Beach Rock Village

CONTRIBUTED BY HANNAH CURTIS

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Tree terraces, delicious food and a yurt to sleep in… sounds like the perfect combination for a relaxing getaway and what’s even better: you don’t have to leave the island to get all of the above!

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Located on the Motobu peninsula set up on a hill is Beach Rock Village: a camp, a cafe, an overnight experience… they have it all (but sadly, no elephants – more on this later)!

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Throughout the warmer months Beach Rock Village hosts a variety of camps varying in length and experiences which you can apply to attend via their website, but if that doesn’t interest you, you can still experience some of what is on offer.

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For starters, the cafe serves 3 types of pizza (including a Tandoori chicken pizza!), taco rice, and curry (which is apparently REALLY good), as well as alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages. The fun part about eating here is picking where to eat.

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There is the Tree Terrace which is basically a treehouse that has a pulley system to deliver your food up to you! We loved being up here, however it was a little nerve wracking with our young children, as there really are no barriers. To get down you can either climb down the ladders you ascended or simply take the fireman’s pole!

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Another option is the wooden “container” looking structure, which you can either climb up a ladder and sit on top of it or sit inside of it on a couch with the front open so you still get to take advantage of the views, while sheltered from the weather.

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If you don’t feel like climbing anything have no fear, there is also an open-sided wooden structure which has ample of room and even a hammock.

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Last but definitely not least there is the “bar yurt”.

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One of the reasons I wanted to check out Beach Rock Village was to swing above the treetops, unfortunately as of December 2015 this infamous swing was out of action. I am unsure if they have plans to put a new one in or not, but I sure hope they do!

I had also heard that there may even be an elephant on the premises (according to the map there is one!) sadly there wasn’t! When I asked about it the lovely Japanese lady smiled and simply replied “in our dreams” that really would have been a dream come true!

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The main reason we went to check out this place was to spend a night in a yurt; after all it’s not every day you get to sleep in one, and I bet there aren’t too many places in Japan to do this.

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I made contact via their website to see what availability they had; once I found a date that worked for everyone I simply emailed my confirmation – no payment was made until we arrived.

The price, per person, includes dinner & breakfast both served in the Nature Cottage; which is another accommodation available for rent (I believe this sleeps up to 8 and is a “shared” house). Our young children were free of charge.

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I can’t actually tell you what we ate for dinner, other than rice, but it was all made fresh and I believe a lot of the vegetables were grown on the premises & our whole family enjoyed the mostly vegetarian spread.

For breakfast we were given miso soup, rice, scrambled egg, a noodle dish and another 1 or 2 side dishes; again I couldn’t tell you what they were other than it was all really good & we didn’t go hungry.

As for the yurt, which sleeps up to 4 people, it consists of 2 double beds (bedding and towels provided), along with 2 lamps… and that is about all there is to it and we loved it! We stayed in the middle of winter and were a little anxious that it was going to be freezing (we even brought blankets with us just in case) but surprisingly it was very warm!

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When I woke in the night to rain hitting the roof I thought we may get a little leakage but thankfully we didn’t!

Another accommodation is the Tepee which sleeps 2-3, unfortunately I didn’t get to see inside here, but I think I may try to stay here next time!

All the accommodation types have a shared shower/toilet which is centrally located to everything & has beautiful mosaic tiles!

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The following day before we left I asked if we could see the horses; unfortunately they were put away so we couldn’t, but I am sure if you visit over summer months you will have the opportunity to do so.

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Beach Rock Village

Website: http://www.shimapro.com/index.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeachRockVillage/photos_stream

Phone: 098-056-1126 (0800 – 2000)

Cafe: open 1100 – 1700 (apparently they close every Thursday, however I would ring ahead to see if they are open because we have driven up on a Saturday before and they have been closed)

Bar tent: open 2000 – late

Accommodation: prices vary according to season & accommodation type; check their website for current information and I guess they now wish you to call for reservations as opposed to emailing

Address: 1331 Jana, Nakijin, Kunigami District

GPS: 26.6774631, 127.96138399999995

Directions: Beach Rock Village is located in Nakijin, on the Okinawa northwest side. Take the Expressway to Kyoda, then Highway 58 to Nago. Once through the city, turn onto Highway 84 headed toward Ocean Expo Park. Take a right Route 72 (toward Nakijin) passing through Kogayama Tunnel. Just before a second tunnel, Otoa Tunnel, look for the sign pointing right to Beach Rock Village.


Editor’s Note: Beach Rock Village was originally reviewed on Okinawa Hai on May 22, 2009; you can read a PDF copy of that original review here. The post below is an updated take on this unique place, published March 4, 2016.


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22 Comments
  • November 28, 2013

    We took the advice of OkinawaHai and ventured to Beach Rock Village last weekend. It is truly amazing, provided that you don’t mind rustic living conditions. Unfortunately due to a scheduling conflict our Tipa was booked so my wife, two daughters and I stayed at the shared cottage. Did I mention it was an experience? For those looking to book a reservation do so ahead of time. Space is limited and the staff speaks very little English. I emailed the address listed on http://www.shimapro.com three weeks ahead of time and received a brief reply from the manager the week we were scheduled to stay. We tried our luck and went anyway just to see for ourselves what this place was all about.
    The scenic landscape and accommodations can not be overlooked. If you are looking for a nomadic way of life, this is it. Despite that and the face it was winter time, our kids (8 and 4 yrs) had a blast swinging in the tree swing and eating in the tree house. The food is great if you are up for traditional Japanese, home-cooked, home grown greens, and the included dinner and breakfast filled our stomachs! We even managed to converse with some locals in our broken Japanese and their broken English. In all it was a great time and well worth the money. Though we only stayed one night I would gladly return when the weather improved and all the tours were running!!

    Matt Small
    Reply
  • November 12, 2011

    My husband and I trekked up this way for a night this weekend. It has been a few years since this article was written, and yes, a few things have changed. However, keep in mind that this is primarily a CAMP SITE. If you go expecting otherwise, you will be disappointed. We stayed in a Tipi at a rate of 4000Y per person, which included dinner and breakfast. While they looked a little worn on the outside, the Tipi was very clean inside, and came with futon mats, comforters, and towels, all clean and fresh. The food was great, but lighter than typical American cuisine, no meat, primarily fresh veggies grown on the premises, brown rice, soup, and tea. The pizzas, curry, and taco rice in the article were available at lunch time in the cafe tent at an additional charge. We went during the off season, so we were really the only guests there. A few notes… many of the staff we interacted with spoke little or no English, so go prepared. Everyone was friendly and helpful and worked with our limited Japanese. After dinner, the cafe turns into a bar. Music was playing and people were out drinking and talking until about 3 in the morning. The bar and the tipis are directly next to each, so it was a little noisy. The dogs mentioned above are indeed in a pen directly across from the tent area. However, we did not hear them at all at night, so they either were taken elsewhere or settled down. From what we understood, the horseback riding is offered as a day trip, as well as river trekking and a trip to the beach. Overall, we had a great weekend. It was relaxing and laid back, the food was good, and the accommodations were comfortable and clean for camping. I wouldn’t necessarily say this was the greatest place for children, due to limited things to do during the day (unless you arranged a day trip with the staff) and the noisy night time atmosphere. If you are looking for a night or two off the beaten path in a beautiful place, go for it. Keep an open mind, and you will have a great experience.

    Emily
    Reply
  • April 16, 2011

    My husband, 2 children and I decided to take a trip to this diamond in the rough and planned to spend the night in hippie land relaxing. Needless to say it was nothing like described above. As described above, the road leading to “yurt-land” is very narrow and dangerous. Once we arrived in the area, we found a building labeled “office”, so we went in to get some information as to where we would be staying as well as a lay out of the land. The clerk said to keep going to the parking area and then proceed by foot to the cafe where we could have some tea. We did as instructed, and were very glad we did. Once we reached the café, we asked to take a look around and from there went to the sleeping areas. The Tepees and Yurts looked as though they had not been taken care of. We did not look inside, as we quickly decided we were not going to stay. We did however walk a little further to the tent area where we were greeted with a swarm of giant flies and barking dogs. The dogs were just outside the tents, which were crammed together under make-shift coverings, and anytime we moved they barked. I can only imagine trying to sleep through the night with them barking 5 feet outside my tent. Perhaps the volunteers are on vacation and enjoying some time to themselves, but this place was not taken care of at all. Judging by the pictures above, at one time this place was nice, now the Tepee’s and Yurt’s look filthy and are falling apart, and now resembles a last stop before homelessness. Luckily, as we were leaving, we caught another couple and their children arriving and we warned them of the facilities and grounds. They said they had made reservations, I hope they didn’t have to pay anything. Oh, and my daughter wanted me to say there are no horses to ride.

    Kristine
    Reply
  • January 5, 2011

    Thanks Joelle, we’re going to try again in my husband’s car next time when the weather is a bit warmer. I’m determined to go here and spend a weekend. It just seems relaxing a beautiful. My family is into the camping thing. So here’s hoping to good luck for next time.

    Sky
    Reply
  • January 2, 2011

    @Sky – the road is pretty narrow and scary. It stays that way all the way to the end. I don’t know of any other way to get in… Sorry you didn’t make it. It’s quite the “rough diamond”!

    Joelle
    Reply
  • December 28, 2010

    My family and I saw these wonderful pictures and post and thought what the hay why not check it out. Well, needless to say we didn’t quite make it all the way down to this cozy little gem in the ruff. The road was VERY small, tight, and pretty scary because of this. Is there a different entrance or way of getting there. I’d love to go and enjoy it espeically if it doesn’t look as rundown as it’s road.

    Sky
    Reply
  • May 9, 2010

    This place looks amazing… but I am a little confused and would like some more info. for those that can share? We have 3 boys ages 13, 10 & 8, is this place where they can go and have fun with us? Can we just go for the day and eat or is the ‘idea’ to stay the night? I noticed some rates included food and a nights stay… so is there a separate menu for those staying and those just eating? If we do stay the night, can the kids stay and how do we make a reservation? Sorry lots of questions, it’s just quite a hike up there and I want to have an idea what I am doing before hand 🙂

    j
    Reply
  • May 8, 2010

    My husband and I just checked this place out last weekend. The two tipis and the two tipas (yurt) were already booked, so we paid 690 yen each to sleep in a provided tent and sleeping bag. That price includes dinner and breakfast, which you eat with the staff when you stay in the tents. The food was amazing, and in Okinawan style, breakfast was the leftover dinner which you mix together in a bowl and crack a raw egg over. By the way, you do your own dishes when you stay in the tent! We didn’t find the swings, though, so they might have been removed since last year. It was a great time!

    Meagan Mead
    Reply
  • May 26, 2009

    We spent Monday night in a yurt (they call it a tipa).
    I was a little hesitant based on the cost, but it was well worth it considering the meals. Check in time is at 3, but we went early to explore and have lunch. Lunch was good, but not nearly as good as dinner or breakfast. When you are an overnight guest in a private room, you are served these meals in the cottage (tent dwellers are served in their camp). We were the only guests, so we had private, home cooked, fresh meals. Dinner was a clear broth soup with potato and green onions, brown rice, a macaroni type salad, and a vegetable stir fry. Breakfast was miso soup, brown rice, a green onion stir fry, some sort of egg dish, and a stringy noodley vegetable dish. Amazing.
    The beach is NOT close to the village. Their beach area is private, you need to call ahead to make reservations. For some reason it was closed while we were there, but the staff drove us to the closest public beach (it was about 30 min). You can arrange to pay to sleep on their beach in a large tent too.
    The tipa was quite comfortable, especially with the current weather- we were lucky with a clear cool day and night. There was plenty of room inside for us to set up a pack and play. I didn’t anticipate how close the tipa was to the bar… bring ear plugs if you plan on retiring before 1am or so!!
    Thank you so much for posting about this wonderful place. We had an amazing time and will definitely be back! Consider staying overnight to get the most out of your trip.

    Penelope
    Reply
  • May 23, 2009

    Did they take credit cards, or yen only?

    Penelope
    Reply
  • May 23, 2009

    Fun to relive our adventure!!! I’m so glad I skipped the swing and enjoyed the curry!!!

    Larissa
    Reply
  • May 23, 2009

    They only took Yen – no credit cards. AND (I don’t think Dasha knew this because she was off swinging like Tarzan while those of us who were pregnant or had toddlers with us ordered the food), you might want to get there early. Because it’s a small establishment, they only have so many of each dish pre-made and available. We ordered the last three pizzas (one of each kind, all of which were YUM); the group of Japanese tourists who came in behind us had to “settle” for the other yummy dishes instead.

    Heather Gelormine
    Reply
  • May 23, 2009

    Great post Sis. Looks like an awesome place. Maybe next time you go you’ll get the see the elephant.

    Jan
    Reply
  • May 22, 2009

    I am so there! I like what the guy’s blog says about it – “like disneyland for hippies.”

    Jen
    Reply
  • May 22, 2009

    Editor’s Note: I totally forgot to mention that by night, Beach Rock ROCK’S! There is a stage for live music performances, and an extremely well-stocked bar!

    dasha
    Reply
  • May 22, 2009

    OHmygosh – this place looks SO cool. Desperately wish/hope/a girl can dream that I can find a way to get before I move in 2 weeks.
    The pics are great.

    carolined
    Reply
  • May 22, 2009

    I agree Jannine, there are many little hideaway gems on this island! It never ceases to amaze me. I highly recommend to take the ferry in Naha and visit the neighbor islands, Tokashiki or Aka, amazing places with nice beaches!

    Vanesa
    Reply
  • May 22, 2009

    (Lookin’ good, adventurer Tara – that looks FUN!!!)
    I wanna go! Great post – this looks fantastic. I may not come home.

    Reply
  • May 22, 2009

    One word, “Amazing”.
    I’d love to check this place out one day soon, get a group of open-minded galpals together and spend a whole day just discovering… away from the everyday norm, just pretending we’re just mini- charles darwins of our time, seeing the world differntly..lol…yes this place will be put onto my list of things to do here;) Thanks ladies!

    Charise
    Reply
  • May 22, 2009

    That place looks amazing!

    Reply
  • May 22, 2009

    Great post Dasha! I am half Okinawan and sometimes I think I know everything about this island but I didn’t know about this place! I can’t wait to visit it 🙂

    Vanesa
    Reply
  • May 22, 2009

    Funny you should say that Vanessa, I mentioned it to a friend last weekend who is also half-Okinawan and who has been living here for the past 12 years, and she had never heard of it either. Her friend who was with us, and who is married to an Okinawan woman, had also never heard of it. Surprising how many little hideaway gems there are on this beautiful island!

    Jannine Myers
    Reply