Zamami Village is a subtropical set of islands in the middle of the ocean.
Zamami Village sees many typhoons.
The following information is intended to familiarize visitors with typhoons and their effects on Zamami and its visitors.
Zamami’s typhoon season begins in May and lasts through October. However, typhoons can occur much earlier than May and even after October.
Typhoons generally brew in the pacific, down by the Mariana Islands, before taking a turn directly toward Okinawa. Typhoons bring damaging winds, torrential rain, high waves, rough seas, power outages, ferry cancellations, and more. Typhoons are a force to be reckoned with.
You can view typhoon information at the following pages:
While a given typhoon might not directly slam Zamami, it will have an effect on your travel plans in more than a few ways described below.
Typhoons and Travel:
As mentioned above, typhoons cause high waves and rough sea conditions due to their strong winds and effects on ocean currents.
A typhoon does not even have to be anywhere near Zamami or a direct hit to have an effect on the village and your travel plans.
When the seas are rough and the waves are high, the ferries to and from Zamami Village stop. The village-run ferries are the only form of public transportation to and from the islands.
When there is a chance that the ferries will stop, there is a mad dash to book or change ferry tickets to return to Okinawa Island. The result is that visitors may not be able to get on the ferry because they are booked full. Visitors are effectively stranded on the island.
When there is a chance that the ferries will stop, there is a high possibility that you will not be able to return from Zamami–thereby missing flights, other travel plans, etc.
Once again, if there is a typhoon, there is a chance that the ferries will stop. Other visitors will make a mad dash to change their ferry tickets to go home before the ferries stop. There is a high possibility that you will not be able to return from Zamami, even before the ferries stop moving.
What to do? Inform yourself.
Fully informing yourself of the situation before coming to Zamami is the best course of action. To inform yourself, we recommend the following:
- Contact your accommodations on Zamami and ask for their advice
- Check the wave forecasts described on the “How to Wave Forecast” page
- Understand all of the information on this page and that there is a possibility that you might not be able to return to Okinawa Island when you would like
- Verify your airline company’s policies regarding typhoons, cancelled ferries, and suspended public transportation. Also verify the procedures and fees for both cancelling and changing your flight reservations.
The larger Ferry Zamami usually stops when the waves are 4 meters and the high-speed Queen Zamami stops when the waves are 3 meters.
Other Typhoon Effects:
In addition to suspension of ferry service, typhoons effect Zamami in a whole other set of ways.
- No ships mean no new food and supplies
- Many restaurants close
- Some guest houses close
- Dive shops and marine sports services close (and put their boats on land)
- Swimming at the beaches becomes prohibited due to dangerous currents
- The power goes out (read: no air conditioning)
Being aware of the situation and possibilities is the best course of action when faced with the possibility of a typhoon.