Okinawa, of course, is known for its beautiful beaches. It offers captivating ocean and white sandy beaches wherever you go.
Cape Manzamo is one of the best-known resort areas on the Okinawa main island. It’s got many scenic points and beautiful beaches.
My name is Umi, an editor, and I used Okinawa’s new limousine service’s first and last bus of the day to explore Onna’s Nabee Beach area!!
You can go out and explore for up to 10 hours in a day if you use Okinawa Airport Shuttle’s first and last bus of the day. The shuttle connects Naha and the northern area.
After the shuttle leaves Naha, it’ll take the expressway, and soon after entering Onna, it’ll make a stop at Nabee Beach Mae (Onna Community Center).
I was surprised that the beach was located so close to the bus stop.
After the comfortable bus ride, walk only for a few minutes, and you’ll get to Onna Seaside Civil Park Nabee Beach!
If you stand on Nabee Beach facing the ocean, you’ll see Cape Manzamo on your left.
And ANA Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort (white building) on your right.
The swimming season for this beach is April to October. No fees!
You’ll see a two-story building at the entrance to the beach. The first floor is the management office, which also runs a shop called Seaside Civil Park Ota Shop. It rents out equipment like beach umbrellas, deckchairs, and floats. It also offers snorkeling tour, kayaking tour, and barbeque course, so you might want to check them out!
The second floor is Kamenuhama, an Okinawan restaurant. It’s nice to be able to enjoy your meal from a higher view point. How do you like the idea of soaking in the sunset ocean view with a beer in your hand?
In fact, if you’re traveling with Okinawa Airport Shuttle, you CAN actually drink alcohol! But be sure not to fall into deep sleep on your ride back (in your super comfortable seat) and miss your stop!
Cape Manzamo, which you can see from the beach, is a must-see scenic point. It’s fascinating to see the elephant-shaped cliff getting splashed by the water.
It’s a 15-minute walk from Nabee Beach to Cape Manzamo. You’ll get there in no time with a cab. To get a cab, use the app called JapanTaxi.
The name Manza is said to derive from a comment made by the king of the Ryukyu Kingdom when he visited this area. Seeing that a large number of people gathered at the grassland, which spreads on top of the cliff, he referred to the spot as the “grassland, where thousands (man) of people can sit (za).”
So it turns out, the name “manzamo” refers to the elephant’s back, not the head.
As for the term “nabee” as in Nabee Beach, it comes from the name of a female poet from the Ryukyu Kingdom. There’s an anecdote that explains why the beach is so called.
One time, the king of the Ryukyu Kingdom was hit by a storm while traveling towards Manza on a boat. Nabee read a poem to calm the sea, and the king was able to arrive safely at Manza.
The poem is engraved on the stone monument, which stands at the entrance to Cape Manzamo’s parking lot.
There are lots of good restaurant and café options in this resort town.
If you’re looking for Okinawa soba, Nakamurasoba’s asa soba (seaweed soba) is one of the best-known soba. This time, however, I decided to try Hanamurasoba’s vegetable soba!
Lots of shisa were lined up in front of the restaurant. It’s no wonder because the restaurant has a kiln for local pottery called unna (onna) pottery.
The vegetable soba is piled high with veggies! All of the potteries used in the restaurant are made by the owner. The restaurant has other dishes like jushi (Okinawan seasoned rice) and zenzai (Okinawan shaved ice).
I got the recommendation for Hanamurasoba from the owner of Teida studio, which makes Ryukyu glass. Teida means “the sun” in the Okinawan dialect.
At Teida studio, you can purchase its original Ryukyu glass and also try your hand at making glass.
Onna has many other activities to offer, like marine activities (including scuba diving) and golfing. You can choose to enjoy them on a day trip, or, stay at a hotel, guest house, or a minshuku (Japanese-style bed and breakfast) to give yourself more time in the area.
No matter how you’re going to enjoy your time in Onna, Okinawa Airport Shuttle definitely makes it easy. The stress-free express bus gets you to your destination without wasting any time, letting you make the most of your time in Okinawa!
A one-day itinerary to go from Naha to Nabee Beach using Okinawa Airport Shuttle
◆Okinawa Airport Shuttle, headed towards Onna/Churaumi Aquarium
Departure from Prefectural Government Building North Exit, 8:20am (the first bus of the day) ➡ Arrival at Nabee Beach Mae (Onna Community Center), 9:33am
Departure from Naha Airport Domestic Terminal, 9:00am (9:01am for International Terminal)
➡ Arrival at Nabee Beach Mae (Onna Community Center), 10:35am
◆Okinawa Airport Shuttle, departure time of the last bus headed towards Onna/Naha Airport
Nabee Beach Mae (Onna Community Center), 8:19pm
Kinenkoen Mae (Churaumi Aquarium), 7:02pm
➡ Asahibashi Ekimae, arrival at 9:42pm
Onna Seaside Civil Park, Nabee Beach
Swimming season: April to September, Swimming hours: 9am to 7pm (hours vary depending on the season)
Okinawan restaurant Kamenuhama
Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm (last order)
1063-1 Seragaki Onna
Hours: 11am – 5pm, closed on Wednesdays
Ryukyu glass Teida studio
1780-3 Seragaki Onna
Hours: 9am – 6pm (they take a lunch break), check their website for closed days
You will be able to pick up the glass item you made at the studio at 9am or later the following day. Domestic shipment only.
Taxi app: JapanTaxi
You can download the app from the link above for Android and iOS.
Available in Japanese, English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), and Korean
※Okinawa Airport Shuttle’s schedule is subject to change depending on traffic.
※The content of the article is current as of July 2018, and it is subject to change without notice.