Saturday, September 12, 2015

Beachin: Favorite Beaches on Okinawa

This summer has been such a whirlwind. From being super pregnant to having a little newborn we have still had our fair share of beach days.. some less exciting as others but all in all wonderful. With that I wanted to say my top 5 favorite beaches on Okinawa, and share some photos of us at each of these spots this summer.

One thing to mention prior is that our island has two sides (duh) and one side is the East China Sea side.. this side has lots of coral so the sand is rough and you'll need swim shoes, BUT the water is super mellow and the kids can play like crazy and swim and there are literally no waves. The other side is the Pacific side, this side is SO beautiful (in my opinion) with the nice lush sand and the beach pictures you see in magazines, however you get waves on this side so if the water is choppy at all, it's dangerous for the kids and really is more of a wrestling/tag team running back and forth as a life saver type of day. So, take your pick which is better ;)

1. Tori Beach.
This beach is the only on base beach we regularly go to. It happens to be on an Army base and is super refreshing to go to especially if you're short on time, or want to go on a whim. They have a restaurant, chairs/umbrellas you can rent, paddle boards/kayaks/snorkel gear, a splash pad and a HUGE water slide that happens to be Stella's favorite part of summer. East China Sea side/ therefore no waves easy for the kiddos and TONS of coral. During low tide you can walk out and see sooo many fish/crabs etc in the little tide pools. Plus for the kiddos.

Downsides: You're on base... therefore on this island you're bound to run into at least 3 people you know, one you work with and your boss.... so that can be a little discouraging and lame.

 ^^ Last summer

2. Oodomari Beach/ Mamasan Beach
This is a little drive from where we all live out onto Ikei Island. It takes about an hour to get there and you have to pay to park/use the facilities. BUT, when you look online and see pictures of Okinawa, and imagine the gorgeous beaches with bright blue water. THIS is what you're looking at!  There is also amazing snorkeling here, except that today when we went the water was SO rough (Pacific side) and the kids were literally getting washed away every second. 9 kids is no joke, so we forced everyone to wear life jacket/floaties to try and prevent any mishaps and hey! We all survived ;).

Downsides: You have to pay to use this beach/park. 500 yen per person and sometimes the beach can get really crowded.

3. Sea Glass Beach
We went here right after Henry was born (Stella and I) while Alvie and Ian were busy with work/school. This beach is special because it is COVERED in sea glass and all sorts of treasures. It makes for a really fun time with a Kindergartner who is obsessed with finding awesome new shells and colorful glass to add to our collection.

Downsides: Another far 60+ minute drive. No amenities and you're literally in the middle of nowhere. The beach is beautiful but has no fenced area for swimming to make sure there are no jellyfish. ( Did I mention that they're everywhere so most good beaches will have an area roped off to keep you safe).

 This was also my little Henry's first time to a beach! He was 2 weeks new.

4. Araha Beach
Araha is literally right across from Camp Foster ( Where I/Alvie live and work) so it's a great spot to just go spur of the moment for a couple hours or even just a good 30 minute beach sit. It has a big park area (pirate ship park) that the kids love and has bathrooms. We make many little stops here but usually don't camp out for a whole day.

Downsides: small beach area and so close to home that you again, run into everyone you know. East China Sea Side/ no waves/ sometimes the water gets so stagnant during July its almost TOO hot to swim ( take that California).

5. Camp Schwab
We actually didn't make it up to this beach/yet this summer. So our pictures are from last year! Which we miss SO SO SO much our Castro buds. We each have added a baby to the family from last summer so I wish we could have gotten a trip up there before they moved back to the states.
This beach is on base ( pacific side... are you seeing a trend) but way up North. Camp Schwab mostly are infantry(male) marines so it's always an interesting sight on this beach watching them get crazy and wasted. But, we love the sand and the views on this one!

Downside: Long drive/ on base with drunk marines getting cray.

 look at my baby Ian!!!
 Also this picture is of my lovely friend Mickelle at The Sunny Side showing how beautiful Camp Schwab really is!

6. I know I said 5 but Stella thinks that there needs to be HER favorite beach on my list.
Baba Park Beach, also one of the only beaches you can bring your dog.
This beach is walking distance from Stellas old daycare BABY 123 ( where Ian and Henry still go). Every day during summer they would walk and go to this beach. She has so much love for this little place and I just see it all over her face when she takes me there and shows me around. This is on the East China Sea side so the kids have a blast!

Downside: Far walk from the car to the actual beach and it's kinda dirty... not the nicest views.

Overall it has been an AMAZING summer full of breathtaking views and crazy chaotic beach days. If you're up for it you should definitely visit each of these while you are on the island, or come see up and we will take you! 


  1. Great list! I love how you say baba beach doesn't have the best views and yet your pictures are still beautiful with that beautiful turquoise water. Okinawa has totally spoiled us with beaches.

  2. Ian is so little in those camp schwab pics! ahh oki beaches!