Nestled in the more sparsely populated Yambaru area of Okinawa Honto is the beautiful 26-meter Hiji Waterfall. Chuck and I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning and drove 1.5 hours north to make the hike. The approximately 2-mile trail incorporates steep climbs, wobbly suspension bridges, and sharp turns, and my calves are truly feeling it today, but who can complain when your ultimate destination is this stunning display of nature?
…Seriously. I felt like I was magically transported into South Pacific the musical, frolicking in Bali Ha’i with Cable and Liat. Such a lovely place to spend a lovely morning, and I am glad we did it before the extreme heat of summer arrives.
After working up a bit of a sweat, we made our way back to the car and drove a few minutes in the opposite direction to visit Okuma Beach. Any time I Google “Okinawa beaches”, Okuma is the one that truly dazzles me. Since we were in the area, we had to pay it a visit, even if it was a bit cloudy and chilly. It is a Japanese resort area in part, but we were surprised to see that the U.S. Air Force actually has command of a large chunk of it, as a “recreation facility.” Chuck and I are both not sure how we feel about the military spending money to run the place, and honestly, I had hoped for a more unadulterated, local beach, but none of this changed the fact that Okuma is absolutely beautiful and I will most certainly go again when the weather warms up. Even with the clouds and wind, it was just perfect – and the sun managed to peek out once or twice!