Kunigami, the ancient village in Okinawa
Do you know where "Kunigami" is? Even it's in the main island of Okinawa and it's easier to access then other small islands, Kunigami is not really popular for tourists. But Kunigami is definitely the place you should visit if you want to have some relaxing time or if you want to see the things which have unchanged since olden times.
Jul 13 2014 (Jul 03 2019)
Photo by Inami Yamada
Kunigami is the northern part of the main island. They don't have a lot of resort hotels (I think the only resort hotel there is JAL Private Resort Okuma), so there are not so many tourists.
Do you know what that means? The water is clearer and the beach is quieter! You might be unable to shower after you enjoy bathing unless you go to a resort beach, but if you don't care about that, the quiet beaches in Kunigami are the best in the main island!
You don't need to make reservations nor pay the entrance fee. The beaches in Kunigami are public and free, and local people have a BBQ, swim with their clothes on and kids play with hermit crabs. Just drop by there, talk to local people, and enjoy the natural beauty of nature!
Houses i the village
Most people in Kunigami still prefer traditional Okinawan style houses. The house in the photo above has "akagawara", which means red roof tiles.
Stop by one of the villages and walk around there. You see the traditional style houses, people farming or fishing, kids playing in the river or the ocean. And in the evening, you can see people get together at one of the villagers' houses or the community hall and have a party.
photo by Inami Yamada
Local men are usually a little shy but very nice, and local women are very talkative. Talk to a local oji or oba if you can speak Japanese, and they'll be very happy and will take you around the village! They love Kunigami and they welcome tourists with their warm hearts.
Where is Kunigami?
Here is the Google map for you!
Basically you just have to drive all the way down to the north on Route 58 and you will get there. The only main street in Kunigami is Route 58, so you won't miss it!
[flexiblemap address="沖縄県国頭郡国頭村" title="Kunigami"]
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.