The new Mihanabaru and Teruyama Garden Nature Trails
This loop course starts and ends at Tokashiki Port. It links the Teruyama Garden Nature Trail with the new Mihanabaru Nature Trail, giving you the ample opportunities to enjoy native Okinawan flora and fauna, coastal vistas and whale watching along the way. The new trail, which opened in 2017, takes you through a wide spectrum of vegetation, including a variety of Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica Lindl. var. insularis Hatusima) and a local species of juniper (Juniperus taxifolia var. lutchuensis). The azaleas (Rhododendron scabrum) are in bloom between January and March, while March and April bring red berries to the Japanese bayberry (Myrica rubra) trees.
There are two 20-minute hiking legs between the two observatories—Teruyama and Mihanabaru—and their respective parking lots, which you repeat. The Mihanabaru Nature Trail ends at Teruyama Observatory, which gives you a 360-degree panoramic view of the island and surrounding seas. The observatory is also a popular spot to watch the annual humpback whale migration, which begins in December and runs until April.
Note: Unless you have plenty of time and stamina, driving between the two trailheads is recommended due to the distance involved.