1. Ta-taki Falls.

This is a short hike along a river to reach a pretty waterfall spot. And when I say along a river, I really mean you are walking through the actual river. There’s a place to hire shoes for the hike at the trailhead carpark. If you’re unsure, you need to hire them. Wear bathers, as you’ll want to have a swim at the pool under the waterfall, as well as giving you more flexibility on your route during the walk. A unique hike, highly recommended.

2. Bitter Melon

Those of you who grew up eating this may wonder what I’m even making a fuss about. There’s this vegetable in Okinawa (and some other places) called bitter melon. When you first taste it, it seems a little strange, but not overly offensive. And then the aftertaste hits you and you wish you had made wiser life choices. Best to avoid this food, although that isn’t always easy, some places are nasty and will do things like hide bitter melon inside tempura.

3. Satsukimaru

We found this lovely little restaurant in Oku, in the northern part of Okinawa. Good cheap food, even if they did do the bitter melon in tempura trick. Small and cozy, you can see the entire restaurant in the picture. Highly recommended.

4. Onishidake (Mt. Onishi)

There is supposed to be a hiking track to the top of Mt. Onishi. We stopped the car and went for a bit of a walk along a side road, but couldn’t find the trailhead. It wouldn’t surprise me if the trail has been neglected and become severly overgrown. If any reader stumbling across this post has more information, please do share it.

5. Mt. Fuenchiji

Skip this. There’s some telecommunications equipment and no view.

6. Katsuudake (Mt. Katsuu)

This one is a short steep hike from the car park to the summit, which is sure to work up a sweat, at least in the humid summer months. You can see that beautiful views will be possible from the below photo, but to see them all, you’ll have to go visit yourself. It is possible to continue hiking beyond the peak but we didn’t look into this. Highly recommended.

Practicalities: I needed to produce my international drivers licence to rent a car in Japan. 40 AUD for someone to look at my license and write down details on some document + 12 AUD for a photo. I should muscle my way into this industry, it seems like a nice profit making machine.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Iva Halacheva for the photos.

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