Hatenohama: The White Sand Beach
Hatenohama is probably the single most beautiful beach in Okinawa. It’s also one of the most remote. Off shore of Kumejima Island, its a strip of sand that stretches out towards Okinawa in the East China Sea.
The beach is in the center of a huge area of shallow water protected by a ring of coral and rock outcroppings. Over thousands of years the tidal actions in the protected area have built up what is now Hatenohama.
I had the opportunity to visit the beach the other day. The only way to get there is by boat, and I was luckily enough to be invited along on a fishing/picnic trip. Of course for tourists, there are several ferries to the islands.
- Kumejima Marine Sports, 098-985-8648
- Kumejima Kaiyoreja Kyodokumiai, 098-896-8418
I did not stay long on the beach since we planned on fishing, but there were parasols, wide stretches of white sand and pristine water. Coral and fish abounded and I even saw a sea turtle.
Just off shore we were able to go fishing. And I was lucky enough to catch 5 (4 keepers). Though they were all small they made a good fish fry.
The white sand Hantenohama beach is so long that even with a full boat load of tourists you can still find a quiet spot to yourself.
Even if you decide not to hangout on the beach, taking a swim a bit off shore via boat or fishing is a great way to experience this amazing area.
One note of caution. Though the beach is beautiful and may conjure images of relaxing in a soaking up some sun, the sun is strong. I suggest long sleeved rash-guards to avoid serious sunburns if you plan on staying out for more than an hour. Even the best sunscreens wont last longer than that!
Also a baby crab decided to give me a parting pinch on the foot as I was pushing out the boat, watch where you step!