Kuura South Beach

Given the quality of this beach it really should have made it to this site far sooner than it has done. If you have access to personal transport and you're heading up the Hirakubo peninsula then this spot comes highly recommended, particularly if you'd rather avoid the high-season crowds at Sunset Beach, which is located just 5 minutes away by car.
 
Kuura beachQuality sand, natural shade and a beautiful coastline. If you're looking for a spot off the beaten path to spend a couple of hours in the sun then this beach this ticks most boxes.

Beautiful coastline

path through rocks The beach front is pleasant enough, but where it really shines is the rocky shoreline which extends west from the right hand side of the bay. The base of the rock face is pitted with crags and small caves, no doubt the product of hundreds of thousands of years of exposure to the elements.
 
Keep walking and you'll finally turn a corner which leads to a small cove, and don't be surprised if yours are the only footprints in sight. This, combined with a beautiful setting, makes for a very tranquil 'desert island' feel. This spot is ideal for people wishing to relax by the ocean and take in the view, and If a criticism must be made it would have to be that snorkelers should probably look elsewhere (such as Yonehara).

Quality Sand

Let's be honest, while Ishigaki's coastline is beautiful, the quality of its sand can leave a little to be desired. This is a natural consequence of the fact that coral reefs are often found just meters from the shoreline, and broken fragments inevitably being washed in by the tide. This beach is a real surprise in this respect, with the sand quality being up there with the best spots on the island. This is possibly a product of the fact that the water is quite shallow, with very little coral being located close to shore.

Beware the tide

caveIf you chose to take a stroll up the right hand side of the beach then do keep an eye on what the tide is doing.

The shallow nature of the bay means that the ocean may rapidly creep up the beach and potentially flood into the caves when the tide shifts from low to high. In good weather this is unlikely to pose a real problem for most people, but it's always wise to avoid being surprised by the ocean.

No Facilities

It goes without saying that this beach has no facilities whatsoever, so it's advised to bring some refreshments and a beach towel along with you – this would make a great spot for a picnic. Also note that there is no net to protect bathers from jelly fish. However, the popular Sunset Beach lies just a few minutes drive up the road. Head back south you'll soon arrive in the town of Ibaruma.

Parking

The only real problem is that there's no designated parking area, so many people simply park at the side of the road. Last time we were there some Japanese tourists parked in the entrance to a field on the opposite side of the road, blocking access. This is probably best avoided unless you fancy getting on the wrong side of an Okinawan farmer.

How to find this beach

The beach is located just south of the town of Kuura (hence for want of a better name we've named it 'Kuura South'), and being visible from the road it is relatively easy to find. Keep your eyes out as you get closer – as you pass over the brow of a hill you'll see the beach on your left, with the entrance pictured below lying a couple of hundred meters ahead.

roadThe entrance is located on the left hand side of this road (beach visible in distance)
pathThe entrance is pretty easy to miss. Keep your eye out for it while passing the pylons.
"I'd either driven or ridden past this spot several times before I actually took the time to check it out, and I'm so glad that I finally did. Put simply this is one of my favourite beaches on the island, and for me it's well worth the long drive from the city center. It may not be an ideal spot for snorkeling, but in terms of sitting in the sun and taking in the view this beach has few rivals."