Maeda Flats Beach
CONTRIBUTED BY DIANA MIDDLETOWN (September 2007; 2016 update below)
photo submitted by Donna Mack
Maeda Flats is a cool beach because there is an area where the kids can play in the sand and if you go on a low tide day, they can wade in the water nicely. Also, just to the right of the sand, there is great diving/snorkeling area. My stepson found a cool starfish and some “neat-o mosquito”-looking fish (his words). Also, if anyone is interested, the actual Maeda Point is great for diving/snorkeling/surfing and they also have a mild hiking area–mild being for beginners who just want to take a stroll and have a nice view of the beach. The sand at Maeda Flats is great for burying your family, too!
photo submitted by Diana Middleton
A from the MCCS website: “Maeda Flats is a great place for reef walking. The out-of-the-way beach is a favorite to explore because of the protected cove. There are no amenities, but the sand is soft and the water clear. Low tide reveals a reef which is home to much marine life which you can get a glimpse of without mask and fins.”
CONTRIBUTED BY DONNA MACK (May 2016)
The Cape Maeda area is known for some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the Okinawa area. There are actually a few beach areas that can be accessed by foot via some dirt paths and is located just west of the Maeda point. This “string” of little beaches is where we spent the day snorkeling.
photo submitted by Donna Mack
On the day we visited, my family saw a wide variety of marine life to include needlefish, sea urchin, lionfish, and few other colorful fish. My son is a beginner at snorkeling. We have been told this area is considered a level 2; however, the day we visited the tide was low and seas were pretty calm, and he had no trouble going out 100 plus meters and stayed out about 45 minutes.
photos submitted by Donna Mack
Maeda Flats Beach & Point
Has parking cost information as well as a live camera feed and current sea conditions
Facilities at the main parking area
Restrooms for Men, Women, Physically-Challenged
20 Hot-Water Showers (200yen): 10 for Men, 10 for Women
Changing Rooms: 3 for Men, 3 for Women
4 Hair Dryers (100yen)
1 Telescope (100yen)
Address: 469-1 Maeda, Onna, Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture 904-0
GPS Coordinates: 26.4450618 127.7714252
Directions: Take Highway 58 north past Kadena Circle, make a left at the Ryukyu Mura sign (the sign is at the light, so watch for it). Turn left at the second light past a sign for Ryukyu Mura. Make a right at Maeda Misaki, about .8 km, and then left just before the parking lot.
There are areas to pull off the road and walk to reach the beach area. However, the facility managers ask that you respect the local residents as parking along the narrow road causes traffic problems and poses difficulties to the local farmers trying to access their farmland. YOU WILL get a ticket if you park along the narrow road leading to the cape; we were lucky and heard the announcement and only received a warning. I suggest the easiest way to get to the beaches is to go all the way to the Cape Maeda Facility area and pay to park, then hike down.
To get to the beach from the parking lot: if you are standing FACING the parking lot with the water behind it, you turn LEFT down that road. Once you’ve turned left from facing the parking lot, you’ll go down maybe 1/4 or 1/2 mile, then look for a narrow dirt trail. The first part is dirt, the second part has steps, then out of nowhere, you’ll see a pretty secluded beach area.
In the main parking lot, there are spaces for 180 vehicles, plus 4 handicapped vehicle spaces
To see more information regarding the cost of parking visit the website above.
I think that things have changed since the original post. There is no parking signs along the road, and the beach (I think we got to the right one) is marked by two posts with a chain between them. Looks like a diving company uses the path. We just stepped over and went down. Great easy snorkeling for my little kids.
So is the trail u r talking about the same area that the boat launch is?
Being that there aren’t too many dog friendly beaches, would it be ok to bring my husky here?
Travis, I live just down the street from Maeda Flats, I would say as long as you have good control of your dog and he isn’t bothering anyone, I would say it would be fine. When the tide is low a lot of the locals go out hunting for clams and urchins so as long as you’re respectful I don’t see the big deal. We take our dog out on the low tide sometimes and we make sure he stays close.
SORRY!!! I MENT TO SAY ITS PAVED!
And its great we just went the other day and our pups loved it but please make sure to bring plastic bags if u have pups and also wear water shoes there are so many Sea creatures to step on!!
The road is actually not paved, I was there yesterday. AND it doesnt say Maeda Misaki it says “CAPE MAEDA”
The road should be paved not dirt. Go towards the pay parking area of Maeda Point. Before the parking area, turn left onto a paved road. Go down about 50 yards and you should see loads of cars parked on the side. The entrance will be on the right side. If you keep following this road, it’ll dump you onto Hwy 6.
We did find the official parking lot (scuba diving we had been there a couple times. Especially for the night dives), but wanted somewhere we could take the 6 year old to snorkel while the 2 year old plays and this sounded perfect. We drove on the dirt road and went past 2 dirt trails. We will go back and try tomorrow! Thanks!
Bambi, it is really confusing. Did you find the “official” parking area for the Maeda Point area? This will help me point you in the right direction. The first time we went, we almost gave up. If you did find it, from there, it’s this: Basically, if you are standing FACING the new parking lot with the water behind it, you turn LEFT down that dirt road. There is no “official” parking for this area. You just park on the side of the grass where there might be high bushes. Once you’ve turned left from facing the parking lot, you’ll go down maybe 1/4 or 1/2 mile on look for a narrow dirt trail. The first part is dirt, the second part hast steps, then out of nowhere, you’ll see a pretty secluded beach area. It’s really wonderful. Let me know if you need more info (or if you didn’t find the “official” parking for Maeda Point).
Bambi, it has been ages since we’ve been back to Maeda Flats but as far as I can recall there was no sign and you have to park on the side of the road. So, after taking the left before the parking lot for Maeda Point look out on the right for a road/trail on the right (when we were there it was blocked off by a chain). Walk straight down this path and you’ll hit the water.
A couple of my friends were just there recently and said that the snorkeling was fantastic. Good luck the next go around. Hope this helps!
Ok, we tried to go here last weekend, but got lost by the directions. We know how to get to Maeda Point and assumed we would find it just going to the left. However, that wasn’t the case. Is there a sign or ar you suppose to park on that road or were we lost?? Help please!
Make sure you wear water shoes, because there are a lot of sea urchins. The sea life is really worth the experience! You can touch the sea cucumbers, they don’t seem to be dangerous. Best to go when there have been no storms for a couple of weeks and the water is the most clear.
This is a really pretty place. I’d say that for anyone interested in trying snorkeling for the first time, or are taking a first-timer, then this would be a nice spot. The water is shallow and when the tide starts going out there are lots of little pools where the fishies get caught.
Once you’ve graduated from Maeda Flats, go back down the road and try out the snorkeling at Maeda Point. The water’s deeper (in some places really deep…but you’ll be just sticking by the reef where the sealife is close anyway) but there are bigger and a greater variety of fish there. There are also many many people, which can help you feel more comfortable.
Someone suggested we go there over the weekend to snorkel — but with two little ones, I have to have a beach area and since I didn’t know if there was one we didn’t go. Glad to know I can next time! 🙂