Message from the Village Mayor

Located on the east coast of the northern part of the main island of Okinawa prefecture, Higashi village is known as the "Village of Flower, Water and Pineapple"; so called because of the biggest water reservoir of this prefecture, the Fukuji dam is located here, along with being the largest producer of pineapple in Japan and the Azalea (Japanese Rhododendron Species) Flower Festival held every year in the spring month of March.

Higashi village has been nurtured by the dense forests and abundant water of Yanbaru and is therefore blessed with a rich and diverse forest resource inhabited by precious flora and fauna. Also, the largest mangrove forest in the whole Okinawa island group situated at the mouth of the River Kesaji flowing through this village is designated as a Natural Monument.

While maintaining a perfect harmony with the bounties of the nature, Higashi village aims to project itself as the "Agricultural Exchange Village"where the nature's bounty can be utilized to promote agriculture as well as establishing communication with the tourists who frequent the village seeking nature's blessings. As the base for the realization of this aim, the Villager's Forest- Azalea Eco-Park was opened in the year 2001, where the 16th Asia-Pacific Rally is scheduled be organized.

The Azalea Eco-Park is located on a small hill overlooking the Taira bay, with the vast Pacific Ocean spread across. Each spring, the hill is covered in a vivid green carpet and the azalea blossoms are seen competing in a riot of colors. While summer is portrayed by the fluttering fireflies with the chirping sounds of cicada and wild birds reverberating in the background, autumn is characterized by the fallen nuts and the winter hill is still covered in lush greenery. Okinawa prefecture, which can be said of not blessed with the perfect four seasons of the mainland Japan, Azalea Eco-Park is a place where one can get acquainted with the seasonal changes of a sub-tropical nature.

We look forward to your participation in the 16th Asia-Pacific Rally.

Iju Seikyu
Mayor of Higashi village

Mark of Asia Pacific Commission

Japanese Site