Video: Kumejima Wetland Forest Tour

IMG_3574_1Kume Island in Okinawa is unique among small islands in that it historically has had rich water resources. The tall mountains allow for ample rainfall which is collected in small lakes, wetlands and springs. The age of the wetlands has created a habitat for species now unique to Kumejima. The center of the island is taken up by wetland forests, which are preserved under the Ramsar Convention. Since most roads, houses, and other buildings are situated along the main roads around the perimeter of the island, the majority of visitors never see this naturally beautiful area, except perhaps at a distance from the top of Uegusuku Mountain and the castle ruins there.

IMG_3552_1

There is, however, a great way to see this natural area up close. The Kumejima Tourism Association has organized the “Island School” tours with locals to guide visitors through unique areas and cultural sectors of the island. The Kumejima Wetland Forest Tour is one of these tours and is a unique walking experience. While the surrounding forest is quit rugged, paths have been created to protect the forest while allowing visitors to experience it. Within the forest you’ll spot a variety of plants, animals, and even the remains of ancient dwellings and farms. I hope you enjoy the video below, a quick glimpse at this wonderful experience.