Video by Osamu Hasegawa
Located in the northwestern part of the Okinawa mainland, on the picturesque Motobu Peninsula, Kenken Reto Private Villa (stylized as KENKEN Reto Private Villa) is a lesson in sleek, stylish design, nestled in the lush subtropical rainforest of the Yanbaru region. The villa is designed and owned by a top Japanese architect, with flourishes of specialized craftsmanship throughout.
Equipped for Any Season and Interest
With no expense spared, floor-to-ceiling windows over marbled flooring overlook the renowned Sesoko Island and azure waters beyond. Smooth steps lead over the summertime pool to the rooftop, with home theater capabilities for winter stays.
Next to the main complex lies the relaxation retreat room Padma, custom-built for guests to relax in beautiful surroundings overlooking the Okinawan forests. Padma comes fully equipped for yoga sessions, complete with mats and blocks. The option for guests to include additional private sun salutation yoga lessons offers the chance to appreciate the impressive Motobu sunrise and sunset views.
Padma can also be equipped to accommodate guests who wish for extra space or a work-from-home studio.
Explore the Unique Natural Surroundings
Kenken Reto Private Villa is located on the doorstep of a true Okinawan oasis, the renowned Yambaru National Park. The best of mountain, forest and sea combine in the area and guests are encouraged to explore its unique surroundings. Popular amongst Okinawan locals, the Yanbaru zone is known for its rare subtropical plants, dense hillside forests and exotic wildlife.
Animal lovers rejoice, as the wildlife in the Yanbaru region is one of the reasons that it is so special. Rare birds and an abundance of animals including the speckled Ishikawa frog can be spotted all year round. One bird in particular is regarded as particularly important: the flightless Okinawa rail, which is currently under preservation and impossible to see outside the Yambaru region.
During summertime, visitors to the villa might well be delighted by the call of the purple and orange Ryukyu Ruddy Kingfisher. In winter, guests may be able to spot rare Okinawan birds of prey circling overhead.
With hiking trails aplenty and many varied sights to check out, nature lovers will love the Yambaru National Park and the other lush green areas of Motobu. Guests can hunt for the swampy mangroves and gushing waterfalls which pepper the site.
Make the Most of the Local Culture
In addition to exploring the local nature, getting involved in local culture is a top recommendation for Kenken Reto guests.
The local goya bitter melons are famed across Japan and residents are proud of the vegetables. They are double or even triple the size of typical bitter melons sold across Japan and the quality is so good that they are even trademarked as Kenken Bitter Melons.
To get a feel of local life, Kenken Reto Private Villa guests can take a trip to the farm where this delicacy grows, to buy fresh bitter melons to use in their own cooking while at the villa. The melons come packaged in a protective box so guests can even purchase some to take home as an original Motobu souvenir.
Aside from delicious produce and abundant nature, Kenken Reto offers the chance to experience local culture. Soak up Motobu vibes in one of the many local cafes serving a range of Okinawan specialties.
One notable pickup is the Motobu fruit cafe culture. Many cafes serve fresh local fruits to customers in parfaits, smoothies and other desserts. Sample some of that island sun while overlooking the bridge to Sesoko. Perfect for after a sunrise morning yoga session.
Enjoy Your Stay, Your Way
The beauty of the Kenken Reto Private Villa is its flexibility and the freedom that it offers. Staff leave the villa after check-in, leaving guests completely free to do what they please. This means that visitors essentially have their own holiday home in the most nature-bestowed area on Okinawa. Free to explore as they wish, visitors can find their own Okinawan story.
Whether a nature-based retreat in the forest, searching for endangered wild birds or a slow, island-life stay, Okinawa can be a world away from a resort pamphlet. A home away from home, working remotely while receiving private yoga instruction, wandering around fields and cooking with local produce in the evenings.
Whatever your preference, for those who fancy a retreat that goes deeper than the norm, the Kenken Reto Private Villa provides the chance to realize it on your own terms. More information can be found here.