Japan, Okinawa
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Exploring the Yanbaru

A couple of weeks ago I spent the day exploring the northern part of Okinawa known as Yanbaru. Here are a few snaps from a fun day out.

I joined a guided walk that meets up at the Yanbaru Visitors Center and “Road Station” that opened in February 2020. There’s a mini supermarket packed with local produce if you need to stock up with snacks before your hike, or to buy ingredients for dinner after your adventure.

A guided walk teaches you far more about the local flora and fauna than if you just treated the hike as a way to burn off calories.

The guide was able to spot numerous critters, and explain the names and special features of the many plants along the trail.

An interesting land snail possibly Yakuena species? Okinawa kiserugai
The tree palm produces these unusual patterns each time one of the giant palm leaves falls from the stem.
Learn more by using a local guide. My forest guide was Yuya Ishii.
Looking out toward Okuma.

There was a good viewpoint from the summit on the trail looking out towards the Okuma Peninsular, and then we descended back down through the forest.

We stopped for lunch at Maruhira restaurant while heading north on the west coast. If you contact the restaurant in advance they can prepare a vegan lunch menu which is delicious and cheap. (Call Taira-san on 070 5536 2802)

In the afternoon we took another short hike around Daisekirinzan the rocky trails in the national park just south of Cape Hedo.

My Yanbaru guide for the day Kemmochi-san

At Cape Hedo there is a fantastic new visitors center with an ocean-view cafe on the second floor. The cafe was closed on the day I went, presumably due to COVID-19 precautions at the moment, but looking forward to getting a coffee there on my next trip up north.

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