Amongst the many dazzling white sand beaches dotted throughout the clear turquoise waters of this archipelago Naminoue Beach is one of our favourites, but not for the usual reasons. It does have nice soft sand, and the water is that same emerald-blue you find throughout Okinawa, but we like it for its quirkiness and its convenience.
Naminoue Beach is located in the city of Naha, Okinawa’s capital, and is pretty easy to get to being less than 15 minutes from the airport. It is also the only beach in the city where swimming is allowed. It’s a great spot to head to cool down after a day taking in the city’s sights and you can even catch a sunset here.
Not only will you see people swimming here but you may well see people snorkeling. It might not be the best spot in Okinawa but there are still plenty of colorful fish to be spotted just off the beach.
Overlooking the beach on a small headland is the Naminoue Shrine, or “the shrine above the waves” as it is sometimes referred to as. This is one of the most important Shinto shrines in Okinawa and features a small temple decorated with Shisa statues. These are mythical lion / dog creatures which are said to ward off evil spirits.
Perhaps the most unusual feature of Naminoue Beach is the rather large highway that runs straight in front of the beach, suspended over the sea. Whilst it may spoil the view a little it doesn’t actually detract from the overall beach-going experience that much. In fact after 5 minutes you’ll probably have forgotten about it!
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