I like finding big parks in Okinawa to keep my children entertained and active; and as a bonus I get to jog around without running past the same point too many times. One of the largest municipal parks I have seen in Okinawa is the sprawling Sera No Mori Park in Yomitan Village. The park, whose name translates into English as Sera’s Forest Park, overlooks the East China Sea and much of coastal Yomitan.
The lowest part of the park is a heavily wooded forest that is off limits to park goers but can be admired from anywhere else in the park. This part of the park is in a steep depression about four stories deep that is likely masking a flood basin. There are signs warning of poisonous habu snakes in the area that makes approaching the stone fencing along the tree line that much more thrilling.
The first part of the park that can be entered contains the young children’s play equipment and swing set. There are about 20 parking spaces at this location along with a restroom and a beverage vending machine. The play equipment appears to be very new. The grass in this area is uniformly green and well maintained – a condition that continues throughout the whole park.
The middle section of the Sera No Mori park is a large grassy field with a running track carved into the grass from excessive use. Runners and other student athletes from nearby Okinawa Christian School International can be seen in this area now and then on weekdays. The area is large enough to host a regulation football (soccer) match but there are no fences or goal posts in sight.
The upper section of the park features great views of the ocean and coastal Yomitan as well as recreational features and amenities. There is large parking lot that will easily accommodate 30 cars. There are two large Ryukyuan red tiled pavilions; throughout the park there are a half dozen. There’s also workout stations here that continue throughout the park such as sit-us, pull-ups and stretching stations. There are also two half basketball courts, another restroom and beverage vending machine on the top tier as well. Throughout the park there are endless stairs to climb and a jogging path that is nearly one kilometer in length
Sera No Mori Park is located just off of Route 6 in Yomitan. The easiest route to reach this large park is to drive east from Route 58 along Route 6 until passing the Torii Station American Army base. After passing (not before) Torii Station there will be a Family Mart Store on the left followed by a business on the right named K-Box. Take a right turn on the road after K-Box and proceed uphill where Sera No Mori Park will be on the left. The park is open 24 hours a day and has ample parking for visitors. Bring your own bat, balls, and nets and have fun in this immaculately cared for and wonderfully picturesque park.