Explore crystal-clear waters off Tokashiki Island, the largest of the Kerama Islands
The leafy mountains of Tokashiki Island stand in sharp contrast with its sheer cliffs, which tower over vivid, “Kerama Blue” waters. Observe marine wildlife such as sea turtles, whales, tropical fish, and shy crustaceans around the reefs of this resort island.
- Enjoy the beauty of the Kerama Blue waters by sea kayak, jet ski, or banana boat
- Snorkel with sea turtles in the shallows at Tokashiku Beach
- Relax on the white sands of Aharen Beach, with cafes and bars in easy reach
About Tokashiki Island
Tokashiki is the largest island in Keramashoto National Park and the nearest from Okinawa’s main island. The rugged island covers 15 square kilometers. Ferries operate to Tokashiki Island from Naha, and tour operators on the main island offer day-trip excursions.
Watersports for all
Tokashiki Island’s main attraction is the beautiful ocean, a rich yet translucent shade of blue that has come to be known as “Kerama Blue.” Take a sea kayak tour to one or more of the small uninhabited islands just off the shore to fully appreciate the charms of the sea; one of the most popular excursions is from Aharen Beach to Hanari Island, some 800 meters offshore.
The waters around Hanari Island are home to large numbers of anemone fish, such as clownfish. The warm, bright blue shallows are an ideal place to snorkel and explore the white coral seabed. A scuba diving tour is an alternative way to investigate the underwater environment, and the calm, clear conditions are ideal for beginners.
Thrill seekers can choose to zip over the water at speed. Board a jet ski with a driver to get a guided tour of parts of the coastline, or take to the Kerama Blue waters on a banana boat. Inquire at dive shops and tour operators on Tokashiki Island or the main island for marine activities and excursions.
The reef at Tokashiku Beach is one of the best places to sight a sea turtle on the island. Turtles are known to frequent the waters here, where they feed around the reef. It is possible to snorkel from the beach, but joining a snorkeling tour is always the safest way to explore the Kerama Islands’ reefs.
Whale watching is a popular pursuit in cooler months. Humpback whales migrate to the area in January to breed and raise their calves, until they return to northern seas in April. The chances of spotting a whale are quite high during this period. Sometimes they draw up alongside boats and delight the passengers by breaching the water and slapping their fins in a powerful display.
The island’s transportation options and relatively compact size means you can spend the morning at one beach and then the afternoon at another. The arcing expanse of Aharen Beach is great for watersports, and is accessible from Tokashiki Port by taxi or local bus in less than 15 minutes. An ample selection of bars and cafes are within an easy walk from the beach.
Enjoy views of the Kerama Blue sea from the forest trail leading down to Tokashiku Beach, a haven for sea turtles, on the west coast of the island. Swim in the refreshing waters by day and watch the sunset from the sandy shores in the evening. Tokashiku Beach is just a short taxi or bus ride from Aharen Beach.
There are several quiet, less-visited beaches around Aharen Cape for those wishing to get even further off the beaten track. The mountains of Tokashiki Island act as a natural light filter, making the starry night views from the secluded coast particularly clear. Consider renting a car, scooter, or bicycle if you plan to explore the island's more remote beaches.
Enjoy panoramic views from the numerous observation decks on this mountainous Okinawan island. The Mihanahara Promenade, on the east side of Tokashiki Island, affords particularly open views because altitude and coastal breezes prevent plants growing too high. Flanking the promenade is a diverse range of endemic plants and flowers.
Where to stay
Most accommodation options are laidback guesthouses, but there are a few premium resorts. The campsite near Aharen Beach is popular with those wanting to fully immerse in the slow flow of beachside life. Rental tents are available.
Getting to Tokashiki Island
Tokashiki Island is reached by ferry from Okinawa’s main island. High-speed and regular ferries run from Tomari Port in Naha City. The high-speed Marine Liner has two or three departures per day (depending on the season) and takes 35 minutes. The slower service operates once a day, and the crossing takes 70 minutes.