Zampa Beach, Okinawa
Outdoor | Avg price: ¥0 | English Available: None (Unknown)
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Okinawa beach fun potential in an area of interest
Zampa Beach (or Zanpa Beach / 残波ビーチ) sits about 200m south of the end of a little spur that pokes out from the west coast of Okinawa Island, about 20km north of Naha as the crow flies. Access is via Route 58, turning off into Yomitan Village where quiet country lanes weave through this part of Okinawa. Keep your eyes on the massive Hotel Nikko Alivila Yomitan Resort, the beach is just north of here. We found some free parking on the side of the road across from Shishonomisaki Park. In the immediate vicinity are some BBQ pavilions, toilets and drinks vending machines. At the time of visiting Zanpa Beach it was pouring with rain (although still warm) and there was barely a soul around. From our parking spot we were able to poke through some foliage to have a look at a section of coastline dominated by exposed reef. A few meters to the south is the beach which we accessed via a sealed of road that took us past more BBQ pavilions (where a couple of people had managed to pull up in their motors - presumably someone has to let you in). Out on the beach in the pouring rain and we’re the only ones on it. In such circumstances Zanpa Beach had the feel of an abandoned resort during winter. Still, the loungers and parasols were all in place. The lifeguard stand was unmanned - there was no one in the water either, until I went in it. There’s a netted / roped off section of water at Zanpa Beach which is the designated swimming zone. At the time of my dip, it was as flat as a duck pond and easy underfoot - a lowtide swimming option that can be rare in Okinawa. Even under the clouds and in the rain, the water here had a kind of mild jacuzzi warmth. My entering the water didn’t stir any sign of a life saver. The kit of watersports fun dotted Zampa Beach - bit rubber ring things, dragon/banana boats, and there were some jet skis parked up somewhere nearby. Expect to pay in the 1,500 - 2,500 yen range for a 10-min blast on one of these things, depending on the spec of the kit being used. A couple of people had taken up residence at the beach house, sheltering from the rain and drinking / eating the offering of the snack bar. Next door we found some showers (not working although maybe you need to pay), lockers, and a stock of marine kit, snorkel masks et al. This Okinawa traveler changed their clothes on the sly under one of the BBQ pavilions. Just down the road, Shishonomisaki Park looks like it might have more in the way of dining / food options. Even in the rain I had a good laugh at Zanpa Beach, though it was brief. One suspects that such a place would fair better when the sun comes out. I can’t confirm this, but post-visit research seems to suggest that the beach is open (How do they actually close these things?) from April 1 to October 31. In the Zanpa Beach vicinity you’ll find a lighthouse (Zanpa Lighthouse) and the Zanpa Golf Club. You’re also not far from Zakimi Castle and the Ryukyu Village making this area a good one for a base of Okinawa operations. *NB - It seems that no one can make up their minds as to whether the name is Zanpa or Zampa.