Climb Up The Lighthouse at Higashi Hennazaki

Climb Up The Lighthouse at Higashi Hennazaki
Japan-Miyakojima-Higashi Hennazaki-peninsula-2 km
2km peninsula

[ Apr.2019 ] We started walking towards the end of the narrow peninsula of Higashi Hennazaki on Miyako-jima, one of the islands of Okinawa prefecture in Japan.

This peninsula is about 2km long, 160 metres wide at the widest point and about 20 metres high.

That is the information I got from a free booklet called “Sightseeing Guidebook Miyako-jima”.

The actual booklet is in Japanese, but apparently they have English versions online.

This booklet was very informative and useful.

According to this, Higashi Hennazaki is facing the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea and it is made of limestone of a raised coral reef.

It is listed as one of the “Top 100 Parks in Japan’, which was created in 1989 by a government organisation called Japan Park and Green Land Association.

When we were walking towards the lighthouse near the end of the peninsula, we saw a rock named “The Grave of Mamuya’.

Japan-Miyakojima-Higashi Hennazaki-rock-grave of Mamuya
The Grave of Mamuya

There was an information board and it tells a story about a beautiful girl called Mamuya.

Mamuya was not only beautiful but smelled like sweet herb.

Nugusuku-Aji, a man who already had a family, fell in love with her and they started a relationship, but one man persuaded him: “Think about your future. Even if your wife smells bad, she is more valuable for you than Mamuya”.

He listened to him and left Mamuya, who then killed herself by jumping off the cliff of Higashi Hennazaki.

The grieving mother of Mamuya prayed to God that no beautiful girls would be born in this village because beauty is misfortune.”

Apparently, ‘Aji’ of Nugusuku-Aji is one of the titles of the Royal Family when Okinawa was Ryukyu Kingdom.

I looked this story up and found that there are a few versions, though the outline is the same.

For example, Mamuya became Nugusuku-Aji’s second wife after she lost a sort of competition against him and when she asked him who he loved more, he chose his first wife, so she committed suicide.

Another version says that the person who asked God not to let other pretty girls be born was Mamuya herself and to break this spell, pregnant women should drink the water from a puddle at Higashi Hennazaki when a full moon is reflected on the water.

Japan-Miyakojima-Higashi Hennazaki-Hennazaki Lighthouse-white
Hennazaki Lighthouse is white.

Anyway, it is always a woman who suffers in this sort of tragic stories.

I remember another story we had heard a few years ago on Sado Island about Mitsuko.

I wish to know any stories about a man suffering and committing suicide because of a woman behaving badly.

Now, let’s go back to Higashi Hennazaki.

You can go up the lighthouse of Higashi Hennazaki.

Because my husband had injured his foot, I went up there on my own, which cost 200 yen (£1.44, €1.63. $1.82).

According to the ticket stub, this lighthouse was first lit on the 27th March 1967.

It is 43 metres high from sea level and the visible distance is 18 nautical miles.

The view from the top was really amazing.

We saw many beautiful views during our holiday in Miyako-jima this time, but this was the most impressive one for me.

Apparently, it is a famous place for watching the first sunrise of the year.

I can imagine that it would be really refreshing to see the sun coming up from the sea here.