Okinawa’s iconic ‘elephant nose’ rock formation, known as Manzamo, is part of the Okinawa Kaigan Quasi-National Park, and a popular spot for picture taking, particularly at sunset. Located in Onna Village on the west coast of the island, Manzamo is located atop a craggy cliff overlooking the pristine reefs below, facing the East China Sea.
It takes only about 15 minutes to walk the small footpath around the cliff and see the different viewpoints. The best place to get a clear shot of the rock formation is from the western side of the path, as to the east is the massive Intercontinental Hotel. On the weekends you can expect to rub shoulders with busloads of tourists brandishing selfie sticks, but if you walk quickly, you can snap a few shots and then make your escape.
There is parking on site, for free, as well as bathrooms (including wheelchair accessible), vending machines, and a number of souvenir shops at both the entrance and exit of the route. Entrance is also free.
Onna has no shortage of hotels or beaches, but popular nearby attractions are Nabee Beach (next to Manzamo), Diamond Beach, and Manza Beach (inside the Intercontinental, parking fee required for beach use). There is also a popular dive spot nearby, called Toilet Bowl.
If you’re wondering about the name ‘Manzamo’, actually it has nothing to do with elephants or noses. Apparently, in the 18th century, the Ryukyu King Sho Kei visited the scenic spot and commented that the cliff top had enough room for 10,000 people to sit down. The name, when converted from the native Okinawa language to Japanese, became 万座毛, with 万 meaning 10,000, 座 meaning sit, and 毛 which, despite literally meaning ‘hair’ in kanji, means in this case ‘field’.
Currency: Free attraction
Mon – Sun : N/A
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