Amami-Oshima Island, lying in the sea south of
Kagoshima, is situated in the middle of the Amami
Islands, which consist of eight islands, and ranks
as the second largest remote island in Japan,
after Sado-ga-shima Island in Niigata Prefecture.
The sea around the islands, designated as Amami-
gunto Quasi-National Park, is blessed with
transparent waters, bright colored coral reefs and
tropical fish, and is known as a fantastic diving
spot. The northern part of the island, where Amami
Airport is located, is a popular resort spot for
divers that is dotted with white sand beaches and
shores boasting of beautiful coral reefs.
At the Amami Park, opened in September 2001, the nature of Amami, nurtured through the Japan Current, as well as Amami's history, culture, and industry are clearly explained. Featuring the works by Isson Tamura, the Amami Park also dispatch the new image of Amami to the visitors.
About 95 percent of the whole island is forest, including some 700,000 square meters of vast virgin mangrove forests, inhabited by a rare species of amamino-kurousagi (a kind of black hare) and ruri-kakesu (a kind of jay). The abundance of natural resources to be found there is quite an attraction. Many people have been visiting the island for bird watching in recent years. Oshima pongee fabric, a special product of the Amami Islands, is weaved at about 400 factories, centered around Amami City, the only city among the islands.