Southern style

Far removed from the amusement-park feel of the areas surrounding the US bases and the relative hustle and bustle of the ‘bigger’ cities on the island, the southern part of Okinawa remains strangely, and pleasantly, rural. While the central area of the island is chock a block with giant Hiltons dominating the coastline, if you’re willing to take a little drive in the other direction (and get a bit lost), you find some surprisingly nice spots which you won’t have to share with the whole of Beijing.

We had read about a beach not far from home, and thus set forth to seek it out. The only problem was the GPS in the car couldn’t find it, and there were no signs for the beach. We did however come across a few signs on dirt paths saying that you cannot drive down because of unexploded mines left over from WWII!

Roadside vegetable stand, unattended. It operates on an honour system: you take whatever vegetables you want to buy, and leave the cash in the tin. Nobody steals the veggies, and nobody steals the money either. How’s that for public trust?
Still no beach! 

After stumbling through the farmland and sugar cane fields, finally my husband asked a farmer how to get there, and he pointed us in the right direction. Perhaps the locals like it that way – I’m sure they think, let all those tourists go up the 58 highway, and leave us in peace down here to fish, and farm, and live.

Can you see dad out there, trying to catch some fish?
Rock pools, plus, on the left, a tiny shrine where I’m assuming someone drowned

What I like about this place is that it is not a fake reclaimed beach which is so popular in Okinawa. This is a real, natural beach that the government so far has not gotten its paws on. There are no showers, no music playing, no BBQ pits. Just a natural, normal, authentic beach, with rock pools and hermit crabs and coral. Let’s hope it stays that way.


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