Following the recent news of UNESCO World Heritage Committee talks to be held in China in 2021, the Japanese island of Amami Oshima is to be renominated as a natural heritage site candidate.
Situated in a subtropical zone, Amami Archipelago lies in the Pacific Ocean between Kyushu and Okinawa. Also known as the Oriental Galapagos, Amami Oshima is the largest island – about 712 sq/km in size and 46km in circumference – formed volcanically among them.
Largely composed of mountains covered by subtropical broad-leaved evergreen forests and forming part of the Amami Gunto National Park, Amami Oshima is home to an abundance of flora and fauna, including endemic species such as the Amami rabbit, Ryukyu spiny rat, Ishikawa’s frog, Lidth’s jay, and some flowers of the lily and orchid family.
While the pristine coral reefs are one of the island’s main attractions, crystal clear waters and white sand beaches also welcome beachgoers during the swimming season from March til October. In addition, the local culture is immensely rich and differs from the Japanese mainland.