Tokunoshima is the second largest of the Amami Islands and comprises the towns Amagi, Isen and Tokunoshima. A trip to explore its shores lets visitors truly understand and appreciate island life.
The island is known as “the island of longevity.” Supercentenarians Shigechiyo Izumi and Kamato Hongo, who lived in Isen until their deaths, were recognized by Guinness World Records as some of the oldest people in the world.
Tokunoshima produces more sugar cane than any other island in Japan. This key agricultural product is vital to local people, who live slow, laidback lives surrounded by nature. They can often be heard humming traditional island songs (shimauta), which are a mix of Amami and Okinawa music. Every year, lively events, including bull fighting competitions and a triathlon, bring out their passionate spirit.
Local people’s snack of choice tends to be a cup of green tea with a treat made from kokuto, a brown sugar unique to Japan’s southern islands. The island is also renowned for the locally produced distilled spirit, kokuto shochu, which has a sweet aroma and is soft on the tongue.
Tokunoshima offers visitors a relaxing and culturally rich experience.
Tokunoshima’s East China Sea coastline is spotted with cliffs and oddly shaped rocks that have been created by years of natural erosion of coral reef.
Aze Prince Beach
This beautiful beach on the northeast coast of Tokunoshima got its name in 1969 when then-Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko visited the area.
Agon 300-year-old Banyan Tree
At more than 300 years old, this beautiful specimen of gajumaru (banyan) is the oldest and largest tree on the island.
Located on the southwestern coast of Tokunoshima, Cape Inutabu is a triangular Ryukyu limestone cliff jutting out into the sea.
Mushiroze is the name for a granite coastline, which can be found on the northwestern tip of Tokunoshima.
Kanamisaki Sago Palm Tunnel
This narrow pathway through a 200 meter-long tunnel of sago palm trees gives a tropical island feeling.
Commemorative Statue of the 46th Yokozuna, Asashio Taro
Inokawa is home to a commemorative statue of Asashio Taro (1929–1988), a Tokunoshima-born sumo wrestler who was named yokozuna, the highest rank in sumo.