Continuing from the topic of Iriomote Island trip. In the previous article, I took the Urauchi River cruise in the Uehara area, but this time I will take the Nakama river cruise in the Ohara area, on the other side of the island. Here, you can see the intricately intertwined plate-like roots “Saxifrage”. I went to see that unique dynamic figure.
Depart from Ohara Port
The participants this time were “Nakama River Mangrove Cruise“. The fare is 1,540 yen per adult, and there are about 3 ~ 4 services between 9 o’clock and 15. It is operated every day without prior reservation, but due to the water level of the route, the course will be changed during low tide and you will not be able to see Saxifrage, so you should check the schedule on the website before you come.
The ferry terminal is at Ohara Port. This cruise ship is even smaller than the previous Urauchi River cruise. There were only 2 passengers other than us on this day, but the capacity of the boat is 60, so it seems that the population density will be quite high during the busy season.
When the boat departs, it continues to head north toward the upper reaches of the Nakama River. In the beginning, the river is about 100 meters wide, and you go under Nakama Bridge which is built there. At low tide, there is almost no water in this area, so it is even more so for the upper stream.
run through a mangrove forest
When the river becomes narrower as you go upstream, you can see the mangrove forest.
This “Rhizophoraceae” plant is one of the main characteristics of mangroves, but the most common one is yaeyamahirugi. Compared to Kandelia candel, its characteristic is its thin roots. At this time of the year, only the brown trunk and green leaves can be seen, but in spring, white star-shaped flowers are seen.
There was also the appearance of ohirugi. It is much taller than Yaeyamahirugi. Some are over 20 meters tall.
I heard that Ohirugi is in early summer, but you can see something like red seeds. But if you look at the image of this flower when it bloomed, it’s pretty grotesque!
We arrived at the viewing point of this tour about 30 minutes after we left Ohara Port. Walk the mountain path to the viewpoint about 400 m from here.
Here, you can see the Saxifrage tree. The tree is found only in subtropical areas, and in Japan it has been found in areas south of Amami. In particular, the tree you can see on this tour is a large 400 year-old tree with a plank-like root that is over 3 meters tall. What is it like?
About five minutes from the dock! Excellent Itane! You look like you’re obsessed with something.
It doesn’t look so big in the picture, but I’m surprised at the size when I actually get closer. According to the information board, the maximum height of this flat root is 3.3 meters.
In subtropical regions, the soil breaks down so quickly that trees can’t grow deep into the ground, so they stretch upward to maintain stability.
The powerful figure is not only the root, but also the stately figure as it is 400 years old. The fact that it is completely independent without any artificial reinforcement is probably due to the support of a large plantar root that exceeds 3 meters.
Better than Urauchi River if you feel the unexplored region?
Personally, I was able to enjoy a more secluded feeling than the Nakama River Cruise I participated in this time and the Urauchi River Cruise I told you about yesterday. While you can see the mangrove forest from the boat, you feel like you are entering a mysterious world where the sunlight does not reach very much, and it gives you a sense of adventure.
The price is a little cheaper and the walking distance is shorter, so I think it is safe for families and elderly people. If you have a chance to go to Iriomote Island, why don’t you join the Nakama River cruise that you can enjoy easily?
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