Exploring Okinawa: Sugar Factory near White Beach offers historic, scenic views

Photo by Shoji Kudaka
Photo by Shoji Kudaka

Exploring Okinawa: Sugar Factory near White Beach offers historic, scenic views

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

There’s a spot on Okinawa where you might not see many people, but it offers a picture perfect view and an intriguing historical insight for visitors.

The remains of Heshikiya Sugar Factory are a stone’s throw away from White Beach Naval Facility. Built in 1940 as a steam-powered factory, it had rooms where the juice from sugar cane was boiled in pots.

The factory included three smokestacks. After a U.S. bombing raid in October 1944, the factory closed business. The factory was later destroyed by the U.S. military later in the war.

However, to this day, one lone red-bricked smokestack stands in a field overlooking White Beach. If looked at from afar, this smokestack presents the same posture it did before the war. But when looked at closely, holes on its surface attest to the fierce battles that took place.

The grounds also include remnants of a cement water reserve tank and a path that takes you behind the stack and to a beautiful view of White Beach from above.

To get there, take the last right before entering the naval facility and drive about 200 meters up a hill. The stack stands out, so you’ll have no problems seeing it. Next time you visit White Beach, take a little detour first.

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