Minna island is treasure only 15-minute ferry ride off Motobu
Many of our readers have visited at least some of the islands lying off Okinawa’s main island, most probably Tokashiki or some other of the Kerama islands, which are the most famous and easiest to access being only 90 minutes from Naha by ferry.
Miyako and Ishigaki Islands take about an hour from Naha Airport and are famous because they have their own distinctive cultures and even local dialects are completely different from Okinawa’s main island. Both have pristine beaches and luxury resorts that have long attracted tens of thousands of tourists from mainland Japan, and recently increasing numbers from overseas. Both are also regular stops for giant cruise liners that ply far-eastern seas.
But, this time I will introduce you to a treasure, Minna Island, which is located off Motobu in the northern part of Okinawa. It just takes a 15-minute ferry ride from Toguchi Port in Motobu Town to reach the island.
The first thing a visitor notices when approaching at the island is how surprisingly clear and shiny the emerald green ocean surrounding the island can be. You can even see fish in the ocean while standing on the beach. The best beach for swimming on the island is just next to the port. There’s no worry about transportation, as the whole island is only about 0.47 square kilometers in area.
Looking from the air, the shape of the island looks like a croissant, which has led people to call it a “croissant island.” The permanent population of the island is less than 50 people, but it still has the operating Minna Elementary and Junior High School.
Minna is very clean and its residents want to keep it that way. Visitors are asked to avoid annoying behavior or leave their garbage on the island.
The ferry works 12 round trips a day during the summer season through Aug. 31st, and 8 round trips from Sep.1st through Sep. 20th. Off season there are just three round trips a day. The ride costs ¥1,710 for adults round trip, and ¥860 for school-age children.
During the summer season, many tourists come to the island, and the ferry is sometimes full and you can’t get a ticket. In that case, you should wait for the next ride or come back the next day. Experiencing the crystal-clear waters of Minna Island is well worth waiting for, and definitely, will become one of your best memories of Okinawa!