A new 13-unit seaside resort villa opened this summer in Amami Oshima
We left Fukuoka Airport at 7:10 in the morning, and just one hour and 10 minutes later, we landed on the beautiful island of Amami Oshima in Kagoshima Prefecture.
It’s amazing to think you can walk out your front door and be chilling in an island paradise before nine am —without crossing any time zones no less! Our first order of business was to rent a car from a shop just outside the airport. A car is essential for getting around Amami. The hotel was only a 10-minute drive from the airport, but the view of the ocean as we drove past fields of sugar cane was breathtaking—a real change from the cityscape we left back in Fukuoka.
To check-in, we first stopped at Magun Hiroba. Once an old supermarket, the building has been renovated and turned into a community center. The first floor features a restaurant, gift shop, daycare center for senior citizens and the check-in desk for hotel patrons. Meanwhile, the second floor is home to a library that is open to the public and nine hotel rooms. Repurposed with great attention to design and function. Cool!
Once we checked in, the concierge guided us to our private villa: Denpaku The Beachfront Mijora.
Just a 5-minute drive down the coast sits Denpaku The Beachfront Mijora, which just opened this July. The colors of Amami’s seas are spectacular.
We were greeted by the villa’s stylish, modern facade. After parking the car in the private lot for the villa rooms (#8 ~ 13), we opened the front door…
…and stepped directly onto the beach with the blue-green ocean stretching out right before our eyes. In fact, you might be tempted to spend the whole day lounging in the villa if you felt so inclined.
The bathroom is outfitted with an overhead shower and spacious bathtub. There is also a kitchenette, so you can opt to buy ingredients and cook your own meals in the villa. Apparently, the owner is a wine aficionado, so each room comes equipped with a small wine cellar. All of the wines (red, white and sparkling) in the cellar are available for purchase.
After you settle in, you can have a drink and relax in your room or head out to see the sites, but you won’t want to miss the sunset.
But how you enjoy the sunset it up to you: gazing through the window as you lounge on the bed, from the balcony with a glass of wine, or from the beach.
You can also ask the concierge to arrange a full-service BBQ. No setup or cleanup is required on your part, but you have to make a reservation in advance. All the fun, and none of the hassle.
The restaurant at Magun Hiroba also serves up a dinner course made from local ingredients (reservation required).
After dinner, unwind on the villa terrace as you gaze at the star-filled sky with the calming sounds of the waves as your background music. Let your stress melt away, and before you know it, you’ll be fast asleep.
In the morning, if you get up before sunrise, you can enjoy the changing color of the sky as you stroll along the beach. Mornings at Denpaku The Beachfront Mijora are truly something to behold.
For breakfast, we enjoyed a plate of island fare made from local ingredients at the restaurant inside Magun Hiroba. If you go when passion fruit is in season, you won’t want to miss it!
What to do
Because Denpaku The Beachfront Mijora is right near the ocean, you can do some paddleboarding, swim, or just enjoy a relaxing stroll on the beach. What’s more, the terrace is equipped with outdoor showers and hammocks.
Amami Oshima is a subtropical natural wonderland. For a fee, you can arrange a guided walking tour through the Kinsakubaru Virgin Forest.
Life in Amami revolves around the village. Each village has its own festivals where men and women take turns singing as they dance around in a circle. This traditional dance is rooted in the spirit of helping out your neighbor, so why not give it a try after a meal of local specialties. When you make your reservation, be sure to ask if any festivals will be occurring during your stay.
Amami is a marine sports mecca and is especially well-known for scuba diving. After enjoying the ocean, you can stop by a restaurant owned by a fisherman and eat your fill of marine delights such as ise-ebi lobster miso soup and a bowl of rice topped with fresh seafood. While in Amami, you will also want to try the famous keihan, a bowl of rice topped with chicken and other ingredients and doused with chicken soup.
After a day in the sun, stop by La Fonte for some homemade ice cream.
Made from local ingredients, the seasonal flavors include plum and brown sugar with mango.
When you are looking for a place to stay, consider choosing one of Denpaku’s lodgings, all of which are housed in renovated traditional buildings. They are perfect for both family vacations and long-term stays.
The mission of Denpaku is to offer accommodation in traditional buildings that afford access to the unique island village culture of Amami. If an unforgettable story is what you’re after, the Denpaku properties will be right up your alley. http://den-paku.com/amami/top-en
Where we stayed: Denpaku The Beachfront Mijora
A villa-style resort situated in two locations. Three buildings were soft-opened on April 20, and the grand opening was held on July 10, 2019. It’s only about one hour from Fukuoka on a direct flight, making it the perfect place to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and recharge your batteries.
Villa #1~7：861-4 Kasarichosotoganeku, Amami, Kagoshima
Villa #8~13：988-1 Kasarichosotoganeku, Amami, Kagoshima
Reservations & Inquiries (English OK):
Web reservations here
10 min. by car from the Amami Airport. Airport transfer available. Reservations accepted until 14:00 the day before.
Amami Airport ~10 min. ~Denpaku Hotel（Check-in • breakfast）~5min. ~Denpaku The Beachfront MIJORA
The check-in desk is 10 minutes by car from the villas.
After check-in, the concierge will provide information on the “Denpaku The Beachfront MIJORA”.
There are regular non-stop flights between Tokyo, Osaka, Kagoshima, Okinawa, and Fukuoka.
Discounted fares for foreigners visiting Japan – JAL Japan Explorer Pass
Great deals on flights for visitors from outside of Japan (one way just ¥10,800)
Report and all photos Nick & Emiko Szasz / Fukuoka Now