Okinawa & the Southwest Islands

Head north to drive across Ikema-Ōhashi (池間大橋) to the little island of Ikema-jima. The shallow aquamarine water on either side of this 1.4km bridge is insanely beautiful on a sunny day (just try to keep your eyes on the road). You'll find several secluded pocket beaches around the coast of Ikema-jima.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Okinawa & the Southwest Islands attractions

1. Sunayama Beach

6.11 MILES

Just 4km north of the Hirara district of Miyakojima city, you'll find this little, archetypally tropical Japan beach, which lies at the bottom of a large…

2. Miyako-jinja


Hidden away in downtown Hirara, a district of Miyakojima city, Miyako-jinja is a recently reconstructed shrine that, over time, merged two disparate…

3. Toguchi-no-hama

9.14 MILES

On Irabu-jima's west coast, this is the island's best swimming beach, with showers, toilets and the delightful Blue Turtle bar-restaurant.

4. Tōri-ike

10.2 MILES

An intriguing site for a stroll or dive is this pair of seawater pools on the west coast of Shimoji-jima, known by locals as 'dragon's eyes' – these are…

5. Nakanoshima Beach

10.36 MILES

The best snorkelling beach on Shimoji and Irabu, Nakanoshima Beach is protected by a high-walled bay on the west coast of Shimoji-jima. You'll greatly…

6. Yonaha-Maehama Beach

13.07 MILES

On the southwest coast, beautiful Yonaha-Maehama is a 6km stretch of white sand that attracts a lot of families and young folk due to its shallow waters…

7. Nagamahama

13.79 MILES

If you've seen the crowds at Yonaha-Maehama and decided you want something quieter, head across the Kurima Bridge and drive to the northwest coast of…

8. Aragusuku-kaigan Beach

15.57 MILES

On the north side of the island's southeast end, this popular beach is great for shallow-water snorkelling and has showers and toilets.