CONTRIBUTED BY AMY MADDOCKS
When’s the last time you saw a random road in Oki and wondered where it led? That happens to us almost daily. When we have time on the weekends, we follow them. One rainy weekend while traveling up north, we discovered just such a road, followed it, and found what is now one of our most favorite villages on this beautiful island.
After a little research, I found out the name of the village is called Hedo of Ogimi Village. However, we like to call it the Tree Village. The reason is, all throughout the area the community has built walkways, bridges, arbors, and parks that are lined or built out of humongous trees.
They aren’t real, of course, but your mind tells you differently as you are walking through cut-outs of trees that almost resemble the size of the giant redwoods in California! The sign posted in the parking lot said, “Matsunamiki Hozenkooen” meaning pine-tree lined Conservation Park.
It is truly a magical place, full of beauty, wonder, and extremely kind Okinawans. Every time we have visited, we are welcomed with “Konnichiwa” or “Ohayou gozaimasu” while walking through area.
If you start at the map (plenty of parking) and continue on, you’ll find you can walk the entire village and travel through many beautiful sites. Also, for those of you that geocache, there is a cache hidden amongst the beautiful trees close to the parking lot called, Tree Bridge 2. You can also go to the outskirts of the village for a more challenging cache called, Strangled. Both are worth traveling to!
Directions: To find the village, travel all the way north to Cape Hedo, then continue on the 58 around to the east side of the island. It’s almost 1km past the turn-off for Hedo Point. You’ll see a large parking lot on the east side of the road. That’s it! Enjoy your time in the Tree Village!
GPS Coordinates: 26.858677, 128.26128800000004