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Archive for the ‘Things to do’ Category

White Beach, Okinawa

Great for groups & families (lots of camper trailers available) & couples (recommend cabins on top of the hill)

Located on North (& west) of island @ White Beach Naval Base; About 30 minute drive from Gate 2 at Kadena AB

Tel:  642-2264 (White Beach MWR)

Cost:  Free entrance to DOD beaches
Special Features:

  • Cabins (located on “Snuggler’s Cove Bluff”).  See picture above and slideshow.
  • Sea side campers – trailers for rent just 60 yards from the beach ($30-35 per night depending on size of trailer); campers have water and gas hookups (2-burner cooking stove), as well as bathing & restroom facilities.
  • Beach-side playgrounds for the kids, restrooms with showers, picnic pavilions, and firepits for barbecuing
  • Camping spots
  • Free pool (open spring-fall) – Mid May thru end Oct
  • Available for rent:  watersports gear (sailboat, windsurfing, jetski, paddle boats).  Note that they will not rent out the gear when certain ships are in the port.
Notes:   Bring sandals or water shoes (lots of coral & seaglass on beach)

Review
Two main beach areas, swimming restricted to one side.  Note that a ton of coral is exposed at low tide, so plan on swimming at high tide time.  Very quiet area of the island, super relaxing.

White Beach Cabins:

  • House 1-6 people
  • Private bathroom
  • Indoor & outdoor furniture
  • Air conditioned
  • Refrigerator, stove, dishware, TV & DVD player, BBQ Grill (firepit)
  • Beach is accessible directly via stairs (a fairly substantial climb/descent – not the best for those with real little kiddos for going up and down)
  • Dining available at the Ocean Cliff Club (limited hours) & at fast food facilities (pizza, burgers)
  • Small shoppette
  • Cabins range in cost from $45-75 per night.  Weekly and monthly discounts available.

Important phone numbers

Navy White Beach Rec Center Office:  642-2264 or -2207

Cabin Reservations: 634-6952 or -6592 or 6342.  OR email to mwr.reservations@cfao.navy.mil

More pictures and information available here

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torii-beach-okinawa.jpg

Looking for great information, pictures, or directions for a great beach in Okinawa? Look no further. Check out our reviews on Okinawa Japan beaches here where you can find a great summary about the following beaches (or click on individual beach links):

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Totally confused about where things are on island? We have been too!!! So we are trying to fix that with our google mashup map of fun things to do on Okinawa – beaches to visit, kid’s parks, scuba diving locations, and more.

Google Mashup Map of Okinawa Japan


What are we missing on our map? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Sunset Cruise in Okinawa (not the actual ship)

So we happened upon this great opportunity the other day. . .have not had a chance yet to book it yet, but it is definitely on my to-do list with my husband!

Here’s the finer details on how to charter a private sunset cruise boat (ideal for 1-2 couples). . .

Departure times vary (dependent on sunset times)
You charter (rent out) the “Intrepid” for a relaxing private sunset cruise off of the coast of Okinawa. The “Intrepid” is ideal for one or two couples.
Cruise includes snacks and beverages.
Cruise length is about 2 hours. Boat driver IS included.
Call 634-6344 (Kadena Marina) to reserve a sunset cruise

For other fun, affordable dating ideas for couples living in or visiting Okinawa Japan, check out this page. . .

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Oura Wan BeachOura Wan Beach & Watersports

We stayed at the Cottages at Oura Wan on Camp Schwab several weeks ago. . .of the other MWR cabins, cottages, and camping locations we have stayed at (including White Beach and Okuma), these are a cut above the rest. 

Seriously high class operation and much better than your standard MWR lodging facility.  The cottages are each inspired with their own unique Ryukyun (Okinawan) decoration themes.  Comfortable queen beds are found in the bedrooms and sofa sleepers (more on the lump side) in the living rooms.

Great attention to detail at Oura Wan – You will find a fully equipped kitchen with tile floors throughout, modern cabinets, full sized fridge, 2-burner stove, microwave, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, etc.  Only things missing are an oven, the 2 extra burners, and a dishwasher.  Outside you will find a decently sized patio deck complete with Weber gas barbecue grill and even an extra propane tank.  Cable TV, DVD players, and Playstation2 are also provided.  Additional information on amenities available at the MCCS cottages is available here.

From Friday to Monday, you can rent kayaks, sailboats, jetskis, windsurfs, or charter a boat (yes, you can charter a boat for your own personal scuba diving or fishing outing!).   Also, take note that on Saturdays, the Oura Wan boating center offers FREE sailboat lessons at 9 am.  These are by reservation only, so do call in advance to 625-3683. 

Planning your trip – don’t forget which days the boating center is open.  If you want to rent watersports equipment, schedule reservations for Friday thru Monday.  If you like an extra quiet & private beach, schedule the cottage from Tuesday thru Thursday since the boating is closed on these days.

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Scuba Diving at Maeda Point - Great cliff views

Welcome to what is probably the most popular and well-known dive spot in Okinawa. Entry is gradual (good for beginners) and assisted by construction of a (substantial) flight of steps leading down to the water.

The shoreline is steep at Maeda Point (thus the need for steps to get down to the dive site). This rapidly changing topography continues underwater as well. While there is a reef that runs parallel to the shoreline, just to the left of the reef (as viewed from above on descent to the site), the dropoff is almost completely vertical, allowing for deepwater dives just offshore to approximately 100 feet in depth.

Consider staying for a moment after your dive or you might miss one of the spectacular sunsets at Maeda Point – made all the more magical by the waves splashing off of the substantial shoreline cliffs and the suns rays punching through the partly overcast skies.

Directions:
Take Hwy 58 northbound. When you reach the “Renaissance Hotel”, take a hard left onto Hwy 6. Within 2 miles you will see a large white sign saying “Cape Maeda”. Turn right here. Road appears like it is dying off, but keep going. It will dead end in a few hundred yards into the parking lot. Note that there is a 100Y per hour fee now to park.

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Torii Beach - OkinawaTorii Beach is located on Torii Station Army Base. As 1 of 3 DOD-owned and operated beaches in Okinawa, Torii Beach is well-kept and has a great view. The reefs are shallow and very close to shore (easier on the kiddos). Since the waves are generally very mild, this makes for an excellent snorkeling location. The wind can pick up though offshore, so you will often see kiteboarders here as well.

Torii Beach is quiet in the winter months, great for sea-glass collecting and just relaxing. Late spring thru early fall brings the opening of the water slide area and Armed Forces Radio, which often plays on the P.A. system. The sand volleyball courts pick up action as well.

Torii Beach additionally offers camping areas and pavilion rentals (see slideshow for pictures). Torii Beach Cabins:

  • House 1-6 people
  • Private bathroom
  • Indoor & outdoor furniture
  • Refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, TV & DVD player, BBQ Grill
  • $50 per night

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