幻の生物を追って(re:日本一周#40)

40日目のこの日も天気は良くならず

かと言って雨も降っていなかったので、まだ探検していない与那国の東側を探検することに

まずは泊まっている祖納の集落から東へ、最東端の東崎を目指す

集落からすぐに海沿いの道へ

曇り空にも関わらずこの青い海

なにこのソーダみたいな海

瓶詰めして飾ってやろうと思った

瓶を開けたら日本最西端の海の匂いなんて素敵すぎるじゃん、なんて思いながら進むと、不思議すぎる光景が目の前に広がる

突然現れる異世界のような荒野と謎の建築物

実はこれ、沖縄式のお墓らしい

まるで古代遺跡のような風貌をしているが、普通のお墓

なんでこんな形をしているかというと、琉球に古くから伝わる「子宮から出た命は子宮に戻っていく」という輪廻転生のような考えから、女性の子宮の形を表しているらしい

驚くべきはその大きさで、大きいものだと小さい家くらいはありそうな規模感のものが点々と、荒野に2キロほどひたすら続く

集落から出たら突然、古代の世界に迷い込んだみたいだ。気分はまるでインディジョーンズだった。そしたら本当に

もう使われていない謎の古代遺跡とピラミッドのようなものがいきなり現れる

与那国島は本当に不思議な島だ。今までの「日本」というイメージが180度変わるような、不思議の島。たしかに東京から3000キロも離れればそうなってしまうのかもしれない。

そんな夢見心地な気持ちのまま、東へ向かうと最東端東崎が見えてくる

ここ東崎は「最東端」という以上に有名なものがある。

それがこれ

与那国島にしか生息しない固有種のヨナグニウマがそこかしこにいるのだ

ここまで見せられてしまっては本当にここが日本か分からなくなるからやめてほしい

しかしまたこいつらが温厚で小さくて可愛い

灯台の下で草をむしゃむしゃ

しかも断崖絶壁の海と草原に馬がいるこの構図がまた絵になる

与那国島にしか生息しない、まさに幻の馬

そしてこんな映画みたいな光景が目の前にパノラマで広がる不思議

ちなみに最東端の東崎には

牛も自然に帰っていた

与那国島=動物ふれあいコーナー

これだけは間違いない

ちなみに牛は大きくて触るのは少し気が引けた

断崖絶壁の東崎から見る海は

もちろんこの透明度

サンゴ礁がそのまま見えてしまっている

これはもう日本じゃないんだな

そう思えてしまうのも、もう仕方ない

そもそも旅している限り、自分が映画の中の主人公なんじゃないかって感覚は心の何処かにきっとあるし、与那国島はそんなスクリーンの中の世界観を存分に見せてくれる素敵な島だった


周囲25キロしかないはずの与那国は、そこかしこにロマンが溢れる。そんな島だったんだ

東崎を満喫したあとは、興味のあった「アヤミハビル館」という場所へ

アヤミハビル???なんて声が聞こえてきそうな名前だけど、実はこれ、世界最大級の蛾の与那国での呼び名だ。本当の名前は「ヨナグニサン」これまた与那国島の固有種で、まさに幻の蛾だ。

アヤミハビル館は最西端の孤島という特殊な地理から生み出された、貴重な生態系の与那国の生き物たちを展示している博物館であり、生き物大好きマンのヨコイシからしたら天国みたいな場所だ。行くしかなかった。

山道を越えて辿り着くと、まずは入り口で与那国島に関する20分のビデオを見る

そしていよいよ展示へ

本土とは大きく違う生態系に、南国ということだけあって巨大な虫たちに一人興奮

こいつは与那国臭蛇(シュウダ)と言って、文字通り強烈な異臭を放つらしい

約1時間。男のロマンが詰まった展示を満喫して帰ろうとすると最後に奇跡が起こった

それは係員の一言で始まる

「今とっておきの生き物がいるんです!一般公開はしてないんですけど、よかったら見ますか?」

え?もしかしてヨナグニサンかな?でももう今は成虫がいる季節じゃないしありえないよな…

なんて思いながらもとっておきと言われたら行くしかない。

関係者しか入れない裏に入って、いざ観ると

そこには奇跡のヨナグニサンがいた

なんと今日、季節はずれの成虫となった個体だそう。蛾とは思えないくらいの綺麗さで、手のひらほどの大きさがある

そもそもアヤミハビルの意味は「綾のある蝶」という昔の言葉らしい

その美しさは、まさに「綾」そのものだった

与那国の美しさを象徴するような幻の蝶

そんな奇跡を目の当たりにして宿へ戻る

今日は与那国最後の夜だ

新しくきた女性の旅人二人を迎えて、みんなで与那国最後の夜を過ごして、夜は更けていった

今日も見ていただきありがとうございます!最後に下の日本一周自転車ボタンを押していただけるとブログランキングが上がるので是非お願いします!

にほんブログ村 旅行ブログ 日本一周(自転車)へ


にほんブログ村

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