Island’s best river trekking is northern Okinawa challenge
By Jun Ikemura The Labor Day weekend is here, but there’s plenty of summer left for adventurers to venture off road for a bit of river trekking and taking in the beauty of Ta-Taki.
Ta-taki means two waterfalls in the Okinawan dialect, and it is a breathtaking sight, particularly after a deluge makes the waterfalls appear as one. We’re talking about a trip into Okinawa’s rugged north country, checking in with Ta-Waterfall at Ogimi Village. Ta-taki is not the easiest to find, but worth the effort, starting with the gateway from a main route like Highway 58. The waterfall gateway’s just off Highway 58 at the border between Ogimi Village and Kunigami Village.
The easiest way to find Ta-taki is finding the short bridge which has Hanagasa Okinawan traditional hats decorating both ends on pillars, and turn right at the corner just before the bridge. After driving about ten minutes, you will find the sign and a small parking lot. The road to the venue is very tiny and officials do not recommend trying to access at that point with any type of larger vehicles. After parking the car, it is time to start the fun with Okinawan adventure!
It’s not necessary to swim your way to the waterfall, but since this is not a flat-bottom swimming pool, be prepared for spots where the uneven rocks could lead to a slip or two, and some wet pants. Be prepared; some folks even prepare to wear swimsuits or clothing that is expected to get wet. We don’t recommend beach sandals because it’s easy to slip. Wear shoes of one sort or another, as some stones are sharp.
Walking the river to the Ta-taki is mostly easy, with water just under knee depth, but some places are not, and it takes about 30-40 minutes to the waterfall from the parking area. There are a lot of subtropical plants, some natural water sliders, spots where it’s necessary to pass over the river with rope, or the need to climb up stones and rocks. A word of caution that this might be pretty hard for kids or females, but when you reached to the waterfall finally, you feel very, very refreshed! About 10 meters high, the waterfall gives off a mist of nature’s water and maybe minus ion. You can swim at the waterfall’s basin, but beware, it is kind of deep, so remain aware safety and the potential dangers. We do not recommend this adventure when it is raining, or right after heavy rains. By taking care and using natural powers, this will be an experience to be treasured in Okinawa. Google Map: http://goo.gl/maps/b1ppA