Saturday, November 23, 2013

Visit "Yanbaru" - a great natural environment exclusive to Okinawa | JAPAN Monthly Web Magazine

“Yanbaru”, in the northern part of the main island of Okinawa, is a subtropical zone covered with forests. It is a treasure house of precious plants and animals that can be found nowhere else on earth, including special protected species such as the Noguchigera, a woodpecker unique to this area, and Yanbaru-kuina, another rare bird. If you are visiting Okinawa, why not visit Yanbaru to thoroughly immerse yourself in the mysteries and enjoyment of nature?

In Okinawan dialect, "Yanbaru" refers to "a region full of mountains and forests". Many of the forests in Yanbaru are evergreen forests, which are scarce even in other parts of the world. This small region, which accounts for just 0.1% of the total area of Japan, is inhabited by extremely diverse forms of life. Visitors can encounter precious plants and animals here, including nationally protected species. Yanbaru is also known as the "Galapagos of the Orient" since it is inhabited by endemic species that can only be found in this region and cannot be seen anywhere else, including plants and animals whose very existence is under threat. In Yanbaru, diverse life forms a unique ecosystem in which plants and animals coexist. This is a soothing area full of wonders and discoveries.

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