A trip to the beach can sometimes involve a lot of logistics. Food, parking, water sports equipment, researching if it is safe or not, etc. Sometimes the fun is in all the planning for a more remote getaway. Other times, I just want to go somewhere where all of that is taken care of for me. During those beach trip days where I am feeling a bit lazy, I head to Kadena Marina.​

The sign that you see before entering Kadena Marina

Kadena Marina is a beach resort-like area located on a section of the ocean reserved for the US military. However, the beach can be accessed by all—although most people that go there still tend to be military. It is located on the ocean side of Route 58, which is not on the main portion of Kadena AB.

The beach itself is rather small and can become crowded, especially on weekends or peak summer days. OK, to be honest, the beach is very small; there are certainly more beautiful beaches around Okinawa which will have fewer people. However, the fun activities found here make this a big draw and even make up for the higher concentration of people.​

Kayakers and fun at Kadena Marina beach

Shallow water is indicated for swimming in a marked off zone. Just outside of the shallow water is a very fun complex of flotations, slides and all-around fun inflatable obstacle course. This is loads of fun, but be prepared for deeper water in this area. The deeper water is a good thing so when you fall off you don't smack into coral, just be prepared for the deeper water that you will encounter and wear flotation equipment if you are not a strong swimmer.​

Kadena Marina beach view

There is a small island or rock that is swimmable in high tide and even more accessible in low tide. Climbing on the rock will let you explore the tide pools and crevices that appear during low tide. Just make sure you wear appropriate water shoes to protect your feet from the sharp rocks.​

Sign inside Kadena Marina area Kayaks and more that can be used at Kadena Marina

You can try your hand at many other water sports at Kadena Marina with equipment available for rent. The list of activities includes kayaks, jet skis, paddle boards, and fishing equipment. Additionally, there is a full dive shop here where you can charter SCUBA or snorkeling tours, or just rent or purchase the equipment for your own use. Basically, you can get a fix for any of your water sports needs.​

Scuba center at Kadena Marina Kadena Marina marina / port

At the end of the day, there is a convenient shower to get off all of the salt and sand when you are finished in the ocean.

The Seaside Restaurant is also located here and is a perfect place to enjoy food or drinks after the water sports. As a note, there is a dress code: Nothing too fancy, but you can't wear your beach gear, swim suit, or flip flops in, so have a change of clothes handy for when it is time to eat.​

Kadena Marina Seaside restaurant

Most people think of Seaside as an "on-base" restaurant accessible only by military members and others with base access. However, Seaside is open to all as well too. The place features both indoor and outdoor dining. Though, the patio seems to be the most popular location during the evening to capture the beautiful sunsets over the ocean while eating and enjoying drinks.

The menu offers a wide selection of American favorites including steaks, pasta, fish, and sea food as well as American style deserts. A full menu of drinks is available as well, as Seaside is also used as an evening meeting spot. The price is reasonable, especially considering that the portions are "American sized" and filling.​

Kadena Marina Seaside patio Hours of operation at Kadena Marina Seaside restaurant

Perhaps one of my favorite things to do here is to watch the airplanes and jets. Kadena Marina is located almost at the end of Kadena's main runway, making for very pleasant⁠—if somewhat noisy —views of all kinds of aircraft taking off and landing. It is probably the best place in all of Japan for aviation fanatics to be serenaded by a jet engine's roar while enjoying a drink or some food.​

Kadena AB flight path seen from Kadena Marina

Many people may assume that Kadena Marina and Seaside Restaurant are off-limits except to the US military. If you made that assumption, you would miss out on the fun and good eats and amazing views while in Okinawa!​
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of Okinawa.Org.
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