The beaches in Okinawa are known globally as one of the most magnificent in the world. If you find someone that states otherwise, call them an ill-informed filthy sack of old potatoes and tell them to go check it out for themselves!
In Ishigaki, there are plenty of beaches that you can go depending on what it is you are interested in doing. Believe it or not, beaches are so plentiful that you don’t even have to really go to any facilitated area. All you have to do is randomly stop your car, go pass the trees and bushes towards the sea, and stop when you reach the white sand. Viola! Your own private beach. If however you prefer a more popular, commonly used beach, you have 5 major options: Fusaki, Maezato, Sukuji, Sunset, and Yonehara. Amongst the five, the recommended for snorkeling due to their beautiful corals are the two I visited, Sunset and Yonehara. Be warned, although it is classified as a popular destination for snorkelers, Yonehara is not an official sanctioned beach. Like a rose has its thorns, Yonehara has one of the most beautiful reefs and marine life but it also possesses the most risk. The beach is known to have strong currents capable of carrying people out to sea. Lives have been lost here so authorities do not endorse people to swim in this beach but, they also do not stop you as well. The alternative Sunset beach was the one more suited for me. Clear waters, white soft grainy sand, absolutely spectacular. Mesmerized by the beauty of it all, I ended up just sitting on the ocean floor half my body submersed just contemplating about life. Before I knew it, there goes an entire hour. I almost forgot that I even brought snorkels.
If swimming is not quite your cup of tea, you can always enjoy looking at the local fishes from the safety of a boat departing from Kabira Bay. I am talking about of course the glass bottom boat tours they have usually about one every 30 minutes. If you have never tried one of these before, it’s basically a boat with a giant square shape hole in the middle that is covered with a glass plate. Through this glass, you are able to see the fish under water as the boat travels from one popular spot to another. I think our tour was cheating and the captain placed a piece of bread under the boat so that the fishes would swarm around the glass. I wasn’t complaining. It’s actually pretty brilliant. Make sure you check online for coupons for this one has many offers 20% off if booked online. Kabira Bay is also a nice spot to just enjoy an overlooking view of the ocean and maybe take a nice stroll along the beach.
This is the reason why you go to Ishigaki. Although Ishigaki is part of Okinawa, the beaches and marine life there are at a whole different level. I believe it goes without saying but obviously the beaches are best to go during summer times and on sunny weather. For the Kabira Bay glass bottom boat tours, this you can enjoy even if it rains. The fishes do not care about the weather and will come to say hello regardless. One thing is for sure, whichever beach or tour you decide to go, for god sakes, don’t forget the sunscreen!
Location Name: Ishigaki Sunset Beach
They accept yen only (for showers and bathroom)
Opening Hours: 09:30am-06:00pm (Everyday, depends also on the weather)
Location Name: Yonehara Beach
Opening Hours: No official open/close time
Location Name: Kabira Bay Glass Bottom Boat Tours
They accept Yen only
Opening Hours: 09:00am-05:00pm (Everyday)