If you’ve been in Okinawa a while you no doubt have a favorite or local beach hang out, but this issue we went looking for some hidden gems and beach ideas you may have missed. We also took a look at some water sports ideas; there’s more on Okinawa than just scuba diving!
You’ve probably already discovered your local beach but if you’re looking for some popular or hidden gems check out some of our recommendations below:
1. Zamami Island
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore away from the main Okinawa island, then Zamami island is a great choice. Part of the Kerama islands and just a 50 minute ferry ride from Naha you can visit for a day or overnight trip. Famous for pristine beaches and amazing diving it also boasts a quieter way of life for true relaxation. Want to stay overnight? Check out the Zamami International Guest house (zamamia-guesthouse.com) owned by a friendly Canadian if you are worried about your Japanese ability.
2. Nirai Beach
TripAdvisor recently did a user ranking of the ten best beaches in Japan. Yonaha Maehama beach on Miyako island was number one (another great off island choice) but on Okinawa main island Nirai beach was ranked number six out of all Japan. It’s a great choice to sit and watch the sunset.
3. Yagaji Beach
If you’re looking for somewhere quieter without all the facilities then drive past Motobu and you’ll discover Yagaji island. It has a fee of 500 yen which keeps it quiet with amazing scenery and views of the East China Sea. You can even camp there, as there’s a camp ground, showers and a small store. Check it our for somewhere for a more back to nature feel.
4. Hotel Beaches
If you want a beach with lots of facilities and plenty of dining options close by then check out some of the hotels that allow public access to their beaches. The Sun Marina hotel beach extends for 400 meters and the waters change color depending on time of year. The Renaissance resort also in Onna makes a great choice if you want to enjoy indoor and outdoor pools, the beach, jacuzzi, water slides and more. Admission is 1260 yen. If you’ve driven past hotels before and think you can’t use the beach it’s worth stopping in and asking whether they do day passes.
There’s a massive choice of water activities in Okinawa. Here’s a quick roundup of some ideas you may have missed:
Hookah Diving: Want to get a taste of scuba diving, check out this long air line method of diving. A guided tour of the underwater world without the tank. Visit destiny-charters.com for more info.
Marine Walk: Take a 20 minute walk around the sandy coral bottom of the sea with no special gear other than a helmet! Visit seasir.com for info.
Glass bottom Boat: If you prefer not to get your feet wet, a glass bottom boat makes a great choice. The largest one in Okinawa is operated by West Marine at Naha port. 3000 yen for adults and 1500 yen for children. Tel: 098-866-0489
Fly boarding: Finally, looking to be adventurous? Check out fly boarding at a variety of beach now in Okinawa including Kadena Marina, Kariyushi Beach and Rizzan Beach. Check out okinawa-flyboard.com for further info or kadenafss.com.