A Cape Town Cape Point tagged image from photographer – Okinawa Soba (Rob) as published on Flickr.
THE PATIO BANYAN
Image by Okinawa Soba (Rob)
I think I will sneak back in here tonight (around three o’ clock in the morning), pull this tree out of the ground, stick it in my car, and take it home to plant in my yard.
I sure hope those roots come up easy !
I had some business near the northern tip of Okinawa, today, which took me inside the DAI-SEKI RIN-ZAN PARK. It’s a minimalist tourist attraction found within the Karst Tower walls of a hidden sinkhole cauldron, whose outer boundaries make up the distinctive ring of mountains seen just a mile south of HEDO POINT.
In here, you can get "up close and personal" with the oddly-shaped, and sometimes massive rock formations made from old limestone that’s been dissolving for a million years or more.
However, there are plenty of hiking trails through the scrub-jungle that offer both ROCKS or TREES, but usually a combination of both.
You can also look down on CAPE HEDO from certain vantage points along the parks official trails.
You didn’t hear this from me, BUT…. you can also make an "unauthorized" visit to the top of MT. HEDO via an unmarked trail, completely at your own risk. This is NOT advertised by the park, as the trail takes you off their property, and the peak is considered sacred by the locals. (There are several small shrines up there). While the spectacular 360-degree view is one of the best mountain-top vistas to be had on the island, the the eastern edge of long and narrow, plateau-like peak is not marked or fenced, and you can fall to your death if not careful. Like I said, you didn’t hear this from me, and this paragraph doesn’t exist.
"Authorized" access to the top of MT. HEDO (and free of any Park Admission Fees) may be had from HEDO VILLAGE on the east side of the peak, via a much steeper and tougher trail. However, when I was up there this time (and much to my surprise) a young lady wearing a skirt and followed by her yapping little dog arrived on the peak by way of the eastern trail. That should let you know that YOU can do it, too ! 😉
If you know how to make the arrangements, you and your astronomically-minded friends can also have a "Star Party " there, in one of the darkest night-time places on Okinawa.
As for me, when I was done my business inside the sinkhole, I first made the "unauthorized" climb to the peak of MT. HEDO — a mountain that has about 5 different names in both the Japanese and Okinawan languages — and second, I walked the mile back to my car via THE BANYAN TREE TRAIL.
This wide and airy trail under a canopy of green is an easy 30-45 minute snake-free hike that even kids can easily do. It winds slowly down through Okinawa’s northern-most forest, passing by several wild Banyan and other interesting trees along the way.
If you like trees, rocks, and snake-free forest hiking trails, this former piece of undeveloped U.S. ARMY property is a good place to spend an hour or two.
PARKING / ENTRANCE : 26°51’43.56"N 128°15’18.40"E
INSIDE THE CAULDRON (A Mini-Bus takes you up there, where you can choose your trail(s) for the day — both long and short : 26°51’25.99"N 128°15’16.04"E
PARK FEE : Adults ¥820 / Kids ¥520
RELIGIOUS / CULTURAL ASPECTS : longevitylandscapes.org/2013/08/13/sacred-landscapes-of-o…
A VISITOR REVIEWS THE PARK : www.japanvisitor.com/japan-city-guides/dai-sekirinzan-park
OVER 100 MORE OPINIONS OF THE PLACE : www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1025649-d1373544-R…
RANDOM SOBA : www.flickriver.com/photos/24443965@N08/random/
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