CONTRIBUTED BY RYAN P. BURGER
Looking for a beach that isn’t Toguchi or White Beach? How about someplace a little less crowded and a little more scenic? If you don’t mind a gorgeous drive to Hamahiga Island, then Muruku Beach is for you!
This beautiful spot is hidden on the east side of Hamahiga-jima, down a dirt path sandwiched between the ocean and a cliff face. At the end of this mysterious road you’ll find a small clearing that has been fashioned into a grass parking lot. The fee is an affordable 500 yen, payable at a small surf shop in the clearing. Stairs in front of the lot will take you down to the beach and to a small slice of paradise.
The beach is littered with shells, bits of coral, massive fallen boulders from the cliffs above, and a fair share of mushroom-shaped rocks carved by the sea. The beach is fairly long and wide, giving you plenty of room to stretch out and explore. I highly recommend taking a blanket and picnic with you as you’ll probably be hungry by the time you reach it.
My wife and daughter (toddler) loved sticking their toes in the water, and checking out all of the debris from the sea scattered about the beach. I would highly recommend visiting this beach at low-tide as this beach is fairly shallow. I use Tides4Fishing to check low/high times before planning a visit to any beach. Based on the debris line marking high-tide, almost half of this beach disappears twice a day. This leads to a lot of “stuff” being deposited by the tide from the mundane shell/coral to the WWII brass US Army coat button my wife found.
The drive out can be a bit long depending on traffic and your origin point. If you know your way out to the Henzajima causeway, you’ll be able to find Muruku Beach without any trouble.
Payment: 500 yen cash for parking, collected by attendant
Directions from Kadena Gate 2:
- Head straight out Gate 2 and continue down Route 20 (pass over 330/Koza Music Center)
- Dead-end into Route 85, hang a left
- Dead-end into Route 37 (at the Kinbu Bay seawall), hang a right
- Follow Route 37 and hang a left on to Route 10. This will take you across the iconic red Henza-jima bridge
- Hang a right on to Route 238 towards Hamahiga-jima, you’ll cross over another long bridge
- 238 dead-ends as soon as you cross the bridge, hang a left and follow the seawall around the east side of the island
- You’ll end up at the entrance to Hamahiga Resort (up a steep hill), DO NOT go right towards the resort, go LEFT towards the ocean. There will be a small sign with red lettering stating “Muruku Beach”
- The road will get a little rough (unpaved) and narrow, our small Honda Spike Mobilio with a low ground effects kit made it with no issues
- There will be a small clearing at the end of the road – pay your parking fee and enjoy!
For those of us blessed with phones smarter than we are, I have an alternative mapping solution for you…GPS coordinates! The following coordinates are to the entrance of the dirt road that will take you back to Muruku Beach: 26.321797, 127.966883
I’ve tested them out on my device on both Apple Maps and Google Maps.
Coordinates for Muruku Beach itself (GPS navigation does not “see” the dirt road as a valid option): 26.319662,127.965848