Took a 30 minute ferry ride from Motobu across to Ie Island. I’d never been to the island previously, which is amazing considering I’ve lived on Okinawa for over a decade. It also looks to have some great shore diving.
Ie is famous for beef, togan, and brown sugar, but surprisingly the main crop on the island was tobacco.
Ie island was heavily bombed during the Battle of Okinawa. The local population hid in caves to try and survive the typhoon of steel. In one cave called Niya-Thiya, around a 1000 locals waited out the battle.
US war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed on Ie Island on April 18th 1945. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944, and covered the war in Europe, Africa and the Pacific.
The main event on Ie Island is the Lily Festival that takes place from the end of April to the beginning of May. There are fields of white lilies, and also several rows of the more colorful varieties of Lily.