The entrance to Bise Village (Photo: Chris Barnes)

Bise Village, Okinawa

A Beautiful Seaside Village Surrounded by Fukugi Trees

The entrance to Bise Village (Photo: Chris Barnes)
Chris Barnes   - 3 min read

Bise Village is a quaint little seaside village hidden beneath the dense foliage of beautiful fukugi trees. The traditional Okinawan village consists of approximately 250 homes plotted in a chessboard like manner, surrounded by sandy paths lined with lush fukugi trees. Fukugi trees have been used as wind breaks since ancient times and are traditionally placed around seaside villages to protect them from Okinawa's fierce typhoon season.

The pathways of Bise Village are very narrow and as such provide an immediate escape from the heat as the temperature drops thanks to the lush fukugi canopy which blocks the sunlight. The sandy paths weaving in and around the village promote a sense of relaxation as the sound of cars and buses are replaced by the soft rustle of leaves and the distant ocean breaking against the shore. As you approach each intersection, you will notice sunlight beaming into a tunnel of rich greenery which leads to a coastal walkway where you can enjoy beautiful views of nearby Ie Island.

As you walk around the village, you will notice many humble old fisherman's homes, complete with traditional shoji doors and tatami matted flooring as well as other quaint little traditional Okinawan homes. There are also a few cafes and basic restaurants open in the village, along with the occasional guesthouse.

While there are bicycles available for rental, I recommend walking around the village to really get a sense of its calming atmosphere. If you would really like to experience something different, you can be guided around the village on a water buffalo drawn cart. There are many villagers walking the streets, chatting with each other and combing the sandy pathways in and around their homes. The local people are very friendly and will often acknowledge you as you are walking around their village. It's important to understand that this village is not a tourist attraction so it's important to respect the locals' privacy as they go about their daily lives.

Bise Village is best accessed by car. I visited this village due to the recommendation of the staff at Nippon Rent-A-Car, who informed me that it was a beautiful place to visit and often overshadowed by the much larger tourist attraction located a little further south, the Churaumi Aquarium.

Getting there

To access Bise Village from Naha, take the Okinawa Expressway or Route 58 north to Nago and proceed onto Route 449, from there make a left onto Route 114 and follow the signs to Churaumi Aquarium. Bise Village is located another 5 minutes north, continue on and look for the signs to Bise Fukugi Tree Road. Parking is available around the village, as are public restrooms.

Chris Barnes

Chris Barnes @chris.barnes

A little while ago i began exploring the world. I started in Japan, and after 29 countries of amazing adventures, i find myself back in Japan fully absorbed in its culture, its people and its beauty.