This year, Ocean Day is on the 17th of July, and it is a great day to celebrate and recognise the importance of oceans to our world and our daily lives.

I am sure each of you has your own favorite sea, but Candlewick’s Kyoko would like to introduce the sea of Yakushima, which she visited last year.

“When it comes to Yakushima, Yakusugi trekking is the highlight, but during some basic research, I found a lodge right in front of the sea where sea turtles come to lay their eggs. The spawning season was over, and we might be able to see the hatchlings!

The location is only accessible by rental car, and when we arrived in the evening, the beautiful view of the ocean in front of us took our breath away. We were able to go straight from our room to the beach, and in no time at all, we were in our swimsuits and ready to go! We spent a blissful time watching the sunset with a beer in hand.

We woke up early the next morning and walked along the beach, where we encountered hatchlings emerging from their burrows and heading for the ocean! Even though they were unable to ride the waves properly, they eventually made their way out to the open sea. Apparently only a few of them make it to adulthood, as they become food other animals, but the sight of them all heading out to sea at once was both cute, empowering, and mysterious!

Next time I would like to visit again to see the sea turtles laying eggs.”

Next is Haruna!

“I will never forget the sea of Shikine-jima. From Tokyo city, it only takes about 3 hours by ferry to see the clear blue sea that seems like a tropical island!

I was honestly surprised to find such a beautiful ocean right here in the Tokyo area upon arriving at the beach. Not only was the ocean beautiful, but because of its distance from the city no city lights reach the beach, so at night you can gaze up at a star-filled sky.

Lazing on the dark beach and gazing up at the starlit sky is a moment I will always remember. This year I would like to visit other islands in the Izu Islands.”

Finally, we have Kaho- who joined the Candlewick team this year.

“Have you ever heard of the Kerama Islands? The Kerama Islands are a collection of islands and reefs located about 40 km west of the main island of Okinawa. The white sand beaches, clear waters, and tropical sun create a blue gradation known as “Kerama blue”.

Although most people go to Ishigaki Island or Taketomi Island when they think of Okinawa, I recommend the Kerama Islands if you want to experience true natural beauty.

Among the Kerama Islands, I would recommend snorkeling around the uninhabited “Amuro Island,” which can only be reached by ferry from “Zamami Island”. As the island is uninhabited, there are no stores or restrooms. Upon diving into the sea, you will be immediately surrounded by colorful tropical fish and coral reefs, and if you go further out to sea, you are likely to see sea turtles.

The best season to visit is from October to early November and from the end of March to April, a time when it is not too hot and not too busy. The Kerama Islands are only a 1-2 hour ferry ride from Naha, so it is possible to stay overnight in Naha City and go for a day trip. Why not go and have some fun?