Amami Oshima’s Hidden Beach
Amami Oshima's Hidden Beach (Kakure-hama) is a sand bar visible only a few times each year. It is located in the northern part of Amami Oshima–specifically in the Kise area of Kasari, Amami City. It takes approximately 40 minutes by car to travel there from Naze, or about 15 minutes from Amami Airport. If you keep driving past Kise Port, there is a road sign that says “一集落1ブランド” and to the left is the kakure-hama.
However, don’t think you can just show up and find it! There’s a reason it’s called a “hidden beach.”
Timing the Tides
The especially low tides around April to May grant a short span of time to explore this rare sight before it is swallowed back into the ocean. In other words, for most of the year the sand bar is underwater, but during extremely low tides you can walk on the sand like you would on the shore! However, this is only possible when the low tide reaches the negatives–which usually only occurs during the spring tides. Furthermore, of the two low tides a day, you need to have one during daylight hours that is appropriately low enough. To top it all off–the rainy season starts in May, so it is truly trying its best to stay hidden!
However, with some luck and tenacity you can explore Amami Oshima's Hidden Beach. Take the opportunity to relax in the shallow water, play in the sand, take photos, and do other beach activities your heart desires. If you’re lucky, you might even come across some sea creatures like this cushion star!
Since the low tide only lasts a little less than an hour, it is best to arrive a little early, and, if you’re not certain of what to do, just follow the crowd.
While you should not need to swim to reach the hidden beach, you will need to walk through waist-high waters. Going by kayak or boat are also options, but a majority of people just walk. Adequate water shoes, swimwear, and towels are recommended. Although the nearest public restroom (at Kise Fishing Port) is still a few minutes away by car, it is good for a quick change of clothes.
Although Amami Oshima's Hidden Beach is a little more difficult to see than other beaches, that just adds to the charm of this phenomenon. The day I went, it was admittedly a bit cloudy, but I still found the sight beautiful and really enjoyed the experience. If you’re traveling to Amami Oshima in April or May, I’d recommend checking the tides and stopping by. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll be better prepared and remember to bring a change of clothes unlike a certain someone (me). Overall, exploring Amami is an adventure, so get out there and find those hidden treasures!
For information on tide levels, please check the Japan Meteorology Agency Website:
As of the writing of this article, there is not a location on Google Maps, but these are the approximate coordinates:
Rose Craig started working as the Coordinator for International Relations for Amami City in November 2021. Born and raised in rural Texas, she enjoys exploring the nature of the Amami Islands and finding the similarities and differences that make every place unique. When not translating materials, she is running the Explore Amami social media accounts, writing articles, taking pictures, exploring, and more!