With its iconic elephant’s trunk-shaped cliff, Cape Manza is a famous scenic spot in Okinawa. Its Japanese name, “万座毛” (manzamo) has an interesting story. In the 18th century, Sho Kei (尚敬王), a Ryukyu king, visited Cape Manza and commented that 10,000 people should sit in the open area near the cliffs and admire the cape’s beauty. The Japanese characters reflect King Sho Kei’s poetic expression. The first character “万” (mo) means ten thousand. The second character “座” refers to the action of sitting. Finally, the last character “毛” is an Okinawan word that describes an open field.
Facing the East China Sea, Cape Manza offers spectacular views of the ocean. On a sunny day, the blue skies and ocean provide a stunning backdrop for the dramatic cliffs.
On a windy day, hold on to your belongings and enjoy the symphony created by wind howling through the trees and waves crashing against the rugged cliffs. In different seasons, the unique landscape transform according to the weather.
The cape is an ideal spot to be close to Nature. The vast grassland is filled many species of coastal plants. A rare plant, “manzamo limestone plant” is a protected plant species in Okinawa.
On a quiet day, without the crowds, it is an atmospheric place to view sunset while being surrounded by the awe-inspiring Nature.
The harmony of the reposeful grassland, majestic cliffs, elevated corals, resplendent blue skies and ocean creates a contemplative space. The breathtaking landscape inspired a young Okinawan poet, Yoshia Chiru, to compose a poem for the king. A monument is displayed near the entrance to honor her contributions to Okinawan culture.
Most visitors enjoy a leisurely walk around the parameters of the cape. A popular photo-taking spot, the promenade framed by cliffs offers panoramic views of Manza beach and the ANA Intercontinental Manza beach resort.
Another perspective of the spectacular cape and cliffs can be viewed from the beach resort.
Cape Manza is located near Onna village in the Kunigami district. On the way to the cape, you can enjoy a scenic drive along beautiful beaches that decorate the western coast of Okinawa mainland. The relaxing drive on route 58 is signposted with directions.
The cape is an attraction for people of all ages. There is a flat walking path that encircles that border of the coastal land. No entrance fee is required, and free but limited parking is provided in the area. Near the entrance, there are some shops that sell touristy products. If you like a peaceful and tranquil experience, visit the cape on weekdays to avoid busloads of tourists.
A gem in the Onna village, Cape Manza is a perfect stopover during a long ride up North. Spend a few hours to explore the cape and its surrounding area, and you may find some inspiration!
All photos by Wendy Ng
ANA Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort