Best Beaches in Okinawa

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Read here for recommendations on the best beaches on the Okinawa main island!


As summer is approaching, I thought it would be a good time to share the best beaches I have found here in Okinawa (drivable from the mainland - not including the islands). The list below is obviously based on my own opinions and preferences and there are many beaches on the mainland I still haven't been to!

Now the things that I think make an amazing beach may differ from other people, but what makes a great beach for me is:

  • Water quality - I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some crystal water and this basically trumps all other requirements for me.
  • Can I snorkel? - I have become obsessed with snorkelling, so if I can get in some snorkelling while I'm at the beach, it's a win as far as i'm concerned.
  • Is there shade? - I love it when there's easy shade near the beach. I find that with a child in tow and the crazy hot Okinawa summers, it's much more enjoyable if i'm not worried about getting burned as so as we arrive. I do have a beach tent for this reason as well.

So now for the list of my favourite beaches:

sesoko island


Sesoko Island - Ok, so this is technically a whole island, but it's tiny and accessible by car from the mainland. I've been here twice now and both times (even though the second time the water was a little rougher), the water has been the clearest i've ever seen both in Okinawa, and Australia). Sesoko beach, which is a netted beach and you need to pay 1000yen for parking was still gorgeous and had great snorkelling within the netted area. You could even see the fish just standing up looking at the water without a snorkel, which is great for kids. The other beach on the Island, which is under the bridge as you drive over to the island, is not netted and has a lot of water sports, but the water is even more amazing, with more great snorkelling. Both beaches had changing and shower areas. You will need to wear reef shoes.

best beaches in okinawa


Ikei Beach, Ikei Jima - This beach on Ikei Island is really clean, has great facilities, and the water is gorgeous. I know people tend to prefer Oodomari Beach (Mama-san beach) a bit further up the road, but I find that beach a little annoying for some reason (maybe it's the needy fish that follow you around looking for food). Ikei beach has good changing facilities, a cafe with yummy kakigori (shaved ice) and two netted off swimming areas that are deep and clear with fun pontoons you can climb on. I also spotted some cool fish in the netted swimming area on the left. You have to pay to enter, but the facilities are great and it's really clean. You don't need any reef shoes here. There's even a kids play area. I have two posts on Ikei Beach. Here and Here

best beaches in okinawa


Maeda Beach/Maeda Flats - This beach can be a little hit or miss, so it"s best to go on a clear, calm day, but when you get it on a good day, it's really really good! You can snorkel off this beach, and although it can get crowded, there are a few secluded spots you can find. To get to this beach, keep diring past the main carpark for Maeda Cape and it's the first path on the left. Often there will be snorkelling tours down here if Maeda cape is closed. There is also another, less busy beach the next path along. Both are lovely. You will need reef shoes.

best beaches in okinawa


Nabee Beach and Manza Beach - These beaches are next to each other, and if I go to one, I usually go to both, so i'm including them as one. One of the reasons I love these beaches are that they are close to where I live, another is the fact that on Manza beach there is lots of shady nooks that you can sit in very close to the water. Nabee beach is great because it is netted and the sand is good so there's no need to wear reef shoes, Manza beach you definitely need reef shoes because there are lots of sea urchins (check the photos in the linked post) but the snorkelling is good. Nabee beach water is generally lovely and clear, however Manza is better on a calm day. You can find another post on these beaches here.

For more beach posts:


Please note, that i've found it's definitely worth investing in a pair of good reef shoes, as the sand is not like Australia. It's coarse and full of spiky coral. It's also worth buying your own snorkel set. They are cheap and it saves renting them at every beach (for around 1000yen a go).

Let me know what your favourite beaches on the Okinawa mainland are in the comments! Are there any you think I have missed?




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11 comments

  1. I must admit that I had to google where Okinawa is. I thought it sounds Japanese but it looks so warm resp. tropic. I always thought it's quite chilly there ...

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    1. Yeah, Okinawa, although Japan is closer to Taiwan than mainland Japan. It's definitely not typically Japanese.

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  2. And now I want to go here...or to any beach. But I am stuck where it is 32 degrees outside and snowing. Guess that is why I have the Internet..so I can look at pretty pictures like yours and dream of being on the warm sandy beach!

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  3. wow so many stunning beaches! they all look incredible!

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  4. I looove Mama San Beach but I can see your reasoning. When we visited Ikei Beach they said we couldn't snorkel without life vests which irritated us, and they charged for showers. So that's why I prefer MamaSan but Ikei Beach sure is beautiful. Love this post.

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    1. Ah yes, on the beaches that say you can't use a snorkel without a life vest, I just use goggles without the snorkel, which seems to work!

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  5. I haven't been to your blog in a while and I'm loving the new look! Also, this post makes me miss Oki so much! Thanks for linking up to Wanderlust Wednesday... you definitely took me on an adventure of memories. :)

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    1. Thanks Kassie! I've been trying to put in more effort to the look of the blog!

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  6. Cannot wait to visit Okinawa and explore all these beautiful beaches! How stunning!

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