Whether you prefer sprawling resort beaches or a more intimate seaside setting, Okinawa Japan is the go-to for fun under the sun. Okinawa, which is only a 2.5-hour flight away from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, consists of Okinawa Honto (the main island) and hundreds of smaller islands scattered over 1000 kilometers.
It sits on the same latitude as Hawaii and Florida, so whether you plan a visit for January or September, you’ll be able to enjoy the temperate climate and scenic environment. Activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and kite surfing are available all year round, so get ready for an unforgettable trip to Okinawa's beaches!
Best Beaches In Okinawa
1. Manza Beach
Now, let’s start talking about the beaches. While some may say that the best beaches are located on the islands surrounding the mainland, Okinawa Honto is home to its fair share of seaside hotspots. Manza Beach is part of the ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort, but its facilities and activities are open to daytime visitors.
The resort itself looks like a picturesque snapshot you might see on a postcard, and guests have complimented the friendly staff and spectacular views. Even when you’re indoors, all it takes is a peek out the window to soak in the beauty of Okinawa.
Reasons to visit Manza Beach:
- Taste the freshly made tempura from one of the resort’s many restaurants
- Take a tour on a semi-submersible craft
- Snorkel in the crystal clear water
This beach is the only beach-lagoon in Japan, according to Japan-experience.com. What is a beach-lagoon? Channel your inner Little Mermaid and envision Ariel staring longingly across the sandy dunes at Prince Eric, (whom she just rescued from a massive shipwreck) passed out in the shallow water. Basically, a lagoon is a shallow area of water separated from the sea by something like a sand dune or barrier reed.
Emerald Beach is absolutely free, and is located along a 500-meter stretch inside the Ocean Expo Park, which also has a free aquarium and museum. If you want to see a “postcard beach,” this is it, with its turquoise water and pristine sand.
Reasons to visit Emerald Beach:
- Check out the Ocean Expo Park
- Pick up one of the countless seashells or bleached corals lining the shore
3. Okuma Beach
This beach is also part of a resort, but feels more like a private beach than Manza Beach. This destination is ideal for those who need to meet a wide range of family needs. Not only are there outdoor activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving, but there are recreational facilities like golf and mini-golf, as well as laundry facilities and a shop on site for snacks and necessities.
The beach itself is quiet, and the perfect place to prop up a parasol and read. There’s definitely less foot traffic at Okuma Beach than Manza Beach, because of the entrance fee required of daytime visitors, and the accessibility to free beaches nearby.
Reasons to visit Okuma Beach:
- Revel in the peace and quiet in what will feel like a “private” beach
- Pitch a tent and have a picnic right on the sand
- Walk barefoot in the pure white coral sand and bottle some up to take home
This article was written by Hanna Choi.