Kikai Island (Kikaijima) of the Amami Islands

Kikai Island, also known as Kikaijima is an island entirely formed by emerged coral reefs. These coral reefs are still emerging, and the island is enlarging at the world’s second fastest rate.

It was probably our first visit to an island that even though has an airport (albeit tiny), it doesn’t have even one convenience store, and has only one traffic light. Because of the fast emerging coral reefs, Kikaijima has many lagoons along the shore, which makes it a great island for snorkeling, especially at high tide. There are not so many sandy beaches on Kikaijima as they are still forming, but the coral lagoons are paradise.

The lagoon in front of Annyadumari (Hawaii Beach) is great for those who want to see beautiful hard and soft coral types within a stone’s throw from the beach. The point near Keraji Beach is great for those who want to see both amazing coral in a dynamic underwater terrain and sea turtles (at high tide). The most famous beach of Kikaijima is called Sugira Beach, which is not the most beautiful beach as it’s located right next to the airport, however the lagoon is very idyllic. This crystal clear lagoon is perfect for swimming and snorkeling especially for families with small children as the lagoon has a mostly white sand bottom and many fish, while being totally protected from the ocean. It is also possible to enjoy swimming and snorkeling there even at low tide.

The Ufuyaguchi Limestone Cave is a great place to visit on a non-beach weather day, together with the island’s sacred Banyan Tree (Tekuzuku Gigantic Banyan Tree).

We stayed at Villa Kikai, which we absolutely loved for both the location overlooking the ocean, and the accommodation style. This brand new modern premise was ideal to enjoy the beach and lagoon directly out the front. There are not many restaurants on Kikaijima, and at the time Villa Kikai didn’t provide meals (although there was a kitchenette). We purchased pre-made dishes from the supermarket and enjoyed them, together wth the idyllic view from our private terrace. The view from the 2F bathroom was especially beautiful, with the added bonus of spotting sea turtles.


PrefectureKagoshimaSize57 sq kmPopulationApproximately 7,200AccessA flight from Kagoshima to Kikaijima takes about 80 mins. A flight from Amami Oshima takes about 15 mins. A ferry from Naze Port of Amami Oshima takes about 2 hours. There is also a ferry from Kagoshima which takes about 11 hours.Getting aroundCar rental