Koujima 幸島 ”Monkey Island”
If you like to see wild macaques frolic about in droves, head to Kushima’s Monkey Island, Koujima, and get your fill. Koujima actually means “happy island,” but this little isle is known for its cultured macaque monkeys. Even David Attenborough made his way here once, and had a grand old time narrating the astonishing escapades with his classically droll excitement.
Although the island is fairly close to the mainland, it is not considered safe to swim there. However, you are allowed to take your own dinghy, or spend a not-too-shabby 1,000円 on a manned boat trip. Once the need to see furry primates has been sated, the need to feed can follow suit at the small hut on the mainland beach.
Location: 幸島サル生息地 (map)
Ichiki, Kushima, Miyazaki Prefecture 889-3311
TEL: 090-5930-8777 (Hagashima-san)
*During summer, the ferryman is generally waiting at the beach. However, during the off-season you may need to call ahead to reserve a trip.
Fumonji Temple 普門寺
A little-known gem in Kushima is Fumonji Temple. This is a small Buddhist temple near the foot of Cape Toi. The priest speaks amazing English, has many stories to tell, and absolutely loves foreign visitors! If you happen to visit near sunset, the priest may take you down to the temple’s secret beach for a truly spectacular view. The temple is also locally famous for having green sakura blossoms in the spring. If you are ever in Kushima, we strongly recommend visiting this lovely place.
Location: 普門寺 (map)
11517 Honjō, Kushima-shi, Miyazaki-ken 888-0008
Dolphin Land イルカランド
Tucked away at the border between Kushima and Shibushi is Iruka Land. Iruka is Japanese for dolphin, and here you can see dolphins, fish, penguins, turtles, and several other animals. To be honest, the animal enclosures are quite small, and may be off-putting to some.
Location: 志布志湾イルカランド新鮮市場 (map)
1481-3 Takamatsu, Kushima-shi, Miyazaki-ken 888-0002