Banna Park is a prefecture run and maintained park. It is very picturesque park and is perfect for a walk, bike ride, or a run. It is an excellent place to have a picnic or to simply explore. The park itself is very large and has numerous trails for you to explore. The park is home to a large collection of tropical plants made up of over 2,500 different species. Depending on when you go in the year, you might see cherry blossoms, butterflies, or even fireflies. The park is also home to the one and only suspension style bridge in Okinawa. Be sure to go to the top observation point in the park. If offers an excellent view of Ishigaki City and nearby Taketomi Island.
Malaria Memorial Stone and the Battle of Okinawa Memorial Stone
Image showing: okinawa battle memorial and malaria stone
These memorial stones are both found near the entrance to Banna Park. The Malaria stone was erected in memory of the people who perished from Malaria during WWII. Many of the local people in Yaeyama were forced out of their homes into the jungle areas. Malaria claimed the lives of over 3,000 people in Yaeyama. The Battle of Okinawa Memorial Stone pays respect to the many people that perished during one of the bloodiest land wars of all time. In Okinawa alone, over 250,000 people were killed. In addition to respecting those who were lost, the stone represents Ishigaki’s and Japan’s resolve to work towards world peace. On June 23rd each year, a memorial service is held at both stones. June 23rd marked the end of the Battle of Okinawa.
The observatory of Banna forest park (A scenic spot)
Bannna forest park is located on southeast of Ishigaki Island, is the forest park at Japan’s southernmost end. It faces forest hilly country, which has an altitude of 230m. The scene of the communities of the Ishigaki Island etc. can be overlooked from the observatory of the park. Moreover, the botanical garden and the picnic garden, etc. has been established by the people of the island.