Check out these articles



The video introduced in this article begins with lighthearted cycling footage that showcases the great nature of Ogimi Village in Okinawa, Japan. It shows how you can experience the food and activities of Ogimi Village with a local guide, and enjoy the sound of a sanshin while camping under a starry night sky, and more! The contents of this video are a condensed version showcasing only a handful of things to do in Ogimi Village.

With a tour to Ogimi Village, you can experience the culture and lifestyle of the people of Ogimi Village in a relaxed and casual manner.
We hope you'll experience the wonderful time that these exciting tours can provide!

Image of Ogimi Village
Photo:Ogimi Village

In this article, we'll introduce things to do in Ogimi Village, as well as some stay plans.
After reading this article, you'll be captivated by Ogimi Village and will want to experience what life is like in this village in Northern Okinawa!

Ogimi Village, located in the northern part of Okinawa's main island in Kunigami, consists of 17 villages with a total population of 3,034 and a total of 1,716 households (as of March 2023).
The village is about 64 square kilometers (15,800 acres) in size.
Ogimi is approximately 87 km (54 mi.) from Naha City and can be accessed in about 2 hours via National Route 58 or about 1 hour and 30 minutes via expressway.



Ogimi Village and the neighboring villages of Kunigami and Higashi are called the three villages of Yanbaru (Yanbaru means "the forested northern area of Okinawa"), which was recognized as a World Natural Heritage site in 2021, and is home to many endemic species that can only be seen here, such as the Okinawa rail and Okinawa woodpecker.

Image of the Okinawa rail
Photo:The Okinawa rail

Ogimi Village is also called the "Village of Longevity," "Village of Bashofu," "Village of Shikuwasa," and "Village of Bunagaya."

Ogimi Village is known as the village with the highest longevity in Japan, with a very high percentage of the total population aged 65 years or older (32.5%) as well as people who are 90 years old or older (4.2%), according to the 2015 census.
※The percentage of people over 90 years old in Japan as a whole is 1.6%.

Image of an elderly man in Ogimi Village
Photo:An elderly man in Ogimi Village

In 1987, the area was declared the "Village of Longevity" as the area with the highest percentage of elderly people in Japan, and in 1996, it was recognized as the "World's Longest Living Region" by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The book "IKIGAI," published in Spain in 2016 and covering the secrets of longevity in Ogimi Village, became an international bestseller, selling more than 5 million copies.
The text of the book introduces the ideal life as "the sight of a grandfather or grandmother living a vibrant and rewarding life in Ogimi Village." The book has led to an increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting Ogimi Village and in the number of foreigners who know about Ogimi Village even if they don't know much about Japan.

In Kijoka, an area in Ogimi Village, Kijoka Bashofu, a cloth woven from the fibers of the plantain plant, has long been popular as a fabric for kimono. It's considered a fantastic type of cloth because of how thin and light it is, almost like the wings of a dragonfly.
In Okinawa, a place with high humidity, this breathable, light-as-air fabric has been very useful.
It takes about three years to grow to a height taller than a person, and each stalk of plantain yields only about 20 grams of fiber, so 200 stalks are needed to weave one roll of Bashofu cloth.

Image of the plantain plant
Photo:The plantain plant

The history of Bashofu dates back to the 13th century, and during the Ryukyu Dynasty (approximately 450 years from the 1400s to the 1800s), there was a position called "Basho Toushoku" (芭蕉当職, lit. "Bashofu Manager") who managed a Basho garden exclusively for the nobility so that they could wear high-quality Bashofu.

During the Meiji period (1868-1912), plain or striped Bashofu began to be decorated with kasuri patterns, and developed into a craft.
Bashofu was designated an Intangible Cultural Property of the prefecture in 1972, the year Okinawa was returned to Japan, and two years later, in 1974, it was designated an Intangible Cultural Property by the Japanese government.

Most of the shikuwasa (flat lemons) distributed in Japan are produced in Okinawa, with Ogimi Village accounting for approximately 60% of the total.

Image of shikuwasa
Photo:Shikuwasa

Shikuwasa is a food rich in nutrients and is considered one of the foods for health and longevity in Okinawa.
The nobiletin contained in shikuwasa is said to have the following effects:
・Helps prevent rheumatism, osteoporosis, and cancer
・Lowers blood sugar and blood pressure
・Burns fat, strengthens liver function, improves urination, and improves cognitive function
・Helps relieve complications from urinary disorders, such as frequent urination and enuresis.
・Helps prevent diabetes

The secret to Ogimi Village's longevity may be its shikuwasa.
Shikuwasa is one of the most popular Furusato Nozei tax return gifts as well.
If you're a resident of Japan, be sure to visit the Ogimi Village Furusato Nozei website (※Japanese).

It's said that Bunagaya, spirits of the forest, live in Yanbaru, a rich natural environment that has been registered as a World Natural Heritage site.

Image of a Bunagaya forest spirit
Photo:A Bunagaya forest spirit

These mysterious bunagaya are said to love peace and nature, and use nature's bounty to show us what they look like. Since World War II, due to the modernization of postwar reconstruction, it's said that they can only be seen in Ogimi Village.
Bunagaya live amongst banyan trees and are said to have red hair and are covered with grass and trees.
In 1998, Ogimi Village was declared the "Village of Bunagaya" to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ogimi Village's establishment.

Life in Ogimi Village is full of charms, from its longevity, traditional culture, and unique food, to its ancient legends. Overnight tours to Ogimi Village are growing in popularity as a way to experience the secrets of longevity while interacting with local people.

Overnight tours to Ogimi Village are trips to enjoy the nature, food, culture, and history that Ogimi Village has been carefully cultivated throughout the years.
This plan allows you to experience the history and culture of Ogimi Village and its people, who live a happy and joyful life in the great outdoors, and to enjoy activities such as cycling, canoeing, trekking, BBQ camping, and a home-stay accommodation, allowing you to choose how you experience Ogimi Village.
A basic tour plan is provided, but customers can also consult with the tour guide in advance about a plan that suits them and what they would like to experience.
You can choose between private accommodations or camping, and also choose from a variety of exciting activities.
There are also experience plans that allow you to fully enjoy Ogimi Village in a short time (2 hours to half a day), so those who cannot stay overnight can also take advantage of these plans.

Those who choose the overnight plan can choose to camp overnight at the Miyagi Community Center Plaza, or stay overnight in a home with elderly residents.
Those who choose to stay at a private home can experience harvesting in the fields managed by the private home as a member of the family (depending on the season), and enjoy chatting over Okinawan dishes prepared together with the private home owner while learning from him or her.
You can see what a meal is like at 0:56 in the video.

※Be sure to consult with the staff in advance if you are a vegan or allergic to any foods.

Image of the Homestay Farm Life Experience Tour
Photo:Homestay Farm Life Experience Tour

This Ogimi Village overnight plan is a popular tour among students from all over Japan who are on school trips.
There are agricultural experiences to learn the challenges of farming, farm life experiences where you stay in a farmer's home and spend time as a member of the family, nature experiences that make the most of Ogimi Village's natural environment, and cultural experiences where you are taught how to make Okinawan cuisine and play the sanshin (an instrument similar to a banjo). The days spent experiencing the environment, customs, and culture of Ogimi Village and interacting with the elderly residents of the village are a great asset to the students.
There are also school trips and educational trips that can accommodate up to 280 people at a time, which are also utilized by the general public.

Families with children can enjoy learning during summer vacation, and friends can experience the traditions of Ogimi Village while camping under the starry skies! There are a million ways to enjoy Ogimi Village.
One of the charms of the overnight tours is that they not only follow a fixed plan, but can also be tailored to fit your ideal plan through prior consultation.

This plan lets you enjoy canoeing and trekking in the jungle-like subtropical forests and rivers of Yanbaru.
You can also look for endemic species of creatures and plants that can only be found in Yanbaru.
Outdoor activities will be accompanied by local guides, so you can also learn things that only the locals know about!
※Optional plans must be requested separately.

Image of Yanbaru
Photo:Yanbaru

In the evening, enjoy a barbecue using local ingredients with your host grandmother and grandfather.
Enjoy singing and chatting around the campfire while listening to the sound of the sanshin with your host family.
Before bedtime, enjoy the grandeur of nature while gazing up at the starry night sky over Yanbaru!

Here is an example of the schedule and activities of the basic plan for the 2-Day/1-Night Overnight Plan in Ogimi Village.
※This is an introduction to the camping plan.

■Day 1: 1:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
(Tour base: Miyagi Community Center Plaza and Shioya Bay)

[1:00 p.m.]
・Gather at Shioya Miyagi Community Center Plaza
・Self-introductions and explanation of the tour by the staff
・Camp preparations (tent setup, etc.)

Image of setting up camp
Photo:Setting up camp

[2:00 p.m.]
・Tour around the villages by e-bike with staff guide (choose from Kijoka or Shioya villages)

Image of an e-bike village tour
Photo:E-bike village tour

[5:00 p.m.]
・Free time after returning to Miyagi Community Center Plaza

[6:00 p.m.]
・Start preparing a BBQ dinner made with local ingredients - Enjoy the delicious flavors of Yanbaru with outdoor camping utensils and offal soup.
・Dinner with a view of the sunset
・Enjoy chatting with locals while listening to the sound of the sanshin and watching kachasi (traditional Okinawan dance)
・Stargazing with commentary by a starry sky sommelier who is well versed in the night sky above Yanbaru
※You can see what camping is like at 01:25 in the video.

Image of camping at night
Photo:Camping at night

[11:00 p.m.]
・Bedtime prep

■Day 2: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
[8:30 a.m.]
・Wake up
・Prepare breakfast
・Camp equipment clean up

[10:00 a.m.]
・Miyagi Community Center beach cleanup (SDGs)

[11:00 a.m.]
・End of tour

In the afternoon, you can apply for various experience plans.
※The above is the schedule for the basic model plan, so you can choose the plan that best suits your preferences by consulting with the tour guide in advance.
※If you wish to stay overnight, please specify this in the inquiry details when you apply.
Multiple night stays are available as well.
For inquiries about tour plans, please contact the guide through the application and inquiry form on the official website.
Yonna-Ogimi【Official Website】

Here, we'll provide you with the details of Ogimi Village's 2-Day/1-Night Overnight Plan tour price and duration.

[Price]
2 persons・・・43,500 yen (tax included・per person)
3 persons・・・43,000 yen (tax included・per person)
4 persons・・・40,000 yen (tax included・per person)
5 persons・・・40,500 yen (tax included・per person)
※Transportation to the meeting place (airfare, rental car, bus, etc.), drinks, alcohol, etc. are charged separately. For those who choose to stay at a private residence, drinks and alcohol may be provided by the private residence.
Optional experience plans require a separate application. Please refer to the bottom of this article for details regarding the experience plans.

[Tour Period]
February - November (※Tours are not available in December and January).

[Group Sizes]
2-5 people
Tents are limited to up to 5 tents, each of which accommodates 5 people (up to 25 people).
※The number of people who can stay in one house is limited, so large groups may be divided into several houses.

[Meeting Place]
Meeting place: Roadside Station Ogimi Yanbaru Forest Visitor Center
Address: 95 Tsunami, Ogimi Village, Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture



[Clothing]
We recommend that you bring clothes and shoes that can get wet and are easy to move around in for the different activities you might take part in.

[What to Bring]
Drinks, towel, toiletries, sandals, overnight amenities

These experience plans allow those who cannot stay overnight but want to enjoy Ogimi Village to fully enjoy Ogimi Village in a short time (2 hours to half a day), or they can be incorporated into a 2-day/1-night plan.
Choose the activities that are right for you and experience Ogimi Village to the fullest!

Guided tours to activities and sights not listed above are also available by consultation.
For inquiries about tour plans, please inquire using the application and inquiry form on the official website of Yonna-Ogimi.
Yonna-Ogimi【Official Website】

There are a ton of places to check out when visiting Ogimi Village!
From famous sightseeing spots to spots hidden gems, Ogimi Village is full of scenery that will make for lifelong memories.

Ogimi Village has been recognized as the "World's Longest Living Region."
What is the secret behind its longevity?
What is the "Ikigai" that captivates people from around the world?

The Ogimi Village tours introduced in this article offer experiences that you won't find when traveling in Okinawa normally.

Sightseeing at major tourist attractions in Okinawa and staying at a resort hotel is sure to make for a great trip, but, if you're looking to get to know the people of Okinawa and the culture and history of Okinawa, then a stay in Ogimi Village is the best way to do so.
Learning about the culture, history, and daily life of Ogimi Village through a tour, you might start to understand why Ogimi Village is known as the "Village of Longevity."

It'd be no exaggeration to say that this trip could change your outlook on life.

The local staff is looking forward to welcoming you!

Image of Ogimi Village, Okinawa
Photo:Ogimi Village, Okinawa

For more information about the Ogimi Village tour plans introduced in this article, or if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to apply, be sure to inquire via the application and inquiry form on the Yonna-Ogimi official website.

【Official Website】Yonna-Ogimi

The COOL JAPAN VIDEOS social media account for the Ogimi Marugoto Tourism Association, where you can apply for Ogimi Village tour plans is as follows:
For the latest information on Ogimi Village, check out these posts.

COOL JAPAN VIDEOS, a Social Networking Site Dedicated to the Beauty of Japan



Written By
Last Updated : Oct. 26, 2023
Japan
COOL JAPAN VIDEOS PR
A COOL JAPAN VIDEOS promotional account for Japanese companies, governments, and tourist attractions
Things to Do in Ogimi, One of the Three Yanbaru Villages in Okinawa Prefecture! Experience Nature, Food, History, and Culture in the Village With the Longest Life Expectancy in Japan!
If this article interests you, be sure to leave a follow.

Recommended Articles