The Okuma Private Beach & Resort is a beautiful luxury resort in the northern part of Okinawa, Japan. It’s nestled between Japan’s largest subtropical forest, the Yanbaru Forest, and the East China Sea.
The word yanbaru means “densely forested mountains” and that’s exactly what they are. The Yanbaru Forest’s trees, mangroves, and mountains are a key habitat for rare species of plants and animals, including the curious Okinawa rail (a bird).
Here’s why this beautiful resort is worth a stay.
1. Idyllic Setting
Most of northern Okinawa is mountainous and forested. This resort’s unique location in Kunigami-son Kunigami-gun makes it beautiful, private, and peaceful. The beach here is everything a beach should be: turquoise waters, soft sands, and endless views.
Pro Tip: We were there in February, which is the off-season (weather in the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit), and the resort was not busy.
2. Manicured Grounds
The grounds are perfectly manicured with fountains and fragrant floral beds of bougainvillea and hibiscus. Many days, the groundskeepers were bustling with improvements to the landscaping, but it never felt intrusive.
As a nod to ecology, the resort has a beautiful fish sculpture made entirely of recycled items. What was a curious piece of art by day was illuminated at night and dramatic against a paneled “waterfall” of blue lights.
3. Great Amenities
The resort has many amenities for the comfort and relaxation of guests. It boasts four pools: a main pool, a lazy river, a pool for the kiddies, and an activity pool. The chapel on the property reminded us that it’s a popular wedding venue. Two gift shops are available for everything from high-end clothing and gift items to basic travel needs and souvenirs. Although we didn’t try them, the seaside sauna and aromatherapy salon are more options for guests.
4. Exceptional Staff
If I had to describe the staff using one word, it would be “gracious.” In our experience, English didn’t seem to be a universal language among the staff, but the greatest likelihood of finding someone who spoke English was at the front desk. Regardless of linguistic abilities, everyone from housekeeping to restaurant hostesses and gift shop cashiers had the same unmistakable Japanese graciousness. Most everything can be figured out with a smile and patience.
5. Grand Cottage Lodging
Our Grand Cottage suite featured beds, a sofa, two chairs, a large screen TV, a spacious bathroom with double sinks, a separate water closet, and a separate shower room with a bathtub. The Panpuri brand bath and spa products were wonderful and pampering. This tier of lodging also included valet parking service and personalized check-in.
Pro Tip: Our suite had outlets that worked with our American appliances, so no power converter was needed here.
6. The Shiokaze Lounge
As part of the Grand Cottage package, free access to the Shiokaze Lounge was a big benefit because it’s the hub of many perks, including a bountiful breakfast buffet and morning-to-evening refreshments.
The breakfast buffet was abundant with plenty of new foods to try, like lychee, Okinawa sweet potato rolls and jam, acerola juice, and soba noodles, as well as more traditional (to Americans) breakfast foods like made-to-order omelets, sausages, sweet bread, pastries, jams, and fruits. The pineapple, grown locally on the island, was especially fresh and delicious.
From mid-morning until well into the evening, Grand Cottage guests enjoy coffee, teas, bottled water, and a variety of juices. In the afternoon, the offerings include a variety of snacks. In the early evening, the happy hour might feature unique appetizers like octopus, but also cheese and crackers, nuts, caprese salads, and bite-sized desserts.
Pro Tip: At happy hour, try the traditional Japanese liquor called awamori. It sounds innocent enough because it’s made of long-grain indica rice and aged in traditional clay pots, but it packs a powerful punch.
7. Dining Variety
The resort has six restaurants (five are open year-round and one is open only in summer). We tried Okame, a tapas place, where we ordered six traditional Japanese tapas to taste some local flavors. The other restaurant we tried was Iju. It was a family-style setting with Japanese foods like udon noodles, ramen, and tempura, as well as some American offerings. Overall, we enjoyed the food in Okinawa as we worked on perfecting our use of chopsticks.
8. Fun Activities
The resort offers a variety of activities including marine sports, eco-tours, field sports, and craft experiences. As an example, we saw guests enjoying stand-up paddleboarding with an instructor off Okuma Beach.
Pro Tip: Some activities are included and some have an additional fee. Be sure to check the link to discover what you’d like to do and learn if a fee is required.
Since we love to bike, we tried the resort’s free two-hour bike rental and laughed and pedaled our way through a few miles of Okuma beyond the resort.
Pro Tip: Be aware that the bikes are sized for people of shorter stature, and we are hearty Midwesterners who are on the tall side. We adjusted the seats as high as they would go, but we still felt a bit cramped. We didn’t go fast or far, so it was never a matter of safety but comfort.
The Stuff Of Dreams
The Okuma Private Beach & Resort is unforgettable. The idyllic setting, beautiful grounds, accommodations, and extras were amazing stuff. One glorious sunset after another. Those are some of the main reasons why Okuma Private Beach & Resort is worth a stay. Nestled between the Yanbaru Forest and the East China Sea, it’s the stuff of dreams.
Pro Tip: The resort offers a shuttle bus from the southern city of Naha to the resort once a day. Reservations are essential.