Home >> Japan Attractions,Japan Travel >> Beautiful Scenic Okinawa Capes, Lighthouses and Sunsets

During our Okinawa trip with kids in June, we were based around Central Okinawa where Renaissance Okinawa Resort was.  We rented a car so that we could drive to the nearby scenic spots, because rugged coastlines were not something we got to see living in a city.  Here are some of the beautiful scenic spots you can explore in Central Okinawa if capes, lighthouses and sunsets are what you love!

Cape Manza (Manzamo)

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (04)

Cape Manza, or Cape Manzamo, is one of the most famous capes in Okinawa.  The kanji characters for ‘Manza’ is 万座, which literally means 10,000 seats, apparently because the king in the past observed that the cliff was big enough for 10,000 to sit on?

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (01)

There was a simple and relaxing walking trail around the area, no problem for the kids.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (03)

Along the way, we got photobombed by a dragonfly.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (02)

There were some of these interesting yellow plants around.  Not sure what they were, but they seemed pretty common in the area.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (06)

Since this place was so classic and signature of Okinawa, I had to stick my face in for a mandatory been-here-done-that photo.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (07)

And the kids didn’t look the least bit tired.  Told you the hike was very easy and relaxing.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (08)

This was also where we saw Okinawa’s version of Meoto Iwa (夫婦岩 i.e. married couple rocks), where two rocks are joined by a heavy rope to signify marriage and union.

 

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (09)

And you know you are in a top tourist spot when you find a row of souvenirs shops.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (10) Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (11) Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (12) Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (13)

Complete with totally touristy boards for you to stick your heads in to take photos.  The kids’ favourite.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Manzamo (14)

Information on Cape Manzamo:

Map: Click here for Google Map location

Map code for Cape Manzamo (what is this?): 206 312 127

Parking Fee: FREE

Cape Maeda

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Maeda 09

The nearest cape to our resort, Renaissance Okinawa Resort, was Cape Maeda.  This cape is more known for its role as the gateway to the highly popular Blue Cave for snorkeler and divers.  But since the kids were too young to snorkel or dive, we just took a walk around to enjoy the scenery.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Maeda 03

There were some well-paved walking trails around the cape, which made it easy even for the kids.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Maeda 04

The boys were happy to go off the trail to pose among the rocks, though I was pretty worried they would fall because the rocks were pretty sharp!

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Maeda 07 Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Maeda 08

We continued along the walking trails to enjoy the vast blue sea and rugged coastline.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Maeda 01

We could see our resort from Cape Maeda!

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Maeda 02

And the sunset from Cape Maeda was just gorgeous!

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Maeda 05 Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Maeda 06

If you would like to look further, there were binoculars at a pavilion near the starting point of the walking trails.  It was coin operated and you need to pay to use it though.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Maeda 11

Information on Cape Maeda

Map: Click here for Google Map Location

Map Code for Cape Maeda (what is this?): 206 062 686

Parking Fee: 100 yen per hour

Opening Hours (for the carpark):

  • 7am to 5.30pm in Nov – Feb,
  • 7am to 6pm in March
  • 7am to 6.30pm in April, May, October
  • 7am to 7pm in June – September.

Be sure to get your car out before the carpark closes if you are staying to watch the sunset!

Official Website: Homepage

Cape Zanpa

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Zanpa 01

Just a few kilometres down the road from Cape Maeda was Cape Zanpa, a much more popular spot for seeing sunsets.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Zanpa 03

Cape Zanpa was famous for the lighthouse that stood on top of it.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Zanpa 02

Since the cape was so famous, I just had to take a selfie with it.  (The husband was in the car with the sleeping kids

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Zanpa 04

There was a giant rock at Cape Zanpa that was blown all the way up here from the coast during one of the super typhoons.  Okinawa, btw, is very prone to typhoons.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Zanpa 06

At Cape Zanpa, a stone’s throw from the lighthouse, you will also find the statue of a man called Taiki. Sorry, no idea what he does.  My Japanese was not good enough to read the signboard. :p

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Zanpa 07

And I snapped a quick photo of the popular sunset here at Cape Zanpa before rushing back to the car to rejoin the husband and sleeping kids.

Scenic Cape of Okinawa - Cape Zanpa 05

Information on Cape Zanpa

Map: Click here for Google Map location

Map Code (what is this?): 1005 685 298

Parking Fee: FREE

Sun Marina Beach

Okinawa Lighthouse - Sun Marina Beach 02

If it is lighthouses you love, another lighthouse around the region can be found at Sun Marina Beach.

Okinawa Lighthouse - Sun Marina Beach 01

From Sun Marina Beach, there is a walkway along the breakwater where you can easily walk along the reach the lighthouse.

Okinawa Lighthouse - Sun Marina Beach 03

Information on Sun Marina Beach:

Sun Marina Beach is located at Sunmarina Hotel.

Map: Click here for Google Map location

Map Code for Sunmarina Hotel (what is this?): 206 127 799

Parking Fee:

  • 7am to 7pm: 300 yen per hour (up to 1000 yen max)
  • 7pm to 7am: 300 yen per hour
  • Free 3 hours parking if dining at restaurants
  • 500 yen per day for staying guests

Official Websites: Homepage

Sunset Beach

Okinawa Sunset Beach 02

And if it is sunsets you love, Sunset Beach is THE place people love to gather to watch the sunset.  I mean, the name speaks for itself, doesn’t it? There was a ledge for people to sit along to watch the sunset.   Plenty of space for everyone.

Okinawa Sunset Beach 01

What I love about the sunset here was that there was a continuous stream of airplanes flying by!

Okinawa Sunset Beach 04

And even helicopters! That definitely helped to keep the kids amused.

Okinawa Sunset Beach 03

Information on Sunset Beach:

Sunset Beach is located next to Mihama American Village.

Map: Click here for Google Map location

Map Code for Mihama American Village (what is this?): 33 526 360

Parking fee: FREE

Official Website: Homepage | Facebook Page

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Supposed to be a stay-home mom, but hates staying home. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world her husband can afford to pay for.

13Comments

  1. Love that coastline – So beautiful! Reminded me of my road trip in Perth where we visited the lighthouse too. Relaxing and soulful holidays like these are awesome. =)

  2. pc says:

    The last two pictures of the Cape Zanpa are so beautiful!
    Love the airplanes and helicopter passing by when admiring the sun setting. Oh my! Need to plan for a trip to Japan!!!

  3. Waiwai says:

    Beautiful places! I was reading a travel book of Okinawa, these places are must-go! Hope to be there one day…

  4. Angie.S says:

    The sunsets from the various Capes are too beautiful for words. A reader left a comment on my post today and she’s residing in Okinawa! I shared your posts with her. Keep it up!

  5. MissusTay says:

    such gorgeous sunsets!! the kids were clearly enjoying all that walk!

  6. Andy Lee says:

    Beach, Sunset, Nature. And I am a sucker for Lighthouse :)

    cheers, Andy
    (SengkangBabies)

  7. ninjafamilytravels says:

    Such beautiful scenery, would have been an amazing drive.

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