Amami International Network (AIN) was founded in 2016 to provide support for foreign visitors to Amami who might have difficulties with the native language. AIN provides qualified, trained tour guides to ensure that all visitors have an enjoyable experience. Our guides will help you explore all aspects of Amami's nature and culture.
How it works
Private tour guide
Have a group of more than four people? / Need a tour package that includes hotel and transportation? / Can't choose a tour guide?
Contact AIN directly to discuss your needs and we will help arrange the best plans for you.
Why visit Amami?
The mesmerizing blue sea
The brilliant blue of Amami's sea is mesmerizing. On a hot summer day, nothing is more refreshing than a dip in the cool water. You can relax on sandy beaches, snorkel or swim along the shore, dive in coral reefs, go fishing on the open sea, kayak, surf, and more. In winter, humpback whales migrate through the area, and you can go whale watching.
A vibrant world of plants and animals
Amami has unique subtropical rainforests. In the forest, you can explore a world full of plants and animals, spotting rare birds, reptiles, and mammals. Beautiful orchids and world-famous Amami black rabbits are waiting for you.
Brilliant night skies
With very little light pollution, on a clear night the sky comes alive with thousands of bright stars, and sometimes you can even see the Milky Way.
A unique culture, unlike other parts of Japan
Located midway between mainland Japan and Okinawa, Amami has been influenced by both. Geographically Amami is similar to Okinawa, but its culture is a unique blend of Ryukyu, mainland, and local traditions and beliefs.
Lively island music
At the heart of Amami is the sophisticated folk music called shimauta. Shimauta, or "island songs," are sung in the local dialect and accompanied by string instruments and drums. It takes many years of study for singers to learn the complex vocal technique.
People hearing this powerful falsetto voice for the first time will surely be moved.
Local festivals full of song and dance
Amami has lots of seasonal festivals held in its local communities to pay respect to deities. You are welcome to join the festivities, singing and dancing with the locals. It's time to kick up your heels!
Healthy island food, the secret to a long life
Amami people are well-known for living remarkably long lives, probably because of the healthy island foods they eat. When you visit, you can try local dishes made from fresh vegetables, fish or pork. Then try some Amami fruit for dessert, such as papaya, orange, mango, plum and many more.
Shochu, the locals' favorite drink
Amami is famous as the home of kokuto shochu, a clear spirit made from distilled sugar cane and rice. Drinking shochu is a big part of the island culture, and it's the preferred drink of many locals. Several varieties are produced right here on the island. Some distilleries offer factory tours, where you can observe shochu being fermented, distilled and bottled. Of course, you will have the chance to sample a taste of their special shochu. If you love alcoholic drinks, Amami is paradise.