7 Pristine Okinawa Beaches You May Not Have Heard About
15 June 2015
Shigira beach
Have you ever dreamed of an idyllic paradise where your worries are forgotten with the lulling sound of crystal clear waters, and the stresses of the working day melt away as white sand trickles through your toes? What if you were to learn that such a heavenly paradise awaits with just a short plane ride away from Tokyo?

Three hundred kilometers southwest of Okinawa's mainland, on the island of Miyakojima, the beaches are open and waiting. With a mere three-hour flight from Tokyo, and multiple flight options including JAL, ANA and so on, you can soon be gazing upon the dream-like, clear azure waters of this remote island paradise with only a hop, skip and a jump.
Noted among many as one of the world’s best kept beach resort secrets, Miyakojima is recognized as one of Japan’s most idyllic locales. Whether your pastime is swimming, diving, kayaking, sun bathing or simply collecting shells in the Pacific’s warm breeze, Miyakojima is calling for you.


Miyakojima: The Unspoken Okinawa Beach Secret

Shigira Beach

With so many pristine beaches on Miyakojima, the difficult question is where to begin? The privately owned—yet open to the public—Shigira Beach is a great jumping off point. The beach itself lies hidden away in an alcove on the southern side of the island. With luxurious resting bays and sun lounger day rentals available, you can be sure you will forget the urban din of city life while sipping on a freshly made juice concoction from the beach house. Shigira Beach is also the island’s premier diving and snorkeling spot for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of interacting with wild sea turtles in their natural setting—so be sure not to miss out! The beach house offers drinks and snacks, and is well stocked with rental equipment aimed at making your time on the beach all that more adventurous.
Getting there:
Island visitors staying at one of the Shigara Resort’s four hotels have easy access to all of the island’s beaches featured in this article due to the bus service, which is free both ways for easy coming and going. Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenic view outside, then arrive at the beach and plunge in—there’s more to see underwater!


The Aragusuku Coastline

For families looking for treasured memories, head over to the island’s east side. The beaches along the Aragusuku coastline provide a hub of activities that are perfect for young and old alike. From glass bottom boat excursions to coral reef that will tickle your toes as soon as you touch the water, there is so much to enjoy. Watch your children as they build a sand castle or help them dig a tunnel out to sea.
Getting there:
Precious moments like these can be created on beaches accessible just a 30-minute drive from the Shigira Resort.

Maehama Beach

With seven kilometers of coastline and an unforgettable seascape of turquoise waters and white sand, Maehama Beach is perfectly designed for the sports enthusiast hiding with in us all. Train your body while you spoil your senses with breathtaking views across shimmering waters and Kurima Island just beyond. Maehama is also another great beach for the family with plenty of activities on offer for all ages.
Getting there:
The energetic among you will enjoy the expansive stretch of beach just 15 minutes (by car) west of the Shigira Resort.

Miyako’s West Side: Sunayama Beach & Beyond

For romantic getaways, the trio of main beaches located on the west side—Sunayama, Painagama and the aptly named Sunset Beach—is the perfect place to woo that special someone as you watch the sun set beyond the picturesque ocean. Sunayama’s sandy path will lead visitors to its famous cove that attracts honeymoon couples throughout the year. As you walk the path to the beach, be prepared for wonderfully stunning views that will make you pause to take one keepsake photo after another.

Also found on the island’s west side is Yonaha Bay, which is perfect for serene wading as the expansive sea floor continually stays below knee height. It is a place of wonderful solitude and contemplation. With an unending view, often your only concern with beach neighbors is the small number of people practicing yoga on the beach as they look out to sea. As the light adjusts through the day, this is one of the finest spots to take in the beautiful nature of this island—as if you are the only person there.
Getting there:
The west side of the island offers wonderful sunsets daily so be sure to take the 30-minute drive from the Shigira Resort at least one evening and spoil yourself with the sky’s radiant hues splashed against the stillness of the waters around you.


The Miyakojima Beach Experience

There is a subtleness of spirit and appreciation of nature on Miyakojima that is somehow from a different time altogether. Quite unlike the leading beach resorts found on other islands, even in its high season Miyako maintains a sense of calm and peace, whether you visit the isolated beaches found throughout its coastline or the more developed, yet nicely retained, resort spots. However you choose to spend your time on Miyako’s beaches, you will return home with memories that will last you a lifetime—and just a little bit more peace within.

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