This Island in Japan Is Known for Its Heart Rock

Add this place to your itinerary!

Amami Oshima
is an island that’s abundantly blessed with natural beauty. According to Japanese history, this was where Saigo Takamori, a samurai revered as one of the greatest figures from the final years of the Edo to the Meiji Era, met his wife, Aikana.

Both tourists and locals alike flock to this island to experience the traditional Amami culture and appreciate its stunning scenery. It
provides a brief respite for city people who just want to relax and go for a slow walk around the area.

In this article, we’ve rounded up some of the best tourist attractions in the area that you should definitely pay a visit.

Heart Rock
East Coast, Akaogi, Tatsugo-cho, Oshima-gun, Kagoshima Prefecture
Contact: +81-99-769-4512

Heart Rock 
is a famous reef located at the east coast of Tatsugo-cho. Many tourists love to come here to take pictures by the iconic heart-shaped rock formation. You also have the option to go for a swim in the pristine blue waters of the sea.

On your way to this site, you’ll be passing through a dense forest. Make sure to be on the lookout for 
habus (venomous snakes) when treading the forest grounds!

Kochiyama Observatory
709, Sugihatahara Kunetsu, Setouchi-cho, Oshima-gun, Kagoshima Prefecture
Contact: +81-97-772-1199
Open throughout the year

Kochiyama Observatory gives you an unparalleled view of the island’s green forests and the clear blue waters of the sea. There is a coastline underneath which is selected as one of the 10 most beautiful landscapes found on the island.

The observatory has an altitude of 415 meters, which makes it the ideal vantage point for visitors who want to take panoramic shots of the Oshima strait and Kakeromajima. When it’s sunny, you’ll also be able to make out the Tokunoshima island from afar. Our tip is to use the telescope installed at the observatory for a better sightseeing experience.

81, Sotoganeku, Kasari-cho, Amami City, Kagoshima Prefecture
Contact: +81-99-763-0023
Open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The shop closes as soon as the soup runs out.

is a restaurant that’s known for serving local cuisine and a specialty dish called Keihan (¥1,000). Its founder invented the unique style of preparing this chicken rice dish.

The restaurant cooks and seasons the chopped chicken and other toppings together before they are placed on the rice. Once the dish is served to the customer, that’s the time the steaming chicken stock is poured over it.


11-26, Nazeyanagi-machi, Amami City, Kagoshima Prefecture
Contact: +81-905-292-6123
Open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reservation is required a day before you visit.

You'll smack your lips over a dish of local ingredients.

is another restaurant that you can find on the island. Their specialties include fresh sashimi, pork bone broth, and somen noodles mixed with oil.

Here, you won’t only be enjoying eating your meals, but you’ll also appreciate the restaurant’s initiative to integrate the island’s culture in their interiors. Old weaving machines are repurposed to serve as the restaurant’s tables while also using Oshima Tsumugi table runners for accent.

Oshima Tsumugimura
1945, Akaogi, Tatsugo-cho, Oshima-gun, Kagoshima Prefecture
Contact: +81-99-762-3100
Open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Oshima Tsumugimura
is where the island’s famous traditional textile and silk is painstakingly made. Oshima Tsumugi weaving has been part of Amami Oshima’s culture and history for 1,300 years. The exceptional details on the handicraft make it one of the three major fabrics in the world.

The whole process of making these beautiful fabrics is not easy and would normally take a whole year to complete. Here, expert weavers will gladly show you the process of dyeing, weaving, and dressing.

Expert staff members thoughtfully introduce time-honored and original fabric to guests.

Oshima Tsumugimura also sells textiles and accessories like this.

Amami Park
1834, Setsuta, Kasari-cho, Amami City, Kagoshima Prefecture
Contact: +81-99-755-2333
Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July and August. The park is closed on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. If a national holiday falls on these days, it’ll be closed on Thursday.

Amami Park
is a facility where you can admire the rich culture and history of the Amami Islands. There are a number of photos and life-size models inside that will immerse you in the Amami people’s way of life. Tourists particularly enjoy taking photos with the life-size replica of an old private house.

In addition to this, the facility also holds live performances of 
Shima-uta (songs originating around Okinawa area) at times.

Provided by Japan Walker™ and Kyushu Walker™ (27 May 2018)

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