How to Reach & Travel Around The Beautiful Keramas Islands

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The Keramas Islands are a group of islands that when combined, create the Keramashoto National Park. Located just a short boat ride away from Naha, Okinawa’s capital city, these islands are perfect for a day tour or a multi-day getaway.

These islands have untouched land, observatories allowing you to admire the views in all directions, pristine white sand beaches and lively reefs with tropical aquatic life around every corner.

Whether you’re into exploring these watery worlds or just topping up your tan with a good book on the beach, you’ll be able to disconnect from the busy cities of Japan and just enjoy being on quiet islands.

You can take part in water sports on Aharen Beach or look for sea turtles on Ama Beach and Tokashiku Beach on Zamami and Tokashiki respectively.

Currency:Japanese Yen / JPY
Do you need a visa to visit as tourists?Check here

Want to stay connected in Japan? Consider getting a Japanese SIM card with data access. Available on 8, 16 or 31-day plans, you can have a sim card ordered to your hotel within 1 week of your expected arrival.

The front of a white and green ferry from onboard, heading towards the port of one of the Keramas Islands
The ferry coming into the port between Naha and Tokashiki Island

What are the Keramas Islands?

The Keramas Islands are a subtropical group of Islands off the west coast of Okinawa Main Island. With a population of under 2,000 residents combined, these islands feel like a quiet paradise away from the hustle and bustle of Naha.

Generally speaking, the Keramas Islands are slightly less popular than others in Okinawa such as Miyakojima, Iriomote and Ishigaki.

However, the popularity of these islands only 40 km from Naha has been steadily growing in popularity since a beach on Zamami Island was given a green Michelin Star rating (you know, like the restaurants, but beaches instead) in 2009.

Furuzamami Beach is not one to be missed!

You can swim with some vibrant wildlife in the Keramas with practically untouched coral reefs that welcome you to snorkel and dive nearby. However, you should be aware that there are also some dangerous animals found here and around Okinawa.

a distance view of Tokashiki island in the Keramas Islands

What Islands make up the Keramas Islands?

In total, there are 36 Islands in the Keramas Islands. There are three main islands with many smaller ones close by. Many of these islands are uninhabited, but all offer crystal clear waters and stunning beaches.

Tokashiki Island

This is the largest of the Keramas Islands with the largest population. There are only two villages on this island, Tokashiki on the east coast, and Aharen down on the west coast. With a population of under 700 people across the island, you’ll see mostly tourists enjoying the stunning beaches.

One of the best-known attractions on Tokashiki Island is Tokashiku Beach where you can join a group boat tour to swim with sea turtles and there are even some top diving destinations located off of the island shores.

Zamami Island

Zamami Island is known for its dense green forests and long white sand beaches. Not only can you explore the Green Michelin star-rated Furuzamami Beach but you can see an array of wildlife here too.

Year-round you can swim with sea turtles at the famous Ama beach and in the winter you can watch humpback whales playing in the shallow seas.

This breathtaking island is just waiting to be explored.

Aka Island

Aka Island is home to just 330 residents and is even less touristy than the aforementioned islands of Tokashiki and Zamami. This is one of the least visited of the main Keramas Islands but it certainly shouldn’t be ignored.

With many secluded and quiet beaches, you can feel like you’re on a deserted island with what feels like every beach all to yourself. One thing that makes Aka Island stand out amongst the other two islands, is the number of deer that roam freely around the village.

Of course, being part of the Keramashoto National Park, there are plenty of places you can enjoy sea life tours and yet another specific beach, Nishibama Beach, to visit the sea turtles on. Don’t miss Aka Island during your Keramas Island trip.

The large ferry that travels between Tokashiki and Naha with floral print along one side
One of the ferries that runs between Naha and Tokashiki Island

How to get to the Keramas Islands?

You may have noticed on the map that there is an airport on Fukaji Island. However, this airport is not used for public flight paths. This means that the only way to reach the Keramas Islands is by boat.

There are 2 main routes you can take to reach the islands which I will run through with you now. Both start in Naha at the Tomari Port a little north of Naha Airport.

When purchasing your tickets at the ferry terminal, make sure to arrive at least one hour before your departure time. This is because, during peak times and seasons, you could end up in a long line of tourists trying to purchase tickets at the same time. Without giving yourself enough time, you run the risk of missing your boat.

Please note: The last week of April into early May (Golden week) and June-October (Summer season) are extremely busy. It is advised to reserve ferry tickets during these times in advance.

Naha to Tokashiki Island

To book a ferry along this route, you can do so online here.

You can take the ferry from Naha’s Tomari Port to Tokashiki Port on the northeast side of Tokashiki Island.

**Please make sure to be on board no later than 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time**

Boat TypeTravel TimeTicket Cost
Passenger Ferry70 minutes / 1 hour 10 m1690 JPY (£9.20 / $11.50 USD)
High-Speed Boat40-45 minutes2530 JPY (£13.50 / $17.30 USD)

Naha to Aka Island & Zamami Island

To book a ferry along this route, you can do so online here.

You can take the ferry from Tomari Port in Naha all the way to Zamami Island into Zamami Village Port. This route also stops along the way for passengers wishing to reach Aka Island via Aka Village Port.

Boat TypeTravel TimeTicket Cost
Passenger Ferry120 minutes / 2 hours2150 JPY (£11.67 / $14.70 USD)
High-Speed Boat60 minutes / 1 hour3200 JPY (£17.40 / $21.80 USD)

A small ferry boat that travels around the keramas islands
One of the boats that travel to the islands in Keramashoto National Park

How to travel between the Keramas Islands?

So we already know you can travel between Aka Island and Zamami Island using the high-speed boat or ferry along the route from Naha. There is also another route (inter-island) that can easily get you between these islands too.

There are 3 types of boats that make the journey between Tokashiki Island, Aka and Zamami:

  • Mitsushima
  • Queen Zamami
  • Ferry Zamami

To book a ferry along one of these routes, you need to call this number: 098-987-2614

This number is for the Zamami Village Office. Please note, that reservations for this boat in either direction must be booked no later than the day before. You will need to have cash with you to pay on arrival at your departure port.

Please be aware: There are no ATM’s near Aharen Beach. If you need cash for your boat ride, make sure you bring enough from Naha or get some in Tokashiki.

From – ToTravel TimeTicket Cost
Tokashiki (Aharen Port) to
Aka (Aka Village Port)
20 minutes800 JPY / £4.80
Tokashiki (Aharen Port) to
Zamami (Zamami Village Port)
35 minutes800 JPY / £4.80
All prices are accurate at the time of writing

Where To Stay In The Keramas?

Since the population of permanent residents is low across the islands (remember, less than 2,000 people combined) there are also limited numbers of accommodations to choose from as a visitor.

That’s not to say you won’t be able to find somewhere to stay. However, you should try to book in advance (especially during peak seasons) to avoid disappointment if your top choices are already at full capacity.

Should you need to find a guesthouse or hotel, Booking.com is one of the top choices for these islands due to having a large selection of accommodations to choose from.

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