TOUR

Yanbaru, The Miracle Forest

4 days  Difficulty level 2 – Beginner (easy physical activity; 2-4 hours of activity per day)

Hiking kayaking Canyoning

Adventure Northern Okinawa Yanbaru forest

Highlight

Take part in the miracles of Yanbaru forest through story-tellers.
Let go of reason while following your instincts. 

The forest of Yanbaru is symbiotic with locals. 
Since ancient times, nature and humans have been close both physically and spiritually, and nature and humans have been one. 
The unique environment of the Kuroshio Current keeps the forest moist throughout the year despite being in the subtropics. It is also known as the Miracle Forest because it has been able to maintain its rich natural environment despite human intervention.  It is a unique presence, unlike the other four Natural World Heritage sites in Japan. 

This tour follows storytellers who have lived with the forest and the three stories that make up the Miraculous Forest: “Natural Faith,” “People’s Lives,” and “Coexist in harmony with the Nature”
Alongside our guides, travelers are able to feel the forest, communities, sacred sites, and the former Gusuku castle through their narratives.
Why not take a walk through “Yanbaru, a forest where miracles live”?

Itinerary

Day 1

The view that the kings of 800 years ago saw

World Heritage Site: Nakijin Castle Ruins

Explore the World Heritage Site Nakijin Castle Ruins, which was built as a residential castle for the king of northern Okinawa which included the forest of Yanbaru.  Explore an utaki, which remains a place of worship today and get a feeling of eternal time.


At the peak of the castle site, overlooking the rich forest and the ocean, have time to reflect on the kings who once stood there, and the journey we all take. 

Visit a village where old customs and culture remain with a Local Guide. The view of the village, with beautiful fukugi trees in rows, opens towards the sea according to feng shui. With respect to the ancestors, who lived symbiotic with nature, get a glimpse into the local way of life.

【Activity: Hiking, Village walk】

Day 2

Feel the connection of people and nature

Climbing to a sacred site utaki, Sabani sailboat experience

Hike along a well-travelled, more than 500-year old path to Nakijin Castle Ruins. On the way, travelers pass the ruins of a village, and in the tropical forest a huge, symbolic tree awaits you. 
Led by Local Guide, visit an utaki, a place that people have regarded as sacred for many years. Seeing the panoramic view after climbing up the hard trail, you will keenly feel the true meaning of utaki – sites of worship and love for people that were instrumental in the protection of rich nature. 

In the afternoon, visit the atelier of a maker of the sabani sailboats, used for fishing and transport many hundreds of years ago. 

【Activity: Hiking, Sabani-sailing】


Day3

To the World Heritage area, only accessible by kayak with a guide

To the World Heritage area, only accessible by kayak with a guide

To the World Heritage area, only accessible by kayak with a guide

To the World Heritage area, only accessible by kayak with a guide

To the forest of Miracles

The World Heritage Site Yanbaru Forest

On to the adventure of kayaking and canyoning, appreciate the rich nature of this World Heritage area. 
In the afternoon travelers visit Harusa (people of the fields), who are seeking a new agricultural foundation in response to recent changes in the climate. 

Head into the fields to harvest the Okinawan vegetables of the season, and learn how to cook cuisine using the special spices made carefully by the Harusa. 

※ Due to the current drought situation at the dam lake where we plan to board the kayak, we will take a different route to experience the World Natural Heritage forest. Please understand.

【Activity: Kayaking,Canyoning】

Day 4

Forest, sea, earth, and prayer

Cape Hedo, climbing a sacred utaki site

Visit Cape Hedo, surrounded by an emerald green sea with beautiful coral, and enter a village to visit an utaki – a place of great importance for the local Okinawan people. Explore the forest while learning the local myths and culture of prayer from a Local Guide.  

Upon climbing alongside a sheer cliff, enjoy an astonishing 360-degree view of the forest of Yanbaru and the wide ocean below them. You can truly sense that you are standing on the very spot of the origin of Okinawa. 

【Activity: Hiking】

Tour1 Map

OKINAWA ADVENTURES greets you at Naha airport, and coordinates everything from your transport to the various activities during the tour. From the moment of arrival to the final departure, travelers can focus on their experience.

Gathering and disbanding at Naha Airport. The gathering will be around 1:00 pm on the first day, and the disbanding will be around 5:00 pm on the last day.
There may be changes depending on the season.

Please note that the tour content may change due to weather or other circumstances.
Kayaking on the third day may be changed due to drought conditions. In that case, it will be changed to a forest hike at another part of the World Natural Heritage site. 

Tour Guide

After visiting various countries around the world, I understand how Okinawa moves people with its unique natural culture, history, people, and food – all full of charm, and handed down to this day.
I hope everyone who visits here can really feel its beauty, divinity, harshness, and also potential, and encounter a trip that will remain in their heart. I will attend them until the last moment of their visit.

Hiroki Shinoda

Experienced World Heritage Guide in Mexico in Switzerland
Appointed Adventure Tourism Coordinator and Guide by the Cabinet Office
Okinawa Prefecture World Heritage Guide and Local Area Coordinator

Local storytellers who convey the charm of the region

Local storytellers, spreading charms of their land
Born in Okinawa, they love and protect their home region.
Through the places that only they know, and stories only they can tell, travelers can encounter the meaning of maintaining a culture that exists alongside nature.

Ichio Ohshiro

I have a deep connection with Nakijin-jô site and Imadomari Village, and have worked as a guide for 14 years. The unique culture and history gets more and more profound and interesting as I learn more.

Futoshi Taira

I was born in Hedo, Kunigami. When I was a child, the forest was my playground.
After being away from it, I realized the charms of the local area, and wanted to share the nature of Yanbaru, which is why I became a guide. I organize Ashimuri no Sato, and am a registered guide of the forest of Yanbaru.

Teppei Hentona

I am a shipbuilder of wooden sabani sailboats. I take on the role of captain during the tour using hand-made sabani boats, and guide the guests.
In the place of my ancestors, I continue working with the aim of spreading the charm of sabani to the wider world and younger generations.

Staying immersed in the culture and nature of Okinawa 

Day 1 and Day 2

Accommodation in an old Okinawa house in Nakijin

Okinawan “kominka” (traditional Okinawan style house)
The accommodation is a rental of an entire old-style Okinawa house
The interior features Okinawa tatami, ensuring a sedate and quality stay on the island.
It is fully-equipped, with a two-bowl washing basin, a clean bathroom, and a washer-dryer. 

Day3

Hotel in Yanbaru National Park

A hotel surrounded by the forest of Yanbaru. Travelers stay with the feeling of rich nature close at hand. 
There may be opportunities to see endemic species such as the natural monument Yanbaru rail birds and Noguchi woodpeckers, as well as other rare species. The starry sky is wonderful, and taking a walk in the quiet forest in the morning is also special.

Food to experience the culture and nature of Okinawa

At an Ryukyu “kominka”(Okinawan old folk house) in the village
Agu pork shabu-shabu

“There is nothing left uneaten of a pig, other than its cry.” This phrase is often used to describe the Okinawan food culture. Travelers hear the story of Okinawa’s famous Agu pork from the restaurant owner and enjoy shabu-shabu.
In a venue with the unique floor plan of an old Okinawa house, the logic of the space can be learned as a part of Okinawan culture.

Island vegetable and spice cooking experience

Visit a Harusa (Farmer in Okinawan language), pioneering a new foundation of agriculture in northern Okinawa. Head to the field with him to harvest the island vegetables of the season.  Enjoy an exquisite side dish with a profound taste of island vegetables and spices  with a sense of fulfillment from cooking together with the tour members.

Karaki tea, the blessings of Yanbaru

Go on to a grandma’s tea house, where she prepares tea with Okinawan cinnamon, or karaki, which grows wild in northern Okinawa. The slightly sweet and tender flavor of the tea or of liquor made with karaki in awamori spirits or brandy provides the opportunity for a rest.
Travelers are treated with grandma’s wonderful home cooking, made with the rich wildflowers from the Yanbaru forests and fields. Enjoy flavors unique to Okinawa.

Tour details

Price and Tour schedulePrice: from ¥308,000 per person (2 guests per room)
・The price of the tour will be up during peak seasons.
・The additional fee for individual room is from ¥30,000 per person (for 3 nights)
 ・The price of the tour includes the cost of English language support.

Tour schedule and price details : Coming soon.
Capacity/Minimum number of participantsSmall group experience, Max 6. (Minimum 4) 
Participation conditionsTarget age group is 10 to 65 years old (All travelers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.)
 who can participate in all activities (including some trekking over rocky areas)
Included・  Transportation from Naha airport to the finishing point in Naha airport
・  3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners
・  Accommodation
・  English Guide fees
・  Activity fees
Not included・  Travel to and from Naha 
・  Drinks
・  Other private expenses
Cancellation policyOur standard cancellation charges are set out below:
Cancelled more than 21 days prior to start ····················· No charge
●Cancelled between 20 and 8days prior to start ·············· 20% of the total fee
●Cancelled between 7 days and 2 days prior to start ····  30% of the total fee
●Cancelled between 1 day prior to start ····  40% of the total fee
●Cancelled on the day (prior to start) ····  50% of the total fee
●Cancelled after the start or fail to show ·············· 100% of the total fee
No refunds will be given after the tour has commenced.
Reservation steps

STEP01

Please send the form from the “ENQUIRE” button below (takes about 3 minutes)

  • Please select your desired date from the tour schedule and fill out the form.
  • Please write any requests or questions in the notes section.

STEP02

We will send a confirmation email (tentative reservation)

  • Contact us to respond to your requests, ask questions about activities, etc.
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STEP03

Tour fee payment (reservation confirmed)

  • Your reservation will be confirmed upon completion of payment.
  • Payment method is bank transfer.

Until the beginning of the journey

STEP01

We will contact you by email.

  • Communicate as appropriate with your requests, etc.
  • We will send you the final itinerary by email (with the meeting place, time, etc. ) at least 14 days before your departure date.

STEP02

Meeting place: Naha Airport

  • On the day, we will pick you up at Naha Airport.