Bise Fukugi Tree Street is a soothing spot located within walking distance from the State-run Okinawa Memorial Park (Ocean Expo Park), the park with Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.
My name is Umi, an editor, and I took Okinawa Airport Shuttle (a new limousine bus service) to experience the local, day-to-day Okinawan atmosphere that’s different from beaches and the aquarium.
I wrote about Emerald Beach and Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in my last post. But prior to visiting those two places, I actually went to Bise Fukugi Tree Street. Hitting all of the popular spots in just a day is possible because of the express bus, which connects Naha with the northern area.
The entrance to the Fukugi Tree Street is a five-minute walk from the shuttle’s last stop. It’s close to Ocean Expo Park’s Bise Gate.
Follow the “route” signs you’ll see on the street.
You can choose to walk, rent a bike, or be pulled by a water buffalo.
Planted all around the Bise district are fukugi, which are tall tropical evergreens. They protect people’s homes from strong winds as well as provide cool shade from the scorching sun.
One of the highlights of the street, which extends for about a kilometer, is the Fuufu Fukugi (Married Couple Fukugi). It’s two trees merged into one. The longer you look at them, the more mysterious they seem.
There’s a serene, 100-year-old stone wall at the house called Hanekunya (meaning the house of Gushiken).
A banyan tree thrives around a stone as if to protect it. Historically, this stone was used to arrange districts in this area.
The traces of sweeping show the locals’ love for the neighborhood.
If you get tired of walking, you can go towards the ocean and walk along the water to get back to the starting point, or take a break at a coffee shop.
This time, I kept on walking.
What showed up at the end of the walk was Cape Bisezaki!
The island you see is what’s called Miugan in Okinawan.
The island on the right is Miugan, the one on the left is Ie Island. The tide was low when I was there.
The tide pools and flats draw families because kids can easily spot colorful Okinawan fish. There were some families when I was there, and they seemed to be having a great time.
The water in the area is a great snorkeling spot. You can also walk around the island at low tide.
Locals grew up having been told about Miugan, or the island of god, from local elders.
They’ve hung out near the island at low tide, but none of them have actually been on the island.
People are not allowed to set foot on this sacred island. Locals have been guarding and caring for Miugan for generations.
While heading along the coast and back to the starting point, I realized how hungry I was from all the walking, so I got lunch at Churaumi Café, located near the entrance of Fukugi Tree Street.
I was tempted to get a taco rice, an Okinawan comfort food, but I decided to get Yanbaru (Northern area) chicken curry.
There are lots of stylish, hole-in-the-wall cafés around Fukugi Tree Street.
After lunch, I enjoyed my time at Emerald Beach and Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, then headed back to Naha on Okinawa Airport Shuttle’s last bus of the day.
It’s nice to know that I don’t have to save any energy for the drive back to Naha; I can fully enjoy my stay up north, and just relax on the limousine bus afterwards.
A day trip on the express bus is super convenient, but there’s also the option of staying in the northern area overnight. There are lots of hotels and guest houses in the Bise area. Experience the luxury of staying near the Fukugi Tree Street and taking in the beautiful ocean and the sunset without worrying about time.
A one-day itinerary to go from Naha to Bise Fukugi Tree Street using Okinawa Airport Shuttle (Okinawa’s new express bus)
◆Okinawa Airport Shuttle, headed towards Onna/Churaumi Aquarium
Departure from Prefectural Government Building North Exit, 8:20am (the first bus of the day)
➡ Arrival at Hotel Orion Motobu Resort & Spa (the last stop), 10:50am
Departure from Naha Airport Domestic Terminal, 9:00am (9:01am for International Terminal)
➡ Arrival at Kinenkoen Mae (Churaumi Aquarium), 11:45am
◆Okinawa Airport Shuttle, departing time of the last bus headed towards Onna/Naha Airport
Hotel Orion Motobu Resort & Spa, 7:00pm
Kinenkoen Mae (Churaumi Aquarium), 7:02pm
➡ Asahibashi Ekimae, arrival at 9:42pm
Paid parking, restroom, and paid shower available. The beach has more rocks than sand, so water shoes are better choice than flipflops. We recommend going there when the tide is low. Fast currents in some areas at high tide.
※Okinawa Airport Shuttle’s schedule is subject to change depending on traffic.
※The content of the article is current as of July 2018, and it is subject to change without notice.