Rounding a corner on the lilting road that leads from the port in Tokashiki to Aharen Beach — Route 186, bisecting the island of Tokashiki, the largest of the Kerama Islands from northeast-to-southwest — my 50-something driver, Koji Yoshida, notices me craning my neck as the island’s namesake beach comes into view.

“You wanna stop for pictures?” he asks in Japanese.

“Is that all right?” I ask him, revealing in my tone that I do.