Zenda is a large area between the Yamagusuku and Shimajiri Areas on the south penninsula of Kume Island. High above the Higa and Eef plateu, there is an expansive park nestled among the mountain forest. The park boasts the largest playground on the island, some truly spectacular views, and the ruins of an ancient castle.
This park has a small parking lot, facilities, and plenty for children to play on. The wood and steel playground equipment includes a zip-line type ride and long roller-slide in addition to plenty of things to climb on. Supervision and care are highly reccomended and all use is at your own risk.
The Windswept Forest
Overtime, some of the equipment in Zenda park has fallen into disrepair due to storms and salt corrosion. Thankfully, Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki has donated funds to help rebuild Zenda into a park and facility for the world's young. The new park is currently being designed by a local company with support and guidance from Studio Ghibli staff and the support of Miyazaki. We lookforward to the exciting reawakening of Zenda as the Windswept Forest.
Getting to Zenda
Finding Zenda Park may be a bit of a challenge for those unfamiliar with the area. Currently, a new bridge is under construction that will cross the Zenda River between the south west Eef Area, unfortunately it the construction may make it difficult to locate the turn-off from the south road between Eef and Shimajiri.
Above is a gif of the major intersections if you go from the main route 86 south.
- The T-intersection with Route 86 is just across from the Daihatsu Motors store.
- Travel south, you'll veer right, crossing Zenda River, and then continue left
- Continue along this road until it ends, turn right and be ready for an immediate right turn
- From this point, the common white and blue signs will lead you to the park
The Midori-maru Memorial
on August 17, 1963 a ship bound for Kumejima with 241 passangers sank in rough seas. Though police, locals, and the American Military were able to rescue 129 people, 112 lost their lives. This was the largest sea disaster in Okinawa.
A memorial stands just south of Zenda park, at the end of the road. There are two paths up to the memorial park in addition to the road. Benches and an awning provide a place to rest while a tall stone tells the story of the Midori in Japanese and English, along with another stone in Japanese listing those that were lost.
The entry path to the Suhara Castle Ruins are just before the memorial area.
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