The Nansei Archipelago is a 1,200 kilometers string of coral sea blue and lush green gems forming the southernmost, subtropical part of Japan and stretching all the way to Taiwan. The city of Itoman is located at the southern tip of the main island called Okinawa, and is known as the hometown of the fishermen, the [UMINCHU] in the local dialect, because its people have been living in symbiosis with the sea, developing a unique culture and craftsmanship along the centuries. From woodwork tools making, to boat building, sailing and fishing techniques or seafood cooking, the Uminchu’s ancestral knowledge is well alive here.
Fishermen sailing boats [SABANI] crafting is one of the city’s cultural treasures that have been passed through generations. Sabani are small vessels holding up to 8 crew members, they combine both paddling and sailing which makes them highly versatile on the shallow waters of the coral reefs, they are naturally unsinkable and have the particularity of being made without using a single metal nail. For centuries, they have been used to deploy fishing nets, fish sharks, or swiftly deliver urgent messages across open seas.
You can come and see, touch, smell these handcrafted marvels and discover their secrets in Itoman, and you can also embark on a Sabani to experience the world of the fishermen.
SABANI original tours and programs Sailing for a couple of hours on the lagoon or cruising for a full week, we have a full range of tailor-made Sabani adventures for you to immerse in the Uminchu culture. Please contact us to find out more.
SABANI Lagoon cruise:
3 hours (JPY 44,000/1 boat, up to 6 participants) .
SABANI multi-days island hopping adventure:
Please consult us for detailed pricing.