Embark on an epic 8-day adventure covering the best of Kagoshima’s Amami-Oshima region, one part of a wider region designated as a World Natural Heritage since 2021.
Tobu Top Tours Co., Ltd, an experienced and trusted travel agency based in Tokyo and part of the Tobu Group, is offering this unique 8-day adventure from January 2024. Expect the chance to deep dive into a natural, traditional habitat, through combining cultural immersion with unparalleled natural beauty that the Amami-Oshima region is known for. The tour will offer some of the following highlights (besides a whole lot more):
- Discover rare flora and fauna in the subtropical Amami-Oshima region.
- Learn about Amami-Oshima’s unique culture, including — one of the world’s top three major textiles.
- Try Brown Sugar Shochu Liquor, exclusive to the Amami-Oshima region.
- Connect with island locals through Shimauta songs and traditional dance.
- Unleash your adventurous side with outdoor activities, like kayaking through mangroves.
From mainland Kagoshima…
Day 1 will see the tour commence at Sengan-en in Kagoshima city, a stately home and traditional garden that belonged to the powerful Shimadzu clan. The estate offers breathtaking views of the active Sakurajima volcano out in the bay. Later, visit Kirishima Shrine (a designated National Treasure and Important Cultural Property) to experience its sacred atmosphere and discover why it’s considered the Nikko of the West.
…To subtropical Amami-Oshima
From the second day, tour participants will get to transfer to Amami-Oshima by plane and connect with a local tour guide. The Amami-Oshima area, alongside Tokunoshima Island, was designated a World Natural Heritage in July 2021 and it’s easy to see why on any visit here. Also part of the Amami Gunto National Park, you can expect to come across fabulous coastal scenery, like white sandy beaches and long stretches of reef, as well as forest trails, mangroves and numerous hiking trails.
Towards the start of the tour, you’ll get to explore the Kasari area along a cycling tour, before later kayaking through Amami-Oshima’s acclaimed mangrove habitats. Here you’ll learn about local ecology, before joining a leisurely night tour of rare flora and nocturnal fauna (like the Amami rabbit).
Away from the water, experience nature at its best as you enter the dense rainforest at the foot of Mt. Yuwandake—Amami-Oshima’s highest peak—and witness large epiphytic ferns like the Shima-otaniwatari.
You’ll also get to spend time at the secluded Kakeromajima Island, meeting locals and witnessing some of Amami’s most untouched nature.
Switch gears with a day on the water, trying activities like sea kayaking, SUP, snorkeling, and diving. Soak up the views from the local beaches, including the coral reefs at “Saneku blue” waters at Saneku Beach.
Amami-Oshima’s Local Culture
Although Amami-Oshima’s spectacular nature is one of its irresistible charms, beneath the surface you’ll get to discover a swathe of traditional, local culture that is proudly protected by the local inhabitants. See Amami-Oshima’s sugar industry in action at Nishida Sugar, who craft pure brown sugar using traditional methods on the southern island of Kakeromajima.
Then connect the dots by trying Brown Sugar Shochu at Nishihira Distillery on the mainland — this is a protected, local product that can only be produced in Amami-Oshima. Here, as part of this tour, you can join an overview of the facility with tastings and get to experience a traditional, live Shimauta (traditional island music) performance.
Amami-Oshima is also known for its Tsumugi culture of unique, hand-woven silk, which you can see at the idyllic Oshima Tsumugimura. try mud dyeing at Higo-Senshoku, before experiencing the island’s traditional summer dance of Hachigatsu-Odori with the locals.
About booking this tour
This tour is being offered from 640,000 JPY per person. It’s being provided by Tobu Top Tours Co., Ltd, an experienced and trusted travel agency based in Tokyo and part of the Tobu Group. They specialize in creating authentic, memorable travel experiences for their customers and leverage their expertise across event management and transportation to deliver the best experiences for their customers.