This article discusses ensemble drumming on Kikaijima (Kikai island) in Japan. We apply the metaphor of travel to these drum groups, which reveals how this small island culture is able to sustain, invent, or adopt styles of drumming within the national context as a result of its geographic location, cultural heritage, and island identity. Ethnographic research on Kikaijima revealed a deeply embedded notion of travel, which helps explain how and why Kikaijima’s ensemble drum groups exist on the island today. We use this metaphor with the aim of showing cultural flows in connection with cultures, histories, and islands.