Hahajima Island has less variety of activities, shops and restaurants than Chichijima Island, however I really liked the friendly atmosphere. There are only 400 people on Hahajima Island. We stayed for just 4 days and I could easily recognize who were local people and who were the owners of the two shops. Typically visitors come to Hahajima Island for a half-day, which may seem like a reasonable amount time for this small island, but you’ll soon discover there is more than enough to keep you busy. Here’s my picked secret beaches on the Hahajima Island and why you will love them.
Kita Port, the northern Hahajima Island
My favorite beach at Hahajima was Kita Port. It usually takes 30 mins by car, but I took about one hour to drive there due to some difficulties of driving on the mountain road. After arriving on Hahajima Island, I thought to visit Kita Port by rent-a-car, but a staff of the tourist information center mentioned that it would take one day to make a round trip. On Hahajima Island, there is a prefectural line that runs north and south, but soon after leaving the main area, the road became a mountain road with many curves. I couldn’t drive fast. Thankfully, the number of tourists is few and islanders passed me kindly. The views along the road were breathtaking. The route to Kita Port had gorgeous blue and green ocean views, so I parked several times on the side of the road to take pictures and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Kita Port has an old jetty, gravel beach and white sand. Underwater, you can see beautiful coral reefs. When we arrived at Kita Port, we only saw one family. It was almost a private beach without lifeguards. I was a little bit nervous, so we wore life jackets, marine shoes and gloves for snorkeling with air tubes. The sea was crystal clear so we could enjoy tropical fish and coral reefs. At Kita Port, my smartphone didn’t connect. You can communicate through a public pay phone near Kita Port with 100 yen coins if needed. Please make sure to let people in hotels know your destinations before your departure.
A Little bit of History of Hahajima Island
Before visiting Kita Port, we went to Ross Museum to see old pictures of Kita Port. The Ross Museum used to be an old sugar cane storage house and is constructed of Ross rock. This museum displays old pictures and living-wares. We saw lively Kita Port town pictures. About 600 people used to live near Kita Port before World War Ⅱ but in 1944, all citizens were forced to leave the islands. There used to be one elementary school, however now the old school site is covered with banyan and the remains can hardly be seen. Frederic Ross, a sailor of a whaling ship, immigrated to Hahajima Island and found rocks to build houses and roads. The rock was named after him and is known as Ross rock.
Higashi Port, the eastern Hahajima Island
We stopped by Higashi Port on the way to Kita Port. Higashi Port was used as a whaling station, so we still could see part of the station there. There was no one else except us. We spent a glorious time without any disturbance. It was very tempting to jump into the blue sea from the breakwater, but we decided not to do so. The typhoon had just passed and there was a heaving sea. Next time!
At last but not least, Wakihama is the nearest beach from the center of the main area on Hahajima Island. We came to Wakiyama two or three times a day for fishing and seeing baby turtles. We could recognize the other tourists who had sailed with us on the same Hahajima Maru. I also met the same local families several times when we were fishing and swimming here.
How to visit Hahajima Island
If you wish to visit Hahajima Island for one day, you can stay for 2 and a half hours. The Hahajima Maru departs at 7:30am from Chichijima Island and arrives at 9:30am. You can also request a guided tour to see around Hahajima Island. The Hahajima Maru leaves at 2pm for the return trip to Chichijima Island. However, I strongly recommend to stay on Hahajima Island for 2-3 days. We brought a lunch box prepared by our guesthouse and swimming tubes. There are only two shops near Oki Port, so this is why we asked our hotel to prepare our lunch box.