Soak up the sun: Okinawa's beaches set to open soon

Soak up the sun: Okinawa's beaches set to open soon

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

Editor’s Note: Due to the on-going pandemic, beach openings and activities are subject to change. Check ahead of your visit and don’t forget to follow safety guidelines.

 

When March rolls around in Okinawa, that means beach season will be right around the corner. It’s time to go to the surfside and chill out on a resort beach take a dive into nature. Before you hit the road, please note that beach openings at some locations, especially those on the north such as Uppama Beach and Emerald Beach can be affected by the large number of pumice stones washed off the coast of Okinawa or the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the island got plenty of locations for you to soak up the sun and enjoy the water. Let’s check out the best spring break beaches that Okinawa has to offer.

1. ANA INTERCONTINENTAL MANZA BEACH RESORT
MARCH 12: A ceremony is scheduled to be held at 10 a.m. Home to water activities such as ocean park (water obstacles), sea kayaking, jet-skiing, and more.
- PARKING FEE COSTS: 1,500 yen
- OPEN: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Subject to change) 
- TEL: 098-966-2212
Website
- GPS COORDINATES: N 26.505998, E127.859180
- 40-minute drive from Camp Foster.

2. SHERATON OKINAWA SUNMARINA RESORT
Open throughout the year: Water activities such as banana boating, snorkeling tour, zip-lining are available.
- PARKING FEE: 600 yen per hour (2,500 yen at most)
- OPEN: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (subject to change)
- TEL: 098-965-2222                                               
Website  
- GPS COORDINATES: N 26.462128, E 127.811506 
- A 40-minute drive from Camp Foster.

3. KARIYUSHI BEACH
MARCH 1: Water Land (obstacle courses) is scheduled to open on the same day. This beach is home to other activities such as parasailing, sea kayaking, jet-skiing, boat tubing, and more.
- ADMISSION FEE COSTS: 550 yen for 13 years old and above, 330 for ages 4-12, free admission for 3 years old and below. 
- PARKING FEE COSTS: Free parking is available at Okinawa Kariyushi Beach Resort Ocean Spa. Visitors need to inform staff they’re parking their vechilces for the beach.
- OPEN: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (subject to change)
- TEL: 098-052-4093 
- Website
- GPS COORDINATES: N26.531863; E 127.929991
- One-hour drive from Camp Foster.

4. KANUCHA BEACH
MARCH 27: This beach is home to water activities such as obstacles courses, parasailing, fly board, and more.
- ADMISSION FEE: 1,650 yen (adult, inclusive of tax), 550 yen (child), free admission for those who stay at the hotel
- PARKING FEE: Included in the admission fee
- OPEN: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- TEL:0980-55-8880 
- Website
- GPS COORDINATES: N 26.546329, E 128.077174
- A 20-minute drive from Camp Schwab.

5. ZANPA BEACH
APRIL 1: This beach is home to water activities such as banana boat, parasailing, fly board, and more.
- PARKING FEE COSTS: Free
- OPEN: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. 
- TEL: 098-958-5000 (for info on water activities) 
- Website
- GPS COORDINATES: N 26.435680, E 127.715947
- A 15-minute drive from Torii station.

6. Nabee Beach
APRIL 1: This beach near Cape Manzamo is home to water activities such as banana boat, sea kayak, and more.  
- PARKING FEE: Free
- Admission FEE: Free, Shower and locker usage cost 100 yen (two minutes) and 200 yen respectively
- OPEN: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Subject to change) 
- TEL: 098-966-8839
- Website
- GPS COORDINATES: N 26.502060, E 127.857871
- A 40-minute drive from Camp Foster.

7. Tiger Beach
April 1: This resort beach in Onna village is home to water activities such as parasailing, banana boat, jet ski, and more.
- ADMISSION FEE COSTS: free, Usage fee for shower and locker: 1,000 yen, Parking Fee: 2,000 yen
- OPEN: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Subject to change)
- TEL: 098-993-7108
- Website (hotel)
- GPS COORDINATES: N 26.454341, E 127.806077
- A 40-minute drive from Camp Foster

8. EMERALD BEACH
APRIL 1: Adjacent to Expo Park, this beach dazzles visitors with its emerald green and cobalt blue.
- PARKING FEE COSTS: Free
- OPEN: 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. (subject to change) 
- TEL: 0980-48-2741
- Website
- GPS COORDINATES: N 26.699195, E 127.877590
- A 90-minute drive from Camp Foster.

9. ORION ECO CHURA-SUN BEACH
APRIL 2: A resort beach home to many events and concerts. Water activities such as sea kayak, banana boat are available.
- PARKING FEE: - 500 yen
- OPEN: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (subject to change)
- TEL: 098-850-1139
- Website
- GPS COORDINATES: N 26.156294, E 127.647378
- A 40-minute drive from Camp Foster. Close to Naha AirPort.

10. TROPICAL BEACH
LATE APRIL: A resort beach near MCAS Futenma. Water activities such as banana boat and boat tube are available.
- PARKING FEE COSTS: Free
- OPEN: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Subject to change) 
- TEL: 090-4471-0581 (for reservation)
- Website
- GPS COORDINATES: N 26.28148 E 127.731782
- A 10-minute drive from MCAS Futenma.

11. UPPAMA BEACH
Late March or early April (subject to change): A beautiful beach on Nakijin peninsula. Water activities such as jet ski, sea kayak and boat tube are available.
- FACILITY USAGE FEE COSTS: 300 yen
- PARKING FEE COSTS: 500 yen (subject to change)
- OPEN: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (subject to change, the reception desk closes at 1700) 
- TEL: 098-056-2767 (hotel)
Website
- GPS COORDINATES: N 26.691692, E 127.991841
- A 90-minute drive from Camp Foster

12. SESOKO BEACH
MID-APRIL: A popular beach on Sesoko Island. This beach boasts beautiful views of Ie Island and Motobu Peninsula.
- ADMISSION FEE COSTS: Free  n PARKING FEE COSTS: 1,000 yen 
- OPEN: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m (subject to change)
- TEL: 098-047-7000
- Website
- GPS COORDINATES: N 26.650026, E 127.856139
- A 90-minute drive from Camp Foster.

 

A. A quick getaway to Torii Beach


Photo by Aya Ichihashi

Although Torii Station may not stand out when comes to its size and the number of servicemembers it hosts, the small Army base is home to a beachside recreational area that will leave a big smile on your face: Torii Beach.

Whether you’re a family looking to play in the water and picnic, or a group of friends in the mood to camp, play a little volleyball and unwind, Torii Beach is the perfect location.

Located in the west part of the installation, beach access from Torii’s main gate is very simple. All you need to do is go straight down the hill, make a left at the end, and you should be close to the beach’s entrance in less than five minutes. Passing by sugarcane fields, the ocean blue and white beaches come into sight. It’s beautiful and peaceful, the perfect place to get away from the daily grind. And, yes, if you can’t go without your mobile devices, WiFi is available.

Lining up along the long stretch of white sand are cabins, a campground, pavilions, a water slide fit for kids of all ages and shower and bathroom facilities. MWR Torii has you covered with any camping, grilling and water sport gear rentals, so it is the perfect place for beach parties with family and friends, or unit parties.

Although events like the Torii Beach Summer Party Series and Ghost on the Beach can draw a big crowd, this secluded location always gives off a relaxed vibe. It’s a great place to run along the shore, read a book or sit alone enjoying the peaceful view.

Just a 20-30-minute drive away from Gate 1 of Kadena Air Base, Torii Beach offers a quick getaway from the ordinary.  

Torii Beach
Tel: 098-962-4659
DSN: 652-4659
Note: Facilities and equipment available for use include cabins (up to 6 people), pavilions, camp sites, bonfire pit, inflatable bouncers, ocean kayaks, grills, surfboard and more. 
Facebook: facebook.com/toriimwrokinawa
For more Info: here

B. Replenish and rejuvenate at White Beach


Photo by Shoji Kudaka, Stars and Stripes

White Beach Naval Facility is not just for ships making port calls to replenish their food supply and load up troops. The U.S. base is also a great place for servicemembers and families to enjoy some recreation and rejuvenation on Okinawa.

Located around the tip of Katsuren Peninsula, White Beach features fully-furnished log cabins located on a bluff in the middle of the facility. The view is beautiful and the cabins are only a short walk to the beach. Camping trailers and tent sites located next to the beach are also available for rent. Pet lovers, there are designated “pet friendly” cabins and campers available.

As you walk around this sprawling facility, the beauty of the ocean and tiny islets sprinkled off the coast draw your attention. The clean, white sandy beaches are perfect for tossing frisbees with friends, building sand castles with your kids or taking a jog.

You’ll also notice local tombs spread along the coastline of the facility. Be respectful.  And you may have the opportunity to come across some curious creatures because nature is well preserved on White Beach.

For those of you looking to break a sweat, basketball and tennis courts, a softball field and swimming pool are available.

When you get hungry or need a break from the strong sunshine, take refuge at Port of Call Club. Having a fresh sandwich at Subway or spicy wings at Wingz@Beach are quick solutions for those who don’t feel like grilling at their campsites.

For those who run out of snacks and drinks can count on Skoshi Mart for a quick replenishment. Plus, there are lounge chairs, game rooms with slot machines, pool tables and computer access when you need a timeout from camping.

There are places outside the gates of White Beach that people should also check out. There is a paintball facility about a 10-minute drive from the gate, as well as notable historic sites like the remains of a sugar factory located a minute away.

Located in a secluded area, is the perfect getaway for families and groups of friends. So take in the scenery, take advantage of the recreational facilities and rejuvenate a White Beach.

White Beach
TEL: 098-954-1877
DSN: 622-1877
HOURS (RESERVATIONS DESK): Mon. - Fri. : 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
FACEBOOK (NAVY MWR, OKINAWA):
FOR MORE INFO here

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