The Islands of Old Yonashiro; Uruma City’s Forgotten Town ①
Uruma City’s Yonashiro District was, at one time, Yonashiro Town. That all changed in 2005 when 4 municipalities, Ishikawa City, Gushikawa City, Yonashiro Town and Katsuren Town merged to form one new larger municipality, called Uruma City. Both Yonashiro Town and Katsuren Town were located on the Katsuren Peninsula (sometimes referred to as Yokatsu Peninsula; “Yo” taken from Yonashiro and “Katsu” from Katsuren).
Yonashiro Town consisted mostly of the northern half of the peninsula and also included Henza Island, Miyagi Island, Ikei Island, and Yabuchi Island (Hamahiga Island, though connected to Henza Island at the time, was part of Katsuren Town and will be discussed at another time).
A 4.75km long bridge, also known as “Kai-chu-doro” connects the Yakena District, which was formerly part of Yonashiro Town, to Henza Island. Kai-chu-doro means ‘road in the sea’ in Japanese. The road has become a very famous spot for driving and sightseeing.
Today all four islands are accessible by road. Something else worth mentioning is the Okinawan music band known as HY. They are from a small precinct of the then Yonashiro Town called Higashi Yakena, hence the name HY. Their songs, such as ‘NAO’ and ‘Song for’ have become popular iconic songs for Japanese youths.