Zamami Island is one of the most visited islands close to Naha and the reason is apparent. The island with a Michelin two-star rated beach is just too hard to say no to! But is the beach overrated? And are there other beaches worth visiting on Zamami Island? Before you hop onto that ferry to Zamami Island, you will want to know the information set out below (^_-)-☆.
A List of Contents
Refer to our Zamami Island article for Access Information to Zamami Island!
Explore Zamami Island With a Guided Tour
If you prefer a guide to introduce you to the charms of Zamami Island, how about joining one of the below tours?
- 90-Minute Zamami Island Kayak Tour
- 1-Day Zamami Island Kayak Tour
- Zamami Island Snorkeling Tour
- Half-Day Zamami Island Kayak and Snorkel Tour
- Full-Day Snorkeling Tour Kerama Islands National Park, Including Tokashiki Island, Zamami Island, and Aka Island (Naha Departure)
The Common Things Between Zamami Island’s Two Biggest Beaches
Although usually quiet, Ama Beach on Zamami Port’s west is another beach that receives plenty of tourists’ attention. If you are interested in snorkeling or diving at these two beaches, the below sets out the common things between Furuzamami Beach and Ama Beach:
- Lifeguards are stationed at these two beaches from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm from early April to late November.
- This means experienced divers won’t be able to dive freely as the beaches now have a designated area for swimming. If you go beyond the lane ropes, a lifeguard will be on their way.
- The swimming season on Zamami Island is from early April to late November.
- You can still swim in winter, but most shops and facilities will be closed, so you will most likely need to bring your own snorkeling or diving equipment.
- In addition to snorkeling and diving, other watersports such as SUP, are also possible at both Furuzamami and Ama Beach.
- The sand on the shore isn’t fine but is mixed with broken coral reefs and stones.
Tip: For experienced divers, you can also choose to dive freely at Furuzamami Beach and Ama Beach outside the lifeguards’ business hours.
Furuzamami Beach (古座間味ビーチ)
As mentioned in the introduction, Furuzamami Beach, on Zamami Island’s south, is the island’s most popular spot. Thanks to its Michelin two-star rating, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit this beach as a holiday.
But that doesn’t mean the beach will always be packed! Because Furuzamami Beach extends up to 3km long, you will surely have enough space on the white sandy shore to adore the Kerama-Blue colored sea!
When you are ready to explore the underwater world, the colorful coral reefs and tropical fish are just meters away from the shore. As there are tropical fish living in shallow waters with a depth of less than a meter, even beginners can fully enjoy snorkeling at Furuzamami Beach!
During the swimming season, between Furuzamami Beach and its car park, there is a cottage consisting of restaurants, (rental) shops, toilets, shower rooms, and change rooms. It is also where you can book diving and snorkeling tours. A couple more temporary stalls will be set up awaiting your visit. Lifeguards are also stationed at Furuzamami Beach for your safety (^_-)-☆.
Important: Please follow the rules and only swim/dive in the designated areas. This is to protect the coral reef. And while you swim/dive, be careful not to damage the beautiful coral reef underneath you.
☛ As Furuzamami Beach faces east, the sea color is the most stunning from 11 am to 3 pm.
☛ Because the swimmable area at Furuzamami Beach is restricted, you can join one of the snorkeling or diving tours to access areas where coral reefs spread across.
☛ The coral reefs are better around the off-beaten-path beaches, such as the ones around The Three Uninhabited Islands Close to Zamami Island.
How to Get to Furuzamami Beach
- Furuzamami Beach is around 5 minutes away from Zamami Port by bus (村営バス).
- Refer to our Zamami Island article for more details.
- You can also self-drive or take a taxi which will take less than 5 minutes to get to Furuzamami Beach.
- Due to the hilly terrain, it can take up to 30 minutes to hike to Furuzamami Beach. Getting to Furuzamami Beach by bicycle is therefore not recommended.
- The hiking experience will be harder in summer due to the heat.
- If you have booked accommodation on Zamami Island, they might provide pick-up and drop-off services to/from Furuzamami Beach.
Shiru Beach (シルビーチ)
While not known by many and not even marked on Google Maps, there is a smaller beach around 200 meters from Furuzamami Beach’s car park, closer to the south end of Zamami Island. It is a great spot to swim or dive freely with many tropical fish. The coral reefs there are healthier than those at Furuzamami Beach too!
Refer to the photo on the left for a visual idea. Shiru Beach is the beach located at the back of the big stone.
Because Shiru Beach is so close to Furuzamami Beach, you can utilize the facilities at Furuzamami Beach and enjoy the quietness and freedom at Shiru Beach (^_-)-☆.
Just note that there are a lot more broken coral fragments and stones on Shiru Beach shore. So water shoes are recommended to protect your feet!
To get to Shiru Beach, there is a small forest path on the parking lot’s right if you face Furuzamami Beach. This path will then lead you to Shiru Beach.
Marilyn Statue (マリリンの像)
On the way to Ama Beach from Zamami Port, you will run into a dog statue if you walk along the coast. Different from the Hachikō statue in front of Shibuya Station, the dog called Marilyn wasn’t waiting for her owner. Who she was waiting for was her lover, Shiro (シロ), that lived on Aka Island (阿嘉島).
In the beginning, Marilyn and Shiro were both living on Zamami Island. But Shiro’s owner had to move to Aka Island later on. So to reunite with his lover, Shiro would swim across the sea from Aka Island to see Marilyn.
Being touched by the story, a movie called “I Want to See Marilyn” (Marilyn ni Aitai, マリリンに会いたい) was shot based on this love story. A statue was then placed on both Zamami Island and Aka Island, respectively.
If you are interested in meeting Marilyn, the statue is around a 10 to 15-minute walk west of Zamami Port.
Ama Beach (阿真ビーチ)
While not as famous, Ama Beach is actually easier to get to from Zamami Port. When compared to Furuzamami Beach, it is a lot quieter too. Also, friendly sea turtles are frequently spotted at Ama Beach!
When the season is right, you will be greeted by the pale pink flowers of seaside morning glory that colors the green carpet, covering the back of Ama Beach’s fine sandy shore.
Another good thing about Ama Beach is that the waves are usually calm, and the beach is shallow. So if you are not experienced with snorkeling or diving, Ama Beach can be a great spot for you to explore!
Ama Beach is also a wonderful spot for sunset scenery and star gazing. Instead of catching the last ferry back to Naha, you can book a night’s stay around Ama Beach, which has various accommodation facilities close by. Although there is nothing on the fancier end, a campground, cottages, and a few BnBs are perfect for a beach holiday!
Regarding toilet and shower facilities, you can use the ones at the camping ground. Although there are no lockers at Ama Beach, the camping ground’s office can store your belongings for 200 yen per day per item.
- The shower facilities can only be utilized from 10 am to 4 pm.
- It costs 300 yen per use.
- The water is only warm in winter.
- Refer to HERE for what can be rented out from the camping ground.
Important: As there is no equipment rental shops at Ama Beach, if you need anything, you will need to rent and bring it from Furuzamami Beach.
☛ Because Ama Beach faces southwest, the sea color is at its bluest from 9 am to 1 pm.
☛ If you want to meet a sea turtle, visit Ama Beach during high tide. The early morning and late afternoon is also when sea turtles usually visit Ama Beach, as the beach has an abundance of seaweed growing there.
☛ You can also ask the lifeguards if a sea turtle has been spotted.
☛ The coral reefs located between 100 meters to 200 meters offshore are the most beautiful.
☛ Refer to HERE for Ama Beach’s high and low tides information.
How to Get to Ama Beach
- Ama Beach is around 5 minutes away from Zamami Port by bus (村営バス) or taxi.
- If you take a bus to Ama Beach, get off at Ama Camp-jō (阿真キャンプ場).
- Refer to our Zamami Island article for more details.
- You can also walk from Zamami Port, which will take around 20 minutes.
Discover Other Attractions on Zamami Island
Furuzamami and Ama Beach isn’t the only place to enjoy swimming and snorkeling on Zamami Island. The island has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, with a couple of other spots. In winter, you can also join a tour for your chance to spot the humpback whales!
For more information, refer to our article on Zamami Island!