VIDEO| Explore Okinawa's Ie Island

Photo by Shoji Kudaka
Photo by Shoji Kudaka

VIDEO| Explore Okinawa's Ie Island

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Korea

Whether you’re working from home, sheltering in place or just staying home, if you’re like us, you’re probably dreaming of open skies, sandy beaches, tall mountains, or perfect powdery slopes. Our travel plans may be on hold, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream up where we’ll go next.

Welcome to virtual vacation video series where we can explore destinations from the comfort of our home.

Join us as we take a short virtual journey to Ie Island.

It only takes a half-hour ferry ride to get to this remote island from Motobu Peninsula in the northern part of Okinawa’s main island. Ie Island is a popular tourist destination with plenty of nature, culture, activities, and food.

Some of the must-see spots in Ie Island include:

  • GI Beach— This beach on the south coast of the island got its name from the fact that it used to be exclusively used by officers of the U.S. military after the Battle of Okinawa. Although swimming is not allowed there now, its beautiful ocean view is worth a visit. (Try Ie Beach on the southeast if you can’t wait to get in the water.)

  • Wajee — This lookout point on the northern coast is also known to locals as a source of spring water. The cliffs here are as high as 60 meters and the landscape scenery changes as the tide switches and depending on the weather.
  • Gusukuyama –This 172-meter-high mountain is thought to be the symbol of Ie Island. Also referred to as Iejima-Tacchuu, or pointed figure of Iejima, Gusukuyama’s triangular profile is visible from the main island. Grab some steps and an amazing view on a short climb up this island centerpiece.

Last, but not least, the Ernie Pyle monument is a destination you don’t want to miss. This monument commemorates the Pulitzer Prize winner, and war correspondent regularly featured in Stars and Stripes, who died on Ie Island while covering the battle of Okinawa in 1945.

While touring Ie Island, make sure you try some Kekkun, fried flour chips. Flour farming on Ie Island dates back to the times of the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429 – 1879). Enjoy the fragrant smell and savory flavor of the island’s signature product.

I hope you enjoyed a look at Ie Island through travel photos and that it's inspired your next trip. Stay safe and get ready to travel with us in our next video. Thanks for watching!

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