Hiking

Should You Bring The Kitchen Sink?

CONTRIBUTED BY JOELLE YAMADA

“Put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking out the door…”

Anybody remember that song??  It’s from one of my favorite Christmas movies, “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”, the one where Fred Astaire narrates and sings.  And why the heck am I mentioning it in March???  Well, for some reason it is the song that plays on a loop in my head whenever I go on a difficult hike.  And as I grew up doing that weekly with my family, it’s been sung in my head A LOT.  But it always helped me get up the hills and head down the other side.

I learned a lot from hiking with my family:  how to pee in the wild without getting my pants wet, the perfect drinking pace to make it through my bottle of water by the time we got back, how to walk over difficult terrain while holding hands with my boyfriend — cuz OF COURSE we could never let go, what happened to our “wilds” during times of drought because we often walked to a waterfall that didn’t always fall, and the importance of jumping HIGH over any stick in the path as they often turned out to be rattlesnakes.  For my parents, it was a way to get us away from the stereo and the TV and out communing with them.  And since we were always allowed to invite our friends, they were able to get to know our friends and see us interact.  I wasn’t raised by dummies, I’ll tell ya that.

But other than Hiji Falls and Ishikawa People’s Park, I don’t know anything about places to take my kiddos for a good Saturday morning hike.  My oldest is just getting to the age where this might be fun but driving an hour to hike makes it “unfun.”  Hoping you can help me out and tell of places you walk/hike!

7 COMMENTS

  1. I think the park in Naha mentioned earlier is called Sueyoshi Park (末吉公園). It’s right near the Shiritsuboyinmae monorail station. Just copy and paste the following into Google Maps and you’ll see it!

    日本沖縄県那覇市首里末吉町1丁目 末吉公園

  2. There are some incredible waterfalls and hiking trails right in Naha. One is on the monorail line at the hospital station. There you will find a natural waterfall and spring with legendary powers for retaining one’s youth (so the sign says). It is hard to find, but it is tucked behind all the homes and buildings. There are also loads of places to hike in Okinawa City area, you just have to be willing to look around, BUT they are NOT mild hikes by anyone’s record. In mainland Japan, a simple hike consists of ropes, ladders, and scaling cliffs, so be careful when Japanese mainlanders rate something. Good luck!

  3. We were impressed with some of the natural sights (vegetation, rock formations, etc) on the trails at Kongou-Sekirinzan up beside Cape Hedo-misaki on the island’s northernmost point. It’s not free but you can get discount tickets from ITT or MCCS Tours+ (about $6.50 for adults, I think). They have 4 courses/trails that range from simple & paved (more of stroll) to fairly rugged hiking leading to some great views. Granted, it’s not within an hour of the bases, but if you’re doing a weekend at Okuma, it could be a great side excursion.

  4. Our blog has descriptions of a couple of hiking spots on the island. It is listed on this site under local blogs – http://www.indietravelokinawa.blogspot.com. See “Diversions” for posts on the Spider Loop trail, the Yamada stone bridge area, and Nago area prefectural forest park. See “Destinations” for info on Maeda point area walks and the Onna coast (beach hiking). There are also trails in Nago castle park (see Diversions – Sakura viewing). As we explore new areas, you’ll find details on the site.

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