Industry

Like many smaller islands, Kumejima depends on tourism to support a large part of its economy. Due to the seasonal nature of the tourism industry and the continuation of historic activities, Kumejima still has a number of vibrant industries. You can also find more on the many facilities available througout the island.

Agriculture

Kumejima's long and rich history has developed into several key industries today. As it was in the past, Kume Island's main industry is agriculture, supported by Kumejima's natural abundance of water. Today the main crop is sugarcane, which is processed by the local sugar factory. Sugar cane grows throughout the year and is harvested around February. During that time, you'll see large trucks moving the harvested stalks towards the factory. Due to Kumejima's rugged geology, much of the harvesting is still done by hand, despite modern technologies such as harvesters.

Tabacco FarmingOther cash crops including tabacco are also farmed here and many islanders still operate their own gardens. In the winter, you might spot some areas with lights to warm flowers through the cooler months.

There are also many food products made from the hard work of farmers and artisans througout the island. With Japan's love of food omiyage it is perhaps no surprise that Kume Island can bost its own brand of local specialty foods and souvenirs to appeal to tourists and locals alike. Below are a just a few of the items made right here on Kumejima.

  • Akamine Pineapple FarmAkamine Pineapple Drinks

    Akamine Pineapple Garden serves fresh pineapple juice drinks that are perfect during warm summer months.

  • Kumejima MisoKumejima Miso

    Several small companies prouduce delicious miso. Kumejima has a long tradition of miso production. Available at many shops around the island.

  • Sugar Cane CandyBlack Sugar Candy

    Oyatsumura and other shops produce a hard sweet candy from sugar cane juice.

  • Fukuya Miso Cookie FactoryMiso Cookies

    Miso Cookies are Kumejima's best-known product and most popular gift item. Stop by the factory and cafe for a snack or to check out the many gifts available. Just along the main road from the airport.

Deep Sea Water

Sea GrapesKume Island hosts the Okinawa Prefecture Deep Sea Water Institute. Here, researchers look into the benefits of water from deep in the ocean. Today many products are made on Kumejima from the Deep Sea Water. Point Pyuru is a local cosmetics company producing makeup and other products based on the special properties of the water. Bade Haus uses the water for their facilities. Numerous Kuruma Ebi (tiger prawn) farms and Umi Budo (sea grape) farms also produce quality food utilizing the mineral rich waters. More recently, Kume Island has begun operation of an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powerplant under advisement of Saga University.

  • Kuruma ShrimpKuruma Prawns

    Kuruma Prawns are the prized shrimp sold live throughout Japan from Kume Island. Four prawn farms and the Okinawa Prawn Hatchery grow Kume Island Kuruma Prawns.

  • Ocean Thermal Energy ConverstionOTEC

    Kume Island hosts the world's only operational Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Demonstration Facility. Visitors are welcome to come and explore how power can be drawn from the ocean.

  • Point PyuruPoint Pyuru

    Kume Island's Point Pyuru is a cosmetics company specializing in products created from deep sea water. It produces both its own brands and operates as an OEM producer.

  • Sea GrapesSea Grapes

    Sea Grapes, also known as Umi Budo are a high-end sea plant that is popular in Okinawa and surrounding countries. Sea Grapes depend on temperature controlled production which is provided by deep sea water.

  • Water and SaltWater and Salt

    Sea Grapes, also known as Umi Budo are a high-end sea plant that is popular in Okinawa and surrounding countries. Sea Grapes depend on temperature controlled production which is provided by deep sea water.

Awamori

Yoneshima GateKume Island is also the home of two awamori breweries. Awamori is a kind of rice wine alcohol, a cross in taste between the sweeter mainland Japanese sake and more mellow vodkas. Awamori is a popular Okinawan drink that has mostly replaced the whiskys that had become popular after WWII.

Kumesen is perhaps the most popular brand in all of Okinawa. Its factory, high in Kumejima's mountains, is open for brief tours.

Yoneshima also produces popular, but less well known, variations of awamori and is located in the Kanegusuku area. Yoneshima is also open for tours, though you will need to make an appointment at their office.

Awamori Bottles

Fishing

Kumejima has both sport and commercial fishing facilities, bringing in GT, yellow-tail tuna, and other local fish. Kumejima is also known for its 'Kuruma Ebi' a type of large striped shrimp which is farmed in various places around the island. Kuruma Ebi are a popular omiyage and can be eaten raw or grilled. If you visit an ebi farm you may be able to get a taste for yourself, but they are available at many of the local restaurants as well.

Kumejima locals produce other items from the ocean as well. Every year in late spring, a seaweed known as mozuku is harvested. It is a delicious inclusion in soups, served hot over rice, or cold with summer vegetables.

Art and other Shops

Yachimun Bowls

Kume Island is home to many talented craftsmen and artists. Some have galleries, and others simply provide local services. Yachimun is perhaps one of the most popular pottery workshops on the island. There are also handmade clothes and a wood arts shops in the Torishima Area.

There are also a photo studio in Kanegusuku neighborhood as well as one in the Higa neighborhood. Akamine Pineapple Garden has interesting artwork and crafts on display.

Entertainment

In addition to places to learn and grow, Kume Island has a number of facilities and industries for the enjoyment of the local population and visitors alike.

  • Sea-side Park Golf

    (Gima Area) A new ground-style golf course along Kume Island's scenic southern coast. Enjoy a morning or afternoon of relaxing play.


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