By Chris Barnes
Kariyushi Beach is located roughly halfway between Cape Maeda and Churaumi Aquarium on Route 58. I first stumbled across this beach whilst looking for somewhere to rest on my drive back from the aquarium, hungry, hot and in need of a swim, Kariyushi Beach was the ideal location. Although it is primarily a beach for the nearby Okinawa Kariyushi Beach Resort Ocean Spa, the beach is also open to the public.
The Kariyushi Beach is not only a place to relax on the beach, but also serves as a good rest stop if you would like to break up the long drive home. There is a 24/7 Lawson on site, which is better stocked than most Lawson's you'll find in the area thanks to its close proximity to resort hotels. Inside the main building you will also find two more restaurants: Kaikai Asian Terrace Restaurant and Kariyushi Beach Soba.
The Kaikai Asian Terrace Restaurant serves a range of local dishes as well as other popular Asian dishes on a beautiful terrace overlooking the beach, making it a perfect place to enjoy a sunset. The self-service style Kariyushi Soba restaurant is a newly opened quick eat restaurant featuring 30 different toppings that you can add to your Soba dish, ensuring you get exactly what you want. There is also a kiosk selling basic refreshments and snack food on the beach itself.
Where Kariyushi Beach really excels compared to others is its extensive marine activities and facilities catering to children and adults. The beach offers a huge range of marine facilities for casual, beginners and more advanced participants including: wakeboarding, parasailing, jet skiing, dragon boat rides, glass bottom boat cruises, rental kayaks, water cycles and pedal boats as well as sea walking and snorkeling. There are also reservation-only cruising programs starting from 2,000 yen per person, which provide hour long cruises around the beautiful Okinawan coastline, the most popular cruise being the sunset cruise.
The beach provides snorkeling and scuba rental equipment and beginner scuba diving packages, as well as multiple diving trips, and a fully certified 2-3 day training course for those who are on site a bit longer. For those who don't like to get their feet wet, a glass bottom boat also runs tours around the area allowing you to take a peak at everything below the surface without getting wet. Prices start at 1,500 yen for adults and 750 yen for children for a 20 minute cruise.
The family friendly beach features a large netted-in swimming enclosure that is patrolled by lifeguards and offers various rental beach equipment. The most family friendly feature about this beach however, is the children's tiled pool, located nearby the outdoor kiosk, that is fully supervised by life guards and is approximately 3 feet deep, ensuring your children can enjoy the water from the safety of a supervised pool. Another popular feature of the beach is the large inflatable slide located beside the children's pool.
Whether you would like to spend the day at the beach or simply drop in and visit to take a break on your trip home, Kariyushi Beach is an ideal option. Kariyushi Beach is located on Route 58, approximately 20 minutes north of Cape Manzamo, and 10 minutes south of the Okinawa Expressway Kyoda exit.
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