Daisekirinzan, literally translated as Big Stone Forest Mountain, is an awe inspiring natural wonder located in Okinawa’s far north Yanbaru region. If you are driving up the 58 towards Cape Hedo, you can’t miss the eye catching limestone mountains looming above you. Geologists believe that this spot is the very oldest part of the island, having been eroded by rainwater over 200 million years – yes, you read that right – to create some unique stone structures.
What once must have been a very rocky and dark path through the dense forest is now a variety of trails that are accessible and well laid out, with a lot of information in English. There is even one Wheelchair Accessible Trail. Each trail takes about 30 minutes to walk through.
From the parking lot, the shuttle bus takes you to the top, and you can choose which route to do. We began with the Wonder of Rocks Trail, where you can spot formations that look like sleeping cats, crocodiles, camels, and turtles to name a few. After that the Ocean View Trail took us uphill to reveal some beautiful views of Cape Hedo. We then decided to walk down the Subtropical Forest Trail, which takes you back to the parking lot, but if you are tired you can take the shuttle bus back down. I highly recommend the Forest Trail though, because of the fantastic and unbelievably huge ‘gajumaru’ or banyan trees, one of which is the biggest in Japan. The forest is so beautiful and is an interesting mix of giant trees and bizarre limestone formations.
Daisekirinzan is also considered a very sacred spot, as it is part of Ashimui, a mountain range which is Okinawa’s oldest sacred place. As a result, on all of the trails there are many ‘power spots’, and various places where you can pray. For example, one rock resembles a pelvis, and women go there to pray for safe delivery of a baby. And if you walk through the tunnel of ‘Reincarnation Rock’ three times, you can ‘gain another life’.
Wear good shoes because part of the route consists of wooden walkways but mostly you are on a foot path. There are vending machines at the parking lot and the bathrooms, but not on the trails themselves, so if you do all three you will want to carry water with you.
Currency: Japanese yen only, no credit cards
Entry fees: Adult 820 yen, Child (4-14 years) 520 yen
MONDAY – SUNDAY 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
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