5 Best Beaches in Okinawa: Sparkling Tropical Treasures
27 April 2016
Best Beaches in Okinawa
The islands of Okinawa offer a diverse variety of breathtaking beaches, each providing opportunities for leisure and relaxation that are second to none. Many sandy beaches with gentle slopes and shallow water are easily accessible to children and families, while other rougher, deep-water beaches are better suited for intrepid marine adventurers. Some beaches are available for both public and private use, and most are perfect for BBQ events and parties. Here are 5 of the best beaches in Okinawa, each with an enchanting promise for everyone.


 

5 Best Beaches in Okinawa

 

Renaissance Beach (Okinawa Main Island)

Renaissance Beach (Okinawa Main Island)
Photo by aotaro on flickr

Connected to a top resort area, Renaissance Beach is a private venue offering a variety of facilities such as a sauna and a hot tub, all open to the public for a price of approximately JPY 1,300. Also included is the use of both pools and the waterslide. Filled with the white sand and blue water of the bay, this is quite simply one of the best beaches in Okinawa. This tropical treasure trove offers many activities including diving, wind surfing and sea walking. One of the most popular activities at this amazing Okinawan beach is the Dolphin Program. Prices start at JPY 1,500 for dolphin watching and educational activities, to JPY 80,000 for private offshore adventures.


 

Yonehara Beach (Ishigakijima)

Yonehara Beach (Ishigakijima)
Photo by Travel-Picture on Flickr

Surrounded by a stunning coral reef and teeming vibrantly with thousands of colorful tropical fish, Ishigakijima’s Yonehara Beach is one of the best beaches in Okinawa. A popular campsite, where visitors are welcome to indulge in extended stays for a nominal fee, is located just next to the beach. Snorkeling equipment can be leased at the campgrounds, allowing visitors a closer look at an underwater eco system that is as precious as it is beautiful. Showers and toilet facilities are available, but lifeguards are not; it is recommended to hire a tour guide who knows the water well and can show you the reef as no one else can, thus creating a safe and enjoyable experience for all.


 

Azama Sun-Sun Beach (Okinawa Main Island)

Azama Sun-Sun Beach (Okinawa Main Island)
Photo by そらみみ on Wikimedia Commons

Located off Highway 331 near Nanjo City is Azama Sun-Sun Beach, a gorgeous location and an excellent choice for those intending to host barbecue or birthday parties. Next door at the marina, activities such as glass bottom boat tours, diving boat trips, and ferry rides to the Komaka and Kudake islands are constantly being offered. Azama Sun-Sun Beach also has facilities less common to some other Okinawa beaches, including an emergency first aid station, umbrella and lounge chair rentals, lockers, showers, restrooms, a snack bar and a wide array of picnic areas.  There is also a retail shop that sells beach gear and refreshments, as well as beach side swimming areas that are sectioned off so that children can have a safe environment in which to play in the water.


 

Bibi Beach (Okinawa Main Island)

Those searching for sun, sand and a party-style atmosphere should look no further than Bibi Beach. Open since 2006, this southern Okinawa beach is a popular destination as it is only a short drive from Naha Airport. The water there is at its most gorgeous and clear during the summer season from April to October, making this the ideal time to take a dip. As breathtaking as the water is, by far the most popular activity here is barbecuing. All year long visitors make good use of these areas by having family barbecues or by hosting beach parties. Bibi Beach boasts many facilities and features including restrooms and changing rooms with showers; unlike many other beaches in Okinawa, there are also extra safety precautions with five lifeguards who constantly keep watch. Flotation devices, chairs, and umbrellas may be rented here, and a snack bar and picnic area make this beach even more convenient.


 

Hateno Hama (The Kerama Islands)

Hateno Hama (The Kerama Islands)
Photo by 松岡明芳 on Wikimedia Commons

Hateno Hama, also known as Faraway Island, is a sandy, uninhabited, 7 km island off the coast of neighboring Kumejima. The clear, warm waters at Hateno Hama are amazing for snorkeling and other fun activities. Glass bottom boat tours are also available. As there are no amenities provided here aside from a public restroom, it is recommended to purchase beach umbrellas, sunscreen, snacks and drinks beforehand. In addition, please consult the receptionist at the Kumejima island for the time schedule of boats leaving for Hateno Hama. There is also a convenient bilingual information hotline called the Hateno Hama Kankou Service.


 

Toguchinohama Beach (Irabujima)

Toguchinohama Beach (Irabujima)
Photo by Ken Yamaguchi on Flickr

Recognized as one of Japan’s top 100 best beaches, breathtaking Toguchinohama Beach is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike. It features fine, sparkling sand that is simply a joy to walk upon, coupled with crystal clear ocean water that allows a tantalizing glimpse at the myriad species of tropical fish surrounding visitors as they savor a relaxing swim. It is also a great spot to meet new friends.


 

Sunayama Beach (Miyakojima)

Sunayama Beach (Miyakojima)

The outstanding feature of this beach, whose name means “Sand Mountain” in Japanese, is an arch-shaped rock formation renowned throughout Okinawa and Japan. This formation is both iconic and extremely photogenic, so much so that it tends to be the image that most comes to mind when Japanese people think of Miyakojima. A natural gate, sculpted by centuries of crashing waves, is formed into the coral wall. With its stunning emerald green waters and fine white powdery sand, Sunayama Beach remains wholly unique even among the best beaches in Okinawa. 

Located only 4 km from the main city of Hirara on Miyakojima, it is a rarely crowded beach popular with both tourists and local residents. There is a rental service for marine sport equipment available. Otherwise, you can always just soak up the beauty of the location by relaxing in the sand. Truth be told, Sunayama Beach is actually only one sparkling jewel in the treasure chest of Miyakojima beaches, all conveniently accessible from Shigira Resort, the island’s premiere luxury destination.


 

Best Okinawa Beaches are Havens of Adventure


Okinawa’s stunning island chain offers a plethora of delights, not the least of which are its beaches. From party destinations to havens of adventure, each one offers its own captivating slice of paradise. Whether or not you choose to stay on Miyakojima, indulging in all that Shigira Resort and the surrounding beaches have to offer, we hope that you have the opportunity to visit Okinawa in the near future.


 

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