Japan consists of many islands. There are also many beautiful beaches. The seas around the southern islands, especially around Okinawa, are among the most beautiful beaches in the world. They are surrounded by coral reefs and colorful fish. You can experience this wonderful world by snorkeling. If you visit Japan, please go to the best beaches and experience them.
This page introduces beaches in Okinawa.
Click on each map to see related tour and nearby activity information on a separate page.
Note that the swimming season in Okinawa starts around April. However, locals mainly swim in the ocean from June to September. Wetsuits are required for swimming during the rest of the year.
If you like, please refer to the article about Okinawa below.
Table of Contents
- Best beaches of japan: Aharen Beach（Tokashiki Island, Okinawa）
- Best beaches of japan: Furuzamami Beach（Zamami Island, Okinawa）
- Best beaches of japan: Hate-no-hama（Kume Island, Okinawa）
- Best beaches of japan: Yonaha Maehama beach（Miyakojima Island, Okinawa）
- Best beaches of japan: Sunayama Beach（Miyakojima Island, Okinawa）
- Best beaches of japan: Kondoi Beach（Taketomijima Island, Okinawa）
- Best beaches of japan: Nishihama Beach（Hateruma Island, Okinawa）
Best beaches of japan: Aharen Beach（Tokashiki Island, Okinawa）
Tokashiki Island with Aharen Beach is the largest island in the Kerama archipelago spreading west of the main island of Okinawa. This island is about 25 kilometers on a round. Because Tokashiki Island is only 30 kilometers away from Okinawa main island, you can go for a day trip.
To Tokashiki Island from Tomari port in Naha city of Okinawa main island, it is about 35 minutes by the high speed ship “Marine Liner”, 1 hour 10 minutes by ferry. From the port of Tokashiki Island to Aharen beach it is approximately 20 minutes by bus or taxi. You can also rent a car. If you stay at inn of Tokashiki Island , inn staff may pick you up by car.
Aharen beach is a white sandy beach with a length of about 800 meters. The sea in front of you is shining blue called Kerama Blue. Children can enjoy swimming at sea as it is shallow. Just walking 10 meters off the coast, you can meet cute fish. Coral reefs are spreading further. You can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, kayaks, fly boats (you can fly to the sky!) And you can take an underwater sightseeing boat. You can also go to a uninhabited island about 800 meters away by boat.
On this beach, a surveillance staff is stationed during the season from July to September. There are marine shops, restaurants, inns and others around the beach. Of course there are toilets and shower facilities. If you stay in this neighborhood, you will be able to look at the wonderful starry sky.
Best beaches of japan: Furuzamami Beach（Zamami Island, Okinawa）
Zamami Island is an island around 23 kilometers that is located in the middle of the Kerama archipelago. It is about 40 kilometers away from Okinawa main island. From Tomari port in Naha city of Okinawa main island to Zamamii Island is about 50 minutes by the high speed ship, 1 hour 30 minutes by ferry. You can also go for a day trip from Okinawa main island to this island.
There are several beautiful beaches in Zamami Island. Furuzamami Beach is especially famous among them. To Furuzamami Beach, it is about 5 minutes by bus or taxi from the port of this island.
Furuzamami Beach is a beautiful shallow white beach, and a spectacular marine blue sea is spreading beyond. There are vast reefs really close at this beach. So, cute tropical fish are swimming a lot. You can see the fish even where the depth is less than 1 meter.
Furuzamami Beach is also popular as a diving and snorkeling spot. This is a beach where snorkeling is possible. There is also a guided snorkeling tour. If you are lucky, you can swim with the sea turtle. In experiencing snorkeling, you need to wear a life jacket.
Furuzamami Beach is complete with shops, toilets and shower facilities. There are also rental services such as snorkel sets, life jackets and beach umbrellas. The scenery you see from the sundeck on this beach is as beautiful as if you are seeing a postcard. It is surprising that you can experience such a best beach, although it is relatively close from Okinawa main island.
At Zamami Island, you can stay at the hotel or inn. However, it will be crowded in summer, so it is preferable to book early.
Best beaches of japan: Hate-no-hama（Kume Island, Okinawa）
As far as you can see, it is a pure white beach, and the sea of emerald blue is spread beyond. There is such a dreamlike beach in Okinawa. It is “Hate-no-hama” located about 5 km east of Kume Island.
Kume Island is an island about 53 kilometers around, located about 100 kilometers west of Okinawa main island. It takes about 30 minutes by boat from the harbor of this island to Hate-no-hama.
Hate-no-hama, to be exact, is a generic term for three uninhabited islands. All those uninhabited islands are beautiful white beaches. These white beaches are long and narrow and last about 7 km. Even at high tide, the white beaches do not sink into the ocean.
Most boats arrive at the beach in the middle of the three beaches. In many cases, visitors take pictures and walk around this beach. They also swim in summer. However, the swimming area is limited for safety. And there are not too many coral reefs around the beach. For this reason there are not too many tropical fish.
If you go to Hate-no-hama, you need to book a boat earlier. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, Kume Island does not have a tour company with a web site that accepts reservations in English. I recommend that you first make an accommodation reservation for hotels or inns and then book a boat through your hotel or inn.
My best recommendation is the following Kumejima Eef Beach Hotel. This hotel is located in front of the beautiful Eef Beach in Kume Island. This hotel has a marine shop “Eef Sports Club” handling Hate-no-hama tour. In summer, this shop also carries out a tour that goes to the innermost beach, which is said to be the most beautiful. You should contact the hotel via email or phone. Let’s also request a shuttle from the hotel to the port.
When going to Hate-no-hama, please do not forget sunburn measures such as sunscreen cream. There is a simple toilet on the beach in the middle.
Yonaha Maehama Beach (Maebama Beach) is a vast beach that is about 7 km long, representing Okinawa. It spreads in the southwestern part of Miyakojima Island. This beach is a shallow beach characterized by pure white fine sand. Since pure white sand continues from land to the sea for dozens of meters, it is said to be “the whiteest beach in the East”. Accommodation such as resort hotel “Miyakojima Tokyu Hotel & Resorts”, as well as restaurants, toilets, shower facilities, parking lot, etc. are also complete on this beach so you can play with your family safely.
Miyakojima Island is an island about 120 kilometers around which is located approximately 290 km southwest of Okinawa main island. To Miyakojima, you can fly from Okinawa main island, Tokyo, Osaka etc. It takes about 40 minutes from Naha Airport to Miyakojima Airport and about 3 hours 30 minutes from Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Yonaha Maehama Beach is about 15 minutes by bus from Miyakojima Airport.
Yonaha Maehama Beach is a calm and wonderful beach, but there are few coral reefs. So it may not be suitable for snorkeling. If you want to see coral reefs with cute tropical fishes at hand, go to Yoshinokaigan Beach in the east of Miyakojima, which is very famous as a snorkeling spot.
The sand of Yonaha Maehama Beach is so fine that you can walk comfortably even with bare feet. People also enjoy activities such as jet skiing and fly boating in the sea in front of the beach.
There is Kurima Island about 9 kilometers around before Yonaha Maehama Beach, so the rough waves of the Pacific do not come directly to Yonaha Maehama Beach. Yonaha Maehama Beach is always calm. Between Yonaha Maehama Beach and Kurima Island, there is the Kurima Ohashi Bridge, 1690 meters in length. Looking at Yonaha Maehama Beach from the observation deck of Kurima Island, you can see the whole of this beautiful beach.
Best beaches of japan: Sunayama Beach（Miyakojima Island, Okinawa）
Sunayama Beach is a small beach in the northwestern part of Miyakojima Island. It is approximately 15 minutes by car from Miyakojima Airport. However, there is no bus stop in the surrounding area of Sunayama Beach. In order to go to Sunayama Beach, you must rent a car and park your car in a free parking near the beach. If this parking lot is full, you have to come again at another time. If you can not use the car, you will be renting bicycle from Hirara City. It is approximately 4 km from Hirara City to Sunayama Beach. The way between is flat.
Thus Sunayama Beach is in an inconvenient place. Nevertheless, this beach is very popular among tourists. That’s because Sunayama Beach is a surprisingly beautiful place to be perfect for photography.
Sunayama Beach has fine white sand spreading beautifully like the above Yonaha Maehama Beach. You too should be barefoot and enjoy the feel of sand. Aside from the beach, there is an arch shaped rock as seen in the picture above. You can shoot a beautiful white sandy beach, a marine blue sea, and an arch shaped rock in one picture.
“Sunayama” means sandy hill in Japanese. As its name suggests, there is a sand hill between this beach and the parking lot. As the slope is steep, older tourists, etc, may be a bit tough to walk. There are small shops and rental shops on the beach. At the rental shop, you can borrow beach umbrella, life jacket, snorkel set and so on. However, please note that the toilet is only in the parking lot.
In the sea in front of Sunayama Beach, the waves are relatively high. This beach is shallow, but there are times when it will suddenly become deep. There are not too many coral reefs nearby. When I am staying in Miyakojima, I always play around Yonaha Maehama Beach and drop by Sunayama Beach for photography. In Miyakojima, I recommend that you use different types of unique beaches.
In the ocean at the southwest end of Japan, there are islands collectively called the Yaeyama archipelago. The most popular island in this area is Ishigakijima Island. You can fly to Ishigakijima from Okinawa main island, Tokyo, Osaka etc. And just 10 minutes by ferry from Ishigakijima, there is a very beautiful island called Taketomijima Island.
Kondoi Beach is a calm, shallow beach on the west side of Taketomijima. Pure white fine sand spreads on this beach. As it is a very quiet beach, you can enjoy the atmosphere of a remote island. Stray cats are sleeping around the beach.
There are toilets and shower facilities. Only in the summer, the shop is open. You can borrow beach umbrella, beach chair, floating rings, snorkel set etc at this store. However, coral reefs are not so close, so it may not be suitable for snorkeling.
Taketomijima is a flat island about 9 kilometers aroud, 400 km southwest of Okinawa main island. There are beautiful traditional houses of red tiles on the island. Bus or bike rental is recommended for movement within the island. It is approximately 2.5 kilometers from the port of the island to Kondoi Beach.
For Kondoi Beach, you can go swimming for a day trip from Ishigaki Island. However, I would recommend staying at a hotel or Inn in Taketomijima. Because Taketomijima has a lot of wonderful old traditional houses and living culture. In Taketomijima, vehicles towed by buffaloes for tourists are also in operation. Water buffalo goes more slowly than humans. Why do not you enjoy the slow life in Taketomijima and refresh?
Among the accommodations in Taketomijima, I recommend “HOSHINOYA Taketomi Ialand“. HOSHINOYA is a representative resort hotel chain in Japan. This hotel in Taketomijima is built by following the traditional culture of Taketomijima. You should be able to enjoy an elegant and intellectual resort life.
Best beaches of japan: Nishihama Beach（Hateruma Island, Okinawa）
Finally, I will introduce the beautiful beach in the southernmost island (excluding the uninhabited island) in Japan.
It is Nishihama Beach in Hateruma Island.
Hateruma Island is an island of about 15 kilometers around 470 km southwest of Okinawa main island. The population is about 500 people. From Ishigakijima Island to Hateruma Island, it takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes by a high-speed vessel and about 2 hours by ferry. However, these are often canceled due to high waves. Because it is such an inconvenient island, there is no hustle and bustle here.
Nishihama Beach in the northern part of Hateruma Island is also a rustic and beautiful place unrelated to the development of large resort hotels and the like. Nishihama Beach is about 15 minutes on foot from the port. You can also rent a bicycle. There are shower facilities and toilets here, but as far as I know, there are no shops or restaurants yet. Instead, here is an unbelievably pure white sand beach. The crystal clear ocean is shining ahead.
However, in order to see the coral reefs, you have to go quite off the coast. So, there are not so many tropical fish on this beach.
In Hateruma Island, recently hotel and inns are gradually increasing. The star is wonderfully beautiful at night in this island. Why do not you spend your time relaxing on such a remote island?
Thank you for reading to the end.
Now, let’s plan to make your vacation in Japan the best experience ever!