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Kuniga Coast and Different Ways to Enjoy It!

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Kuniga Coast and Different Ways to Enjoy It!

Kuniga Coast is a Designated National Place of Scenic Beauty and Natural Monument. Here are all the travel tips you need to know, including how to get there and how to enjoy it on both land and sea!

Kuniga Coast is an exquisite example of sea-eroded coastline featuring magnificent cliffs, spectacular sea arches, and caves. There is no wonder why Kuniga Coast has been designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty and Natural Monument since 1938, and also designated as a Special Zone of the Daisen-Oki National Park. The coastline also features multiple geosites designated by the Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark.The highlight of the coast is the Kuniga Coast Walking Trail, which runs between the top of Matengai Cliff and Tsūtenkyō Arch.

Index

  1. Famous Spots
  2. How To Get There

Famous Spots

Matengai Cliff

Matengai Cliff

Being the highlight of the Kuniga Walking Trail, this 257 m tall cliff stands in the Sea of Japan and is one of the most famous sea cliffs in the country. Due to sea and wind erosion, the edge looks as if it has been cut by a huge knife! Featuring the heavenly view of the coastline and blue ocean, the trail leads through a grassy pasture, where cows and horses graze peacefully.

 

Tsūtenkyō Arch

Tsūtenkyō Arch

Formed by repeated volcanic activities, the Tsūtenkyō Arch was originally a cave but due to natural coastal erosion and landslides, the back of it collapsed, leaving behind only an arch shape that looks like a bridge. This is where the name Tsūtenkyō, which means “bridge to heaven” in Japanese, came from.

 

Akekure-no-iwaya Cave

Akekure-no-iwaya Cave

An impressive, 250-metre-long sea caveThis will open in a new tab. with two entrances, making it possible to pass through it by boat! The cave is only a little wider than the boat, so entering the cave depends on the wave conditions on that day. This is just one of the highlights of the Kuniga Coast Sightseeing Boat tour, a thrilling way to discover “another face” of the coastline. The coastline is dotted with rock stacks, natural arches, and small caves accessible only from the sightseeing boat.

How To Get There

Here are all the different ways to get to the Kuniga Coast and enjoy its beauty.

Sightseeing bus and boat

Sightseeing bus and boat

Joining the sightseeing boat or bus tour is the easiest way to see the beauty of Kuniga Coast if you want to go there right after arriving on the islands.
When travelling by the ferry departing from Sakaiminato Port at 9:30 you will arrive at Nishinoshima Town, Beppu Port at 12:05. You can leave your luggage at the Tourism Association in the port.
From here you can either go and rent a car (making an early reservation is recommended) or use the local bus departing at 12:19 to go to Nishinoshimacho Kankokoryu Center in Uragō Port, from where you can catch the sightseeing bus or boat at 13:00. The tour will finish at 14:45, giving you the time to travel to other sightseeing spots that you want to go to in Nishinoshima Town.
The guide will introduce (in Japanese) the scenery and nature of the spectacular Kuniga Coast;  for those who do not speak Japanese brochures in English are available at the ticket window, so remember to pick them up from there.

 

By sightseeing bus

By sightseeing bus

The bus will take you to see both Matengai Cliff and Tsūtenkyō Arch, which will require less walking and you will not need to worry about catching the return local bus! You can buy the ticket at Nishinoshimacho Kankokoryu Center in Uragō Port. The bus departs from in front of the building. Booking is necessary up to two days before the day of your visit. The tour takes 1 hour and 45 minutes, and costs JPY 3,000 per adult  and JPY 1,500 per child.

Tour time:
1. 13:00–14:45
2. 15:00–16:45

*The tour runs until 20th November in 2023. Due to sea conditions this tour is not provided during winter season. The start date for March 2024 tours will be announced at a later time.
*If you join the 15:00 tour, by paying an extra JPY 200 you can ask the tour to drop you off at Beppu Port to get on the ferry.
*You can get to Uragō Port by using the local bus from Beppu Port. The timetable is available below in the “By local bus” part.

 

By sightseeing boat

By sightseeing boat

If you would like to see the layers of Kuniga Coast’s rocks, which have shown their various colours due to wind and sea erosion, and experience the thrill of getting a close-up look at tall cliffs, rock arches, and rock formations with different shapes, we recommend you take the sightseeing boat! If the weather permits, you will also be able to enter some of the sea caves!

You can buy the ticket at Nishinoshimacho Kankokoryu Center in Uragō Port. The sightseeing boat departs from the bay in front of the building. Booking is necessary up to two days before the day of your visit. The tour takes 1 hour and 20 minutes, and costs JPY 3,000 per adult and JPY 1,500 per child.

Tour time:
8:30–9:50
10:50–12:10
13:00–14:20
15:00–16:20

*You can get to Uragō Port by using the local bus from Beppu Port. The timetable is available below in the “By local bus” part.

 

By walking and hiking

By walking and hiking

If you love to walk and hike longer distances, this might be a great way to see Nishinoshima Town and Kuniga Coast! It is around 10 km from Beppu Port Ferry Terminal to the parking lot near the top of Matengai Cliff. The walk will take about 2.5 to 3 hours one way, but be aware that this is only the walking time to the top of the cliff, not counting the time necessary to hike down to Tsūtenkyō Arch, and to take photos or detours on the way! It is also possible to take the local bus from Beppu Port to Uragō Port, which leaves around 4 km to walk up to the cliff.

From the top of the cliff, it takes around 45 min to walk through the pasture down the hiking trail, which will lead you to Tsūtenkyō Arch.

Tsūtenkyō Arch is 10 minutes away from the Kuniga Bay parking area and the local bus stop. From there, if you don’t feel like hiking on the way back anymore, you can either hop on the local bus or arrange for a taxi to pick you up to go back to the port.

*The local bus that goes to Kuniga Bay car park only operates from April to October. Please remember to check the local bus timetable beforehand to time your visit accordingly!
*The number of taxis on the island is limited. We recommend booking in advance.

While hiking the wondrous trail that passes through grazing land for cattle and horses, do not get too close to the animals as they might act aggressively if irritated by human actions. Special care should be taken when calves (baby cows) are around, as the mother cows feel very protective and might attack in case you try and get close to a calf.

Stay hydrated at all times, and never try to hike on or after a heavy rainy day, as you can get hurt from slipping and falling.
*Please also keep in mind that some phone carriers might not have a signal, especially in the more remote areas.
For more tips about walking and hiking here, check out our “Guide to Outdoor Activities in the Oki Islands.

By walking and hiking

 

By local bus

By local bus

 

By local bus

 

The local bus runs between the Beppu Port and other areas of the island throughout the day. Nishinoshima is a small island, and the number of buses is small, too, so it is very important to check the bus timetable in advance to plan accordingly. The bus route to Kuniga Bay car park (close to Tsūtenkyō Arch) operates only from April to October.

Please keep in mind that the bus will only stop at the Kuniga Bay car park. You will have to hike up the walking trail to see Matengai Cliff and hike back down again to catch the returning bus. It takes about 1.5-2 hours to do so. The bus has a one-way flat fare of JPY 200 per adult and JPY 100 per child.

Please refer to the Nishinoshima Island Local Bus TimetableThis will open in a new tab. for the full and detailed bus timetable and other information. Below, we present a simplified one, which includes only the departure and arrival times between Beppu Port and Kuniga Bay. The number of buses that run to Kuniga Bay is increased in summer season, from 1st July to 31st August.

If you are not staying on Nishinoshima and plan to arrive by ferry from mainland Japan or by the inter-island ferry from other Dōzen Islands (Nakanoshima Island, Chiburijima Island), make sure to check their timetables to make it on time for the local buses. Please check the timetable uploaded on the Oki Kisen Ferry Line websiteThis will open in a new tab. for details.

 

 

 

 

By taxi

Another way to get to Kuniga Coast is to take a taxi to Matengai Cliff and hike down to see Tsūtenkyō Arch, then catch the returning local bus to get back to your hotels or the ferry port. The taxi will cost around JPY 3,000-3,500 for a one-way trip. For detailed pricing please contact the taxi company or inquire through the Nishinoshima Tourism Association.

 

By sightseeing taxi

Two companies in Nishinoshima Town offer sightseeing routes at fixed prices. There are a total of seven courses, ranging from one to three hours.
The taxi driver will provide guidance along the way in Japanese. Advanced booking is necessary. Payments available in cash only.

 

By rental bike

By rental bike

For those who want to enjoy the breeze, a rental bicycle might be an option you are looking for! It will take about one hour to get to the parking lot near the top of Matengai Cliff. You can rent a bicycle from the Nishinoshima Tourism Association. There are two types of electric-assisted bicycles (e-bikes). Prior booking is highly recommended as the bicycles are very popular among visitors of Nishinoshima Town.

 

By rental car

By rental car

There are three rental car companies in Nishinoshima, with more than 20 vehicles available. However, advanced bookings are highly recommended during the peak tourism season (July–August). Prices start from as low as JYP 2,750 for a 3-hour rental! It will take about 45 minutes to get to the parking lot near the top of Matengai Cliff by car. For more information please look at the “How to Get Around Oki Islands” page on this website.