Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
This spot has been added by
Last updated on November 10, 2023
Located on Tokashiki Island, Aharen Beach is the easiest snorkeling excursion within the Kerama Shoto National Park boundaries. With its clownfish, butterflyfish, bright corals, giant clams and hundreds of other marine species, Aharen gives a fine glimpse of Okinawa’s reef life.
Update: a large part of Aharen Beach coral reef is currently closed. The protected area is marked by buoys and a rope, and a supervisor on the beach ensures that snorkelers respect the regulations. We do not know whether this measure is temporary or not. In the meantime, know that large areas of the reef can no longer be snorkeled. Most of the pictures on this page have been taken outside the current authorized snorkeling areas, before the actual regulations.
Aharen Beach is located on Tokashiki Island, one of the most visited islands in the Kerama archipelago. Most tours to the islands depart from Naha, Okinawa’s capital city, which is the archipelago’s gateway.
Boats to the Kerama Islands, including tours to Tokashiki, leave from Tomari harbor, next to the city center. The closest monorail stop is Miebashi (美栄橋), a 10 minutes walk to the jetty. The express boat is the most convenient (a 35-minute ride to reach the island) but you might prefer the cheaper ferry (70 minutes).
The easiest way to reach Aharen Beach from Tokashiki island jetty is the bus shuttle waiting for passengers each time a boat arrives (¥400 per person per trip). You can also rent a vehicle or grab one of the island’s rare taxis. Aharen is a tiny village, you will have no trouble finding its adjacent beach.
Snorkel entries are from the sandy beach, in front of area 1 and area 2.
There are only 2 areas where snorkeling is allowed at Aharen Beach: the overcrowded (supervised) Swimming area (area 1 on the map, life vest compulsory) and the much less crowded (unsupervised) Restricted Swimming area (area 2 on the map).
Area 2 is definitely the best for snorkeling, as it is larger, deeper, and features more coral patches. Snorkeling from the beach you will first cross sandy areas (↕2-3ft/0.5-1m), then reach the reef area (↕3-12ft/1-4m).
Aharen Beach reefs are overall well preserved, although some areas can be damaged. In the best-preserved areas, vibrant, bright-colored gardens await snorkelers. These areas support rich underwater life, including blue damselfish, pairs of butterflyfish, Moorish idols, and giant clams.
Several clownfish species can be spotted in the area, but you are most likely to see the tomato clownfish, which is found even in very shallow areas (less than 3 ft/1 m deep). However, if you love those cute creatures, don’t miss a visit 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, between the two snorkeling areas.
Located on the rear side of the beach, close to the bus stop, Aharen village has several restaurants and accommodation options. Most visitors, however, visit the island just for the day.
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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LAST SPACES AVAILABLE