Natural World Heritage in Okinawa
Canoeing in mangrove forest (Iriomote) ⒸOCVB
Okinawa Convention ＆ Visitors Bureau
Yambaru, the northern part of Okinawa’s main island, and Iriomote Island in Yaeyama region, which encompass Yambaru National Park and Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park respectively, were designated UNESCO’s Natural World Heritage in 2021.
Sparsely inhabited and full of lush subtropical forests, these areas are home to an incredible variety of unique endemic flora and fauna. A trip to these regions offers visitors the chance to explore precious ecosystems and appreciate the natural beauty and diversity of Okinawa.
Just a 2-hour drive from Naha, Yambaru is an ideal place to engage in birdwatching and forest bathing. Iriomote, on the other hand, is one of the most remote areas of Japan. There, you can explore Japan's largest mangrove forest by canoe or trek into the untouched jungle in search of rare animals.
Okinawa’s subtropical climate makes it also an ideal place for a seaside retreat or even workcation at any time of year. However you choose to spend your time, Okinawa invites you to immerse yourself in its ancient wilderness and escape into landscapes where the present moment is all that counts.
Yambaru: 2 hours from Naha Airport by car
Iriomote Island: 45 minutes from Ishigaki Ferry Terminal by ferry
Yambaru Area in main island, Iriomote Island, Okinawa-ken
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