Spot

Ama Beach


Ama beach is one of the most beautiful shores in the Kerama Islands. Its long strand of white sand opening up to turquoise water makes one feel like stopping for a while and relaxing. But this place is most famous for sea turtle spotting: everyday, they come here in numbers to feed from the shallow seagrass meadow. You are especially sure to spot them if you come with high tide. If you are spending a whole day on the island, you can combine this experience with Furuzamami Beach, another snorkeling spot located less than 2 miles from Ama Beach.
How to get there?

Ama Beach is located on Zamami Island. Naha, Okinawa’s capital city, will most likely be your first step into the archipelago. It is also the starting point to many neighboring islands. Boats to the Kerama islands leave from Tomari harbor: it is located close to the city center (the closest monorail stop is Miebashi (美栄橋), you will then have to walk for about 10 minutes to reach the jetty). The express boat is most convenient (50 minutes, round trip about $48) but you might prefer the cheaper ferry (120 minutes, round trip about $32). Schedules depend on the seasons. Be careful as there can sometimes be only one or two round trips per day.

Once on Zamami island, there are several options to reach the beach: you can rent a bike (20 minutes ride to the beach, steep road), a scooter or a car. Ama beach is well signposted from the jetty.

Water entrance

The area close to the beach main access probably is the most practical entrance, but you can enter the water from anywhere on the beach.

Aerial view


Exploration

If you want to spot green sea turtles in Ama Bay, you must take the tide times into account: only with high tide are the seagrass on which the turtles feed covered enough for them to come. The rest of the time the seagrass is underneath a few centimeters of water. You will get more information about the best times to spot turtles at the tourist information center located close to the jetty.

Once water depth is sufficient, look for the strand about 10 yards wide on which discreet turtle-grass grows. It is located only a few meters from the beach. Swimming over it, you will most likely spot several turtles feeding quietly. As always with sea turtles, mind basic observation rules: don’t touch them or follow them, and give them enough room when they swim up to breath on the water surface.

Snorkeling Report Turtle Ama Beach Okinawa Japan
Green sea turtle at Ama Beach


Green sea turtles are not the only attraction here. You will also find a gorgeous coral garden, densely covered with branch corals, only a few dozen meters from the beach. It is located just in front of the beach main access (see map above). If you have trouble finding it, look for the glass bottom boats: several ones come into the bay, they stop in this area.



Elsewhere the seabed is half sandy, half covered with lesser quality corals. You might spot sea anemones sheltering red clown fishes. If you have a camera, be sure the shallowness of this spot (water depth never exceeds 10ft) will help you take beautiful pictures.

Restaurants and accommodation

Several stands bordering the beach sell sandwiches and beverages (inconstant opening times). In Zamami village, located about 1 mile from here, you will find a wider range of restaurants and inexpensive accommodation.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Level of difficulty
    Beginner
  • Maximum depth
    10ft/2.5m
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Usual precautions
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Medium
  • Access costs
    Free
  • Restaurants nearby
    Yes
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Ama Beach

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Green Chromis
Chromis viridis
Whitetail dascyllus
Dascyllus aruanus
Melon butterflyfish
Chaetodon trifasciatus
Green sea turtle
Chelonia mydas
Blackback butterflyfish
Chaetodon melannotus
Moorish idol
Zanclus cornutus
Tomato clownfish
Amphiprion frenatus
Lagoon triggerfish
Rhinecanthus aculeatus
Clown coris
Coris aygula
Blue sea star
Phataria unifascialis
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You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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