Okinawa beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. It can be hard to pick the best ones to visit, which is why we made this list for you.
Here’s the the best 15 Okinawa beaches you need to put on your bucket-list.
Rather watch a video instead? Here ya go!
15. Yonehara Beach
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Yonehara Beach, located in the Ishigaki region of Okinawa, is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Japan. The water is almost green, but in a very beautiful, sparkling emerald kind of way. It is also very clear and clean. The sea is absolutely filled with coral reefs and all of the jewel-colored tropical fish that live in the reef.
It is a wide beach, but the water is quite shallow, which means during low tide, visitors to the beach can simply walk out to where the reefs can be found. During high tide, however, the waters do get high and a bit rough, which makes them a fun and great challenge for serious swimmers; however, young children and inexperienced swimmers should not swim during these times for safety reasons.
The beach is surrounded by tropical trees that are beautiful to see, but more importantly, keep the island cool and shady at all times; it is the perfect spot for true “beach bums.”
The beach is also home to a campground, which allows visitors to sleep right out on the beach at night and watch the moon reflected in emerald sea. It is quite picturesque.
14. Tokashiku Beach
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Located on Tokashiki Island and very near to Aharen Beach, Tokashiku Beach is the much less crowded of the two beaches. The beach is known for its sea turtles, soft, white sand, and crystal blue water. It is a great place to swim, sunbathe, and relax, and it is close to the mountains so visitors get to enjoy scenery from the best of both worlds – the mountains and the beach.
Because most tourists choose to visit the nearby Aharen Beach instead, Tokashiku Beach almost feels like a private or semi-private island to its visitors. The coral reef here is not as thriving or well-preserved as the reef on some of the other beaches, so people who want to snorkel do find they have to go out a little farther than they sometimes wish to see any of the beautiful, jewel-colored tropical fish that make the reef their home.
Because there are not as many restrictions on water safety here, though, many more adventurous people prefer this beach because they can swim and board as freely as they wish. Conversely, though, it is perhaps not the best beach for people with small children because there are so few restrictions governing water and beach safety. For individuals or couples without children and/or thrill-seekers, though, this beach is probably the best one on the list.
13. Ama Beach
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Ama Beach is located in the Kerama islands of the larger Zamami Island in Okinawa. The sand and water are beautiful, and both the beach and the water are safe for families with children of all ages. There is an area designed especially for children with some of the softest sand on the beach in which they can play, and the water is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and watching sea turtles.
The beach, itself, is covered in unique and amazing sea shells and sea glass, and serious collectors can spend hours searching through them to find something truly special.
The locals are friendly; the food is delicious; and there are many facilities and amenities, such as showers, bathrooms, and the like for those who need their outdoor experience to include more modern comforts, as well. Nearby hotels offer convenient places for families to stay at night, allowing them to simply run down to the beach the next morning.
12. Sunayama Beach
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Located in the northern portion of Miyako-jima Island, Sunayama Beach – which means “sand mountain beach” – is known for its large, naturally-occurring rock arch, which was formed by the sea eroding exposed coral reefs over the many centuries that Sunayama has been around. It is a really neat and unique landmark that makes Sunayama Beach a must-see beach all on its own.
The beach is named “sand mountain beach” for all of the mountainous areas which surround the beach, and it also has beautiful, clean sand and clear, open water which is a lovely turquoise in color and very warm and pleasant.
The sunsets here are amazing and lend themselves perfectly to taking photos. Also, because of the many different species of coral reefs, plentiful sea turtles, manta rays, whale sharks, and even tropical fish, this beach is also a popular spot for snorkeling and even deep sea diving.
11. Aka Beach
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This beach, located in Zamami-son, is a great spot for many different activities. There are places to snorkel and swim, of course, but there are also places to ride jet skis in the open water, enjoy paddle boating, and swim with large sea turtles.
The beach, like many of Okinawa’s other beaches, is covered in clean white sand, and the water is clear, bright, and lovely. This beach is one of the larger beaches in Okinawa and boasts a nice camping area that travelers can take advantage of while there.
Be warned, though, that the water and the beach do cool down at night, so for those people who plan to stay, bringing a snuggly sleeping bag is definitely recommended. Aka Beach is also within walking distance of Aka Port, which is a very popular port in Okinawa.
10. Aragusuku Beach
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Located in Miyako-jima near Yoshino Beach, Aragusuku Beach is yet another of Okinawa’s gorgeous beaches where people can swim, sunbathe, and snorkel. The sea is somewhat shallow, making it a relatively safe place for families with young children to swim, and there are numerous coral reefs beneath the waves to add some beautiful underwater scenery.
Aragusuku Beach is also home to hundreds of different, brightly colored tropical fish, which means people are always likely to spot something beautiful while swimming. The beach has stands that rent snorkeling equipment to tourists, and there are numerous picnic tables with umbrellas set out along the beach, as well, for people who need to get out of the sun for a while.
It is a warm spot, full of sun, but there is very often a nice breeze that keeps it from becoming uncomfortably hot. It is a popular beach, so there are almost always people there, but it is not too crowded or overrun with people.
9. Okuma Beach
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Okuma Beach is probably one of the most popular and well-known beaches in all of Okinawa. It has become so popular over the past several years that it is now more of a resort island than a mere beach.
It is surrounded on all sides by the East China Sea, and the beach boasts many hotels and recreational areas, including places to play tennis and basketball, places to kayak and golf, areas for camping along the beach and biking, and of course, places to snorkel.
There are glass bottom boat tours, and the local cuisine is absolutely amazing. It is a beautiful beach with gorgeous water, which also makes it the perfect place for taking pictures.
People flock to Okuma Beach because it is a great mixture of nature and modern convenience. In addition to all that was mentioned above, Okuma Beach also has some great places to shop, and there are plenty of places to get together with friends or to go to meet new people.
Days on the beach are perfect, beautiful, and relaxing, but for those travelers who want an exciting night life as well, Okuma Beach is definitely the spot to go.
8. Kondoi Beach
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Kondoi Beach is a crescent shaped beach that can be found on Taketomijima Island, specifically on the island’s westernmost coast. It is a gorgeous beach with unique, aqua/green azure colored water that is nonetheless translucent.
It is a great spot for swimming for families with children, even in high tide, because the water does not get too high or too rough. In fact, during low tide, the water actually gets quite shallow; however, it does not disappear completely, which means the beach is always beautiful, no matter what time of day or year people visit it.
It is a great spot for sight-seeing, beach walking, and biking. The ocean floor is covered in coral, which adds to the water’s lovely color, so, like many of Okinawa’s beaches, it is also a nice place for snorkeling.
It is also not one of the most crowded beaches in Okinawa, which makes it the perfect spot for a quiet, lazy family day at the beach.
7. Ida no Hama Beach
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This beach is located in Iriomote-jima, near a settlement called Funauki, and was once known as a “secret beach.” However, recently, the secret got out, and now it is known as one of the absolute best beaches in Okinawa province.
It is a “picture perfect” beach with clean, beautiful white sand and gorgeous, clear water that sparkles and shimmers as far as the eye can see.
Although some of the reef here has been damaged, there is still quite a large portion of it that is great for snorkeling. It is also a popular location for swimming, and people often enjoy it because they get to swim with sea turtles all around them.
It is also a great place to catch hermit crabs, and there is a forest nearby with more wildlife, as well. Ida no Hama Beach is also a popular spot for returning tourists because the local people are so friendly and accommodating that previous visitors feel comfortable returning.
6. Nishibama Beach
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In addition to being another great beach for snorkeling and swimming, this beach is also a wonderful place to catch a glimpse of wildlife – other than fish! – and see some gorgeous coral reefs. The beach is near to a forest, which means travelers often get to see deer and other unlikely critters to see at the beach.
Because of all these perks, Nishibama Beach is often quite busy in the summer months; however, in the cooler months – especially on the weekdays – it is a bit quieter and much less crowded, which makes it a great place to go for people who are interested in a more private and personal outing without a lot of other people running around. This beach is located in Aka-jima.
5. Furuzamami Beach
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Ranked number seven on the list of not just Okinawa’s best beaches but “Japan’s Best Beaches,” Furuzamami Beach is located on the southwestern coast of Zamami Island. Like many of the beaches in Okinawa, people come to Furuzamami for snorkeling; however, this beach also allows people to camp in tents on the beach, which is a huge draw for many people who want to spend the night in nature rather than a hotel room.
The beach is almost a mile long (or one kilometer), and it is a popular spot for tourists who like to swim or run along the beach or in the tide. The water is a deep, azure blue color that is very pretty to see, which means it is also a popular place for photographers or groups of people coming together to take pictures to commemorate a special event.
4. Hatenohama Beach
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Hatenohama Beach is located on a small island called Kumejima Island, which is wedged between Ohajima and Ojima. It is a little over four miles long, and it, like many of the other best beaches in Okinawa, is known for its white sand and clear, clean, and cool water.
It is a great place for snorkeling, but it is also a nice place to swim or go wake-boarding. It is also home to many beautiful seashells for shell collectors and children who enjoy picking up shells.
Companies on the beach offer glass-bottom boat tours for those who want to see the tropical fish but who aren’t fans of snorkeling.
Furthermore, for those families who want to swim, the swimming experience is very safe due to local life guards and life jacket requirements. However, for more adventurous and serious swimmers, these life jacket requirements sometimes irritate them rather than please them. These safety precautions do, however, make this particular beach a great place to go with kids. People also enjoy swimming at this beach because the water is so warm.
3. Yonaha Maehama Beach
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Known for its beautiful, clean expanse of sand and clear water, Yonaha Maehama Beach, located on the island of Miyako, is over four miles long. It’s a great beach for sun-bathing and swimming, as well as sight-seeing and just enjoying the day.
The island also has facilities where people can rent jet skis and banana boats if they want to have a little more active fun on the water. The island is most popular in the spring and autumn months, and it’s easy to navigate via private car or taxi.
Because it’s a popular tourist location, there are a lot of amenities available to travelers to the region, such as hotels, restaurants, and bars. Yonaha Maehama Beach is the perfect mixture of nature and society for those travelers who don’t want to spend all of their time soaking up the sun.
2. Aharen Beach
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Aharen Beach is another great Okinawan beach for snorkeling, and because the Aharen bay is mostly protected from powerful waves and currents, it’s an ideal spot for swimmers and snorkelers.
It’s located in Tokashiki Island, which is found within the Kerama Shoto National Park, and it’s known for being one of the most beautiful and affordable places to snorkel in the entire region. The water is gorgeous, and the reef is very well-preserved, which makes it a fun and interesting to place to do some underwater sight-seeing.
It’s one of Okinawa’s most popular beaches, so it’s often crowded and full of life and noise. However, for people who don’t mind a little company, Aharen Beach is definitely an affordable and lovely place to visit in Okinawa.
1. Nishihama Beach
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Nishihama Beach is a little under a mile long and it’s located on Aka-jima Island. The beach is often known for being one of the best beaches in Okinawa because of its gorgeous scenery and view of the Keruma Island.
It’s also known for its pristine white sand and its gorgeous, turquoise-colored water, which gives the sea its oft-referred to title as “Japan’s Most Beautiful Sea.”
People also enjoy visiting this beach because it’s a great place for snorkeling and seeing various types of beautiful tropical fish without going too far into the ocean.
Some people swim here, and others take the opportunity to lie back, sunbathe, and enjoy the view. However they choose to spend their day, a day at Nishihama Beach is sure to relax and reenergize its visitors.