Sea Glass Beach

(Photo by Shoji Kudaka)

Hunting for strawberries for 40 minutes at Kafu Strawberry Farm’s greenhouse made me sweat like I would in summer. So, I decided to cool off at Kunjitahama, just south of Camp Schwab.

Kunjitahama is known as Sea Glass Beach, thanks to the countless pieces of sea glass you’ll find while walking along this sandy, windy edge of the water.

From farm, I drove about 20 minutes along Route 13. To get to the beach, I was supposed to veer off a small road, but I couldn’t find it. Fortunately, I noticed a Y-plate behind me make a turn, so I made a snap decision to make a U-turn and follow. This choice turned out to be OK, but not the best one to get to the beach. 

The best way to get there would be to turn at the road at (26.516152, 128.027651) where Route 13 curves toward the east if you’re driving from the northeast. Making a turn there leads you to a small road that branches off Route 13. This road soon splits into two. Take the left one and go straight. This is a very small road running along farmland, so be careful. When it gets close to the coastline, the road curves to the right (south) and leads you to a parking space.

In my case, the road eventually ended near an unpaved path. I parked my car at the side of the road then headed toward the coast on foot.

At first, the area looked no different from other paths around beaches in Okinawa lined with shrubs and bushes. As I approached the coastline, however, the view drastically changed as the way gave to low grass and a wide-angle view of the area.

On the shore, the scene was even further from the ordinary; huge rocks lay here and there on the sandy beach, making it seem to be in the middle of the wilderness. With a cold and strong wind blowing against my face, I suddenly found myself in the world of Wuthering Heights.

I set foot on the sandy shore and started looking for some sea glass. It did not take long, however, for me to realize that finding one is not so easy. Unlike some sea glass beaches, you might see on the web where the shore is almost carpeted with colorful pieces of glass, this beach didn’t make it obvious. I walked around for a short while with no luck.

As I was struggling with my treasure hunting, I encountered Jenny Nelms from Georgia, and her son Michael, who is stationed at Kadena.

“My son bought me sea glass earrings from Okinawa, and I have been fascinated ever since,” Nelms said. “It’s fascinating to me, as it takes decades to form from broken glass in the sea. I love the different colors, shapes, and the smoothness of sea glass. My son told me about this beach, so of course I had to come before I go home.”

Back in the coastal town of Savannah where she lives, Nelms said she had not seen anything there like the glass she found here. 

Sea Glass Beach

(Photo by Shoji Kudaka)

Sea Glass Beach

(Photo by Shoji Kudaka)

Sea Glass Beach

(Photo by Shoji Kudaka)

Though I wasn’t as lucky as Nelms and her son in finding sea glass, I was fortunate to meet them. Plus, as Nelms said, this is a beautiful beach with a mesmerizing mood. I could have spent hours there looking for pieces of sea glass, admiring the tides and curious landscape were it not for the cold winds. (In hindsight, we were a little off to the west of the Sea Glass Beach, which could have been why we didn’t have the best luck)

If you have a little time and can stand the wind, you should be able to find some treasures. I’ll be back to find some sea glass when the weather is more inviting.

Sea Glass Beach / Kunjita-Hama

GPS Coordinates: N 26.511998, E 128.028166

Parking space available at N 26.512346, E 128.028587

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