When most people think of Japan, the first thought that comes to mind is of bustling, crowded Tokyo, Mount Fuji, as well as the East Asian nation’s vast array of historic castles and Buddhist temples. But Japan has a tropical side – one that is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. Okinawa, the southernmost island in Japan, has close to 100 gorgeous beaches where you can relax in the hot tropical sunshine. This guide will give you information about the trendiest and most-visited beaches on the island.
This scenic beach is located a bit off the proverbial beaten path in the northern reaches of Okinawa. Although it takes just over an hour to get there from Naha Airport by car, it’s well worth the trip. A variety of colorful fish swim in baby blue waters. Sunbathe your cares away or check out the underwater observatory that offers a 360 – degree view of the local marine life. If you’re a fan of marine activities, you can rent aqua bicycles, jet skis, and canoes.
If you’re seeking a five-star resort with lots of fun things to do for children and adults alike, this is the place to be. Manza Beach Ocean Park has a floating playground, luxurious hotel with gourmet food, outdoor swimming pools, recreational facilities, and of course, beautiful palm tree – lined beaches. When you enter the hotel, you’ll see right away that the atrium lobby resembles a cruise ship.
Many tourists prefer a quiet, peaceful beach that has been largely untouched by development. Nirai Beach remains in its natural state with the Hotel Nikko Alivila the only lodgings in the area. This long stretch of shoreline walks for a nice morning or evening walk. In the sultry afternoon, swim and frolic in the crystal – clear waters or spend some time snorkeling. You can rent beach umbrellas, chairs and also go out on a dragon boat.
Azama Sun-Sun Beach
Azama Sun-Sun Beach is a family – friendly area loved by tourists and locals alike. Located on the Chinen Peninsula, this beach is perfect for day trips. Azama is staff staffed by lifeguards and is also wheelchair accessible. No camping is allowed, and the water is shallow. There are several grassy lawn areas to relax and have a picnic on.
As far as tropical beaches in Japan are concerned, Emerald Beach is the crème de la crème. Bask in the amazing natural beauty of this popular tourist resort where white coral sand the cobalt blue water awaits you. Emerald Beach is the only beach in Japan to be enclosed within a lagoon. On any given day, there are thousands of sun-seekers on these sands swimming, sunbathing, walking, or playing beach volleyball. There are vendors where you purchase a variety of local food as well as western fare, including ice cream. There are lifeguards on duty. Being in the tropics, there are Jellyfish in the waters. But don’t worry, there is a designated swimming area netted off for your comfort and protection.
You will have to take a short ferry ride from Okinawa to get to Taketomi Island. Kondoi Beach is isolated from the bustling tourist areas. But that is a big draw in and among itself. This is a great beach to just relax on and reflect. Splash in the calm, shallow waters or go for a short hike. Kondoi may not be suitable for diving or snorkeling or any water activities, but merely the quiet and sereneness of the area should be enough to entice you there.
For those who love water sports, Furuzamami Beach is pure paradise. In addition to beautiful white sand and light blue waters, there are amazing reefs to explore either by diving or snorkeling. You can take a Jet Ski around the beach or join others for a game of beach volleyball.
Okuma Beach is nothing short of spectacular – if not very pricey. Yes, this five-star resort is considered one of the most luxurious in Japan. JAL Private Resort Okuma is truly an Asian Club Med. This kilometer – long tropical beach exemplifies tropical splendor. When you’ve done enough swimming and sunbathing, go for a walk in the nearby Yanbaru forest, which features hundreds of tropical plants and trees, many of which are native only to the area.