Sunday, January 20, 2008

An Aerial Map of the Kerama Islands

I live in the Kerama Islands, a chain about 20 miles west of the Okinawan mainland. Only four of the islands are inhabited: Zamami, Aka, Geruma, and Tokashiki. While Tokashiki is in the Kerama chain, it might as well be mainland Japan (except I can see it). They have their own ferry system and Zamami respects them so much, they leave Tokashiki off their own Kerama Islands' maps.

Though there are claims of 22-some islands in the chain, I think half of those are small enough to be of questionable consideration. But it is a chain and the islands offer some weather protection to the inside waters, which help keep the dive industry afloat year-round.

Here is a quote I found about the Keramas:

"Despite outside interests the locals have resisted commercial development and life has been maintained in much the same way that it did centuries ago. The locals, proudly protective of their environment, pay greatest heed to the rise and fall of the sun in this untouched paradise that remains a peaceful eco-tourism destination."

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