
The waves have eroded and evened out the hardened lava over 12 million years, and it is very rare to find beautiful pentagons and hexagons that remain like these anywhere else in the world, making them very precious.
Each shape measures up to 1 meter in diameter.
When the tide is completely out, it is possible to walk across the ‘big turtle shell’ in sneakers, but please be careful as it can be slippery!
Although it is completely different to the paradise of endless white sands at Hatenohama Beach, both of these places are examples of the beautiful Okinawan scenery that has been crafted by nature.
・Access to Ojima Island’s Tatami Rocks
30-minutes by car from Kumejima Airport