Discover the Primeval Forests of YanbaruHigashi, Kunigami District
Known as the Oriental Galapagas, the sub-tropical Forest of Yanbura is filled with many endemic species of birds, indigenous animals and plants and surrounded by mangroves, waterfalls, and indigenous wildlife. Yanbaru is the perfect destination to immerse yourself in an idyllic and uncrowded landscape.
Nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Yanbaru spans the northern villages of Higashi, Kunigami, and Ōgimi and contains some of the last large surviving tracts of subtropical rainforest in Asia. Take one of Yanbaru’s many hiking trails to enjoy the subtropical flora such as the Okinawa Chestnut, the small-leafed Banyan tree, many ferns and orchids, living fossil cycads, and the famous towering Okinawa Urajirogashi tree on Mt. Ibudake.
Okinawa is a treasure trove of wild birds and a sanctuary for bird watchers. The Okinawa rail, or “Yanbaru Kuina” in Japanese, is the rarest of all and was registered as a Natural Monument of Japan. This wild bird only lives within the Yanbaru region and unlike other birds, it cannot fly and so it has to jump up into the trees to sleep.
Visitors can explore the mangroves by taking its elevated walkways or for those more adventurous can partake in a guided kayak tour on the calm waters of Gesashi River. Night hiking tours are also available.
- Minimal crowds in the secluded and pristine scenery of the Yanbaru Mangrove Forests
- Escaping back to nature
- Exploring many of the Yanbaru hiking trails
- The famous towering Okinawa Urajirogashi tree on Mt. Ibudak
- Bird watching
- Mangrove kayaking on Gesashi River
- There is limited public transport to get to some locations on the main island
- Sub-Tropical Seasonal Weather (Humidity and the wet season during the summer months) – March, April, May, October, November are ideal months to visit
Fly to Tokyo, Japan on JAL and ANA Airlines. Connect to Naha, Okinawa or Fly to Taipei on China Airlines Connect to Naha, Okinawa Renting a car and self driving is the recommended way to reach the many sights of the main island of Okinawa providing easy access.
Remote Location, Travelling Time, Physical Activities (Walking, Hiking and Kayaking)