Located on Tokashiki Island, Aharen beach is the cheapest and easiest snorkeling excursion within the Kerama Shoto National Park boundaries. With its clownfish, butterflyfish, bright corals, giant clams and hundred of other marine species, Aharen gives a fine glimpse of Okinawa’s reef life.
Naha will probably be your first step in Okinawa: it is also the departure point to Tokashiki Island. Head to Tomari harbor, it is close to the city center (the nearest monorail stop is Miebashi (美栄橋); you will then have to walk for about about 10 minutes to the jetty). There are several options to reach the Kemara archipelago. The express boat is most convenient (35 minutes, round trip about $40) but you might prefer the cheaper ferry (70 minutes, round trip about $25). Schedules depend on the season. Be careful, as there can sometimes be only one or two round trips per day.
The easiest way to reach Aharen beach from Tokashiki island jetty is the bus shuttle waiting for passengers each time a boat arrives (about 20 minutes, Y400/single trip). You can also rent a vehicle or take one of the island’s rare taxis. Aharen is a tiny village, you will have no trouble finding its adjacent beach.
Our advice: enter the water on the western part of the beach, on your right when facing the sea.
When you leave the beach you will first swim across monotonous sandy areas (↕2-3ft/0.5-1m), then reach the reef area (↕3-12ft/1-4m). Water depth increases significantly beyond the reef.
Aharen beach reefs are overall well preserved, although some areas have regrettably decayed. In the best preserved areas, coral formations build delicate shaped, bright colored gardens. Underwater life thrives in them: fluorescent blue damselfish swimming above coral, couples of butterflyfish, Moorish idols, giant clams nesting in crevices… Several clownfish species can be spotted in the area. You are most likely to see tomato clownfish, which is not afraid of shallow areas (often seen in less than 3ft/1m deep). However, if you love those fascinating fishes, head instead to Furuzamami Beach where they literally abound.
Most of the time Aharen bay is sheltered from waves and currents, hence it is ideal for beginners. Mind the boat channel before entering the water: it is located on the spot’s central part, on the left side of the swimming area when facing the sea.
Located on the rear side of the beach, close to the bus stop, Aharen village gathers several restaurants and cheap accommodation options.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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Sheltered bay with seagrass beds and dugongs
Reef drop off with sea turtles, reef fish and barracudas
Reef drop off with sea turtles and huge schools of sardines
Reef drop off with coral, colorful fish and sea snakes
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