- Wonderful Spots to Visit When Spending Your New Year’s on Okinawa!
- A Great Spot on the Hills in the Northern Region of Okinawa Island! The Spectacular View of Cape Hedo from the “Yanbaru Kuina Observatory”
The Northernmost Tip of Okinawa Island! Take in the Dynamic View from Cape Hedo
post : 2021.01.02 18:00
About three hours by car from Naha Airport, past several Michi-no Eki roadside stations after exiting from the expressway, you’ll feel a comfortable and slower pace of time as you keep heading northward on the road sandwiched between the forests and the seas. As you enjoy the scenic drive, you’ll eventually arrive at Okinawa Island’s northernmost tip, Cape Hedo.
The first thing you’ll see is the warm welcome sign in Japanese as you stretch your legs and think, “finally we’re here!”
The Cape is part of Okinawa’s coastal park designated by the country, and has unique geological features with a steep cliff formed of protruding coral. Greenery surrounds the path that leads to the observation point.
It’s a refreshing and wonderful feeling as you walk along the brilliant white pathway, with each step leading you closer to the ocean.
The scenery from the observation point that faces the sea is truly magnificent!
On clear days, you can see Yoron Island of Kagoshima Prefecture that floats on the seas about 28km away. Spreading before your eyes is the deep blue seas that seem to embrace everything around you including the great cliff.
On windy days, you’ll see giant waves crashing against the shores and splashing water high above sea level. This spot will take your breath away with its overwhelming natural energy.
To your left, you’ll see Iheya Island and Izena Island in the distance.
The stone monument at the observation point was erected in 1972, at the time of Okinawa’s reversion to Japan. Standing at the monument, at a location that is the closest to Kagoshima on Okinawa Island, I couldn’t help but think of the sentiments of the Okinawan people who decided to erect the monument here. Standing at the closest distance to mainland Japan on Okinawa, the people must have looked across the ocean to their home country with various feelings as they were placed under the American administration after the war.
The photo above shows the Yoron Island & Kunigami Village Friendship Monument. This was erected to commemorate the exchange of friendship between the people of Okinawa and residents of Yoron Island as they met once a year on their boats on the seas during the American administration.
There are several other monuments in the area so it may be an interesting travel activity to look into the history of each of them.
Cape Hedo is also famous for being a popular viewing spot for the first sunrise of the year. The Cape offers a spectacular view, so if you’re in the Yanbaru area, it’s worth a visit.
Address: Hedo, Kunigami Village, Kunigami, Okinawa
(Planning, Commerce, and Tourism Division, Kunigami Village Office)
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Akiko Ono