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Motobu-chō, Japan

Bise Village

A network of sandy streets lined with verdant fukugi trees weaves throughout this tiny seaside town. 

In the northern Kunigami district of Okinawa’s main island, just north of the aquarium, you’ll find a small seaside town called Bise Village. It’s a peaceful spot with narrow sandy streets lined with lush fukugi trees.

Walking along the thin roads while secluded within the thick flora is deeply relaxing. You can hear the wind play with the leaves above, drowning out the sound of any distant cars. One of the paths leads directly to the coast, where the green tunnel-like walkway opens to reveal the ocean brushing against a stretch of golden sand.

The fukugi trees have traditionally been used as windbreaks, planted to protect villages from typhoons. While walking along the sandy paths, it’s clear their dense canopy also offers relief from the heat and provides privacy for the village residents.

The villagers’ homes are hidden behind the tree-lined streets. Most of the houses are traditional Okinawan style, with orange roof tiles, shoji doors, tatami mats, and two shisa lion statues at their entrances.

During your meander throughout the village, you may encounter the friendly locals raking the sandy streets near their homes or gathered to enjoy an evening glass of awamori, an alcoholic beverage indigenous to Okinawa.

Know Before You Go

Respect the local’s privacy as they go about their daily life. As with most places in Okinawa, it’s best accessed by car.