CONTRIBUTED BY JULIA CHEN

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There are so many things that I will miss about Okinawa but I think one of the things that I will miss most is Araha Beach.

There are so many gorgeous spots out here with beautiful blue water but I guess Araha is special to me since I’ve spent quite a bit of time here with my boys. I live within walking distance so it’s a convenient place to take the kids to play. They love the huge pirate ship that is one of the things that makes Araha so memorable. It’s got a little bridge at the top with a lookout tower, nets to climb, a tube slide, and a zip line. Fun is aplenty here. For the smaller kids there’s a more manageable version further away. There are a few teeter totters too.

The beach can get quite busy during the hotter months especially during Golden Week. The beach itself is kept quite clean and the water is pretty tame so it’s nice for the little ones to wade in. Between frolicking in the ocean, playing in the sand, and the pirate ship my little guys are entertained for quite a while.

Another thing I love about Araha is the walking trail. It’s so relaxing to take a walk while taking in the beautiful blue water. I see joggers and people walking their dogs all of the time. The walking trail connects with Chatan Park so you can actually walk a good distance – a little bit South of San-A in Hamby Town all of the way to Jusco in American Village.

Pavilions and grills can be rented here if you’re in the mood for a beach party.

Address: 2-21 ChatanNakagami-gun, Chatan-cho 904-0116Okinawa

GPS Coordinates: 26.3034984, 127.76072620000002

Directions from Kadena Gate 1:

-Take a LEFT to head South on 58 from KAB Gate 1.
-Pass the Camp Lester hospital gate and take a RIGHT at the 2nd light onto 130.-Take a LEFT at the next traffic signal.
-Pass Nishimatsuya (pink and white building with a White Rabbit on the sign) on your left.
-Look out on your right side for a pink diamond shaped sign that says Arapana on it. Take a RIGHT just after the Arapana sign for beach parking. (If you pass San-A on your left you have gone too far.)

Note: If the parking lots here are full there is an additional parking lot. You will have to go back the road you just came on passing Nishimatsuya on your right. Shortly afterwards you will see a canal with white guardrails. Make a LEFT on the far side of the canal, proceed to the end of the road, and make a RIGHT into the parking lot.

18 COMMENTS

  1. This beach is artificial (man made). Why would any foreign visitor spent $$$$ flying to Okinawa and then spent another $$$$$ to stay next to such a beach? It looks nothing like all those Photoshop artwork! If you visit Okinawa and want to be beach front, at least go stay around a real beach!

  2. They need to open up more of the beach for swimming. It doesn’t make sense for people to be crowding a 125×50′ single enclosed netted area that makes up less than 25% of available shoreline. While yes the threat of venomous jellyfish is present, it is just such a waste of amazing ocean front by not adding more/bigger nets so people can space themselves out more. I went there with my kids this afternoon and it was an absolutely crowded in and around the swimming area while the rest of the beach was nearly deserted.

  3. We went today and we’re sad to see a lot of the ship was closed off. You can’t go up the poles and across the top bridge. My kids still had a great time on the zip line

  4. Went today April 10, 2012 not impressed at all the only neat thing was the pirate ship but too many rules, the guy kept telling the kids that no one can’t get in the water I’m guessing because the nets weren’t in place yet. What’s the point of going to the beach when u aren’t allowed in the water, ask If we can kayak a family before us got to kayak (Japanese) and he told us that they were closed around 11:00 am , not going back I love the beaches that aren’t monitored with lifeguards it seems like they all have way too many rules, that aren’t really necessary, so I will stick to all of the other great beaches where we can do what we want without being monitored like we are all children or haven’t been in the ocean before.

    • Are you sure you were in the right area for getting in the water? There is only 1 swimming area and it always is netted (as far as i know anyway, i have never seen it not netted). The only time we weren’t allowed in was when someone thought they saw a jellyfish in the netted area, so everybody had to get out while they searched for it. But the areas that are not netted are not meant for swimming, so maybe you went there? I dunno, just trying to be helpful. We really like this beach!

  5. oh and i must add, there is a cute restaurant right next to the main office, they made nice shave ice for the kids. and i was very disappointed, as we walked down the beach, we heard allot of loud profanity from military guys. very rude of them to be drunk and partying in a family area.

  6. we enjoyed out time here, great for the kids, play area for little kids and then toddlers. we have a 1yr & 4ry and they had a good time.we then walked the strip( don’t forget a stroller) and watch the sunset. You have to go here around 5 wen the sun has cooled down and u have time for the kids to play and wait for the sun to set. 🙂

  7. Do you know how to go about renting one of the covered tables (I guess thats what you mean by pavillion). We went there the other day to get info and attempted but didn’t get far with the staff that didn’t speak englsih.
    From what we “think” we got from the conversation was that we could not reserve one of the tables over the weekend, only during the week. I’m guessing that this can’t be right. But you never know.
    If anyone has info please pass it along.

  8. I checked last May and it was about 7000 yen to rent a pavilion with a separate fee for renting a grill. I don’t think you can bring your own grill in. We ended up going to Torii station instead since the fee for a pavilion there including the grill was about $40.

  9. We finally made it to this beach and it was perfect. Clean sand and the water was perfect. We even brought a beach umbrella and a lifeguard brought over a sandbag to help keep it from blowing away. Great beach to take the family!

  10. Pamelala, sounds like you are making quick work settling in! You came at a great time. The weather has been beautiful lately….perfect for that walking trail at Araha. Hope you love it as much as I do!

  11. ooooooohhhhhhhh, I am soo excited, we are moving today and we are within walking distance, I’d never had imagined I would actually be living here!!!!

  12. I wanted to add that they comb the beach for coral here so it’s super smooth and there is a net to keep out jellyfish as well as a lifeguard. Also when they are open they have showers, nice bathrooms, etc. Definitely one of my favorite beaches and one of the things I will truly miss about Okinawa. (That and hanging out with my beach buddy Julia…)

  13. Can’t wait to go here! This is how I excite my kids about the move – showing them these kinds of pics! There is a park in london called Princess Diana memerial park, which has a very similar ship!

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