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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.

Aharen Bay, Okinawa
View of Aharen Beach.

How to get to Aharen Beach snorkeling spot?

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 (about 20 minutes). 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.

Aharen Beach snorkeling map, Tokashiki Island

Water entrance for snorkeling Aharen Beach

We recommend you enter the water on the western part of the beach, between the village and the rocky point.

Aharen Beach snorkeling tips and recommendations

Snorkeling from the beach you will first cross sandy areas (↕2-3ft/0.5-1m), then reach the reef area (3-12ft/1-4m). The water depth increases significantly beyond the reef.

Coral reef at Aharen, Tokashiki Island
Aharen Beach coral gardens.

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 area 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 3ft/1m deep). However, if you love those cute creatures, don’t miss a visit to Furuzamami Beach where they literally abound.

Tomato clownfish at Aharen, Tokashiki Island
The tomato clownfish is one of Aharen Beach’s most common inhabitants.

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.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Located on the rear side of the beach, close to the bus stop, Aharen village has several restaurants and accommodation options.

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaKerama Shoto National Park
  • Maximum depth20ft/6m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersYes

MAP Spot

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.