A stroll through Okinawa's good-luck trees

A stroll through Okinawa's good-luck trees

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

The next time you head to the Okinawa Expo Park, think about taking a small side trip to the Fukugi streets in Bise settlement of Motobu town.

Bordering the north end of Emerald beach, the settlement is composed of old streets lined with tall trees. Take a stroll through the calm atmosphere and under the green roof created by the trees and their thick leaves. A walk in the shade can provide an escape from the business of daily life.

Often referred to as a view of “Good Old Okinawa,” the trees have been there since the time of Ryukyu Kingdom – more than 250 years. According to the Okinawa General Bureau, local residents have maintained the trees, which act as fences or windbreakers.

The Bise settlement has now become a notable tourist spot. Many people go there to take a walk and enjoy the idyllic view. The entire area is about 1km between Emerald beach and Besezaki beach, which is the northwest tip of Nakjin Peninsula. The streets, which run parallel to the coast, are connected with each other by smaller streets called “Sooji.” So, walking on the streets can feel like you’re in nature’s maze.

There are rental bicycles available for those who would like to tour the streets quickly. But, if you really want to enjoy the relaxed sense of time, you can hop in a cart towed by a water buffalo.

There are cafés and eateries and a sandy shore that runs parallel to the streets, providing a good view of Ie Island.

It may not only be a relaxation effect that the location has to offer. Those trees on the streets are called “Fukugi” in Japanese. If written in Chinese letters, the name means “Good Luck Tree.” There are even trees called “Meoto Fukugi” (Good luck trees for married couples). Those specific trees stand next to each other and are connected at the bottom.

It is said that there are about 18,000 Fukugi trees along the streets in total, so stop by the streets the next time you’re around for some extra good luck. 

Bise Fukugi Tree Street
Address: Bise, Motobu-cho, Kunigami-gun (near the Emerald Beach of the Expo Park)
Parking: Free
Water Buffalo wagon: 2,000 yen for four people
Rental bike: 300 yen for 1 hours

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