The Flourishing Subtropical Forest of Okinawa

A hike through Yanbaru Discovery Forest, recently inscribed as a World Natural Heritage Site, offers the chance to glimpse unique wildlife.


PhotographyNaoki Yasumura

Looking out over the World Natural Heritage Site.

The hilly subtropical forest, Yanbaru, that makes up swaths of the northern part of Okinawa Island has recently been inscribed as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

It features extremely unique endemic wildlife and can be enjoyed relatively easily through a tour by Yanbaru Discovery Forest.

The guided tour especially is very interesting, as you can learn about the ecology that makes the area distinctive while hiking through the forest. 

However, there are several different tours available depending on your ability, some of which can even be enjoyed without a guide. 

Overall, coming here makes for a great introductory experience to one of the world’s most unique natural settings, especially since you don’t have to leave Okinawa’s main island to experience it.

There are numerous walking paths throughout the forest.

Through the guided walk, you can meet various wild creatures.

The natural waterfall is one of the highlights of the guided tour.

Yanbaru Discovery Forest

TEL +81-98-041-7979

1301-7, Aha, Kunigamison, Kunigamigun, Okinawa