Article by: David Lee
Cameras: Nikon D5000 & Nikon D7000
Lenses: Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR II & Tiffen HT Circular Polarizer
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM
Tripod: Manfroto 190XPROB with Manfroto 498RC2 ball head
Software: Lightroom and Photomatix
Toguchi Beach has plenty to offer photographers and families alike. The main beach area is nice for relaxing and has shallow water for swimming (make sure to have footwear). Available for rent are several pavilions to hold a small party, however if you want to sit on the beach or lawn area there is no fee. There is one small restaurant and as expected, several vending machines. There are two interesting rock formations visible from the main beach area. One is the typical Okinawa “mushroom” like shape and the other is a large plateau with an archway.
Bordering the northern end of the beach is a large rock jutting out from the land. An easy climb over that area reveals another beach with many smaller rock formations. Just to the south of the main beach, is an elevated park with several walking trails and picnic areas. This part wraps around and borders the river that eventually flows under the red bridge. Here there are several arch like rock formations. There is a kids’ playground featuring a roller slide, two concrete slides and small play equipment. Take the walking trail from the top of the roller slide and discover another secluded beach that is right on the river.
This whole area looks very different depending on the tides. During high tide, there is very little beach area. During low tide, you are able to walk out several hundred feet, but it can be slippery. For a listing of the tides, try this link,( Okinawa Tides (Toya) ) and plan trips for both low and high tides.
If you have not been here, consider bringing the whole family for a picnic and portraits. Once you make the portraits, there are plenty of opportunities for the landscape or macro photographer, while the rest of the family can enjoy the playground, park and beach area.
How to get there:
It is an easy drive from Kadena and located just south of Torii Station. Leaving from gate 1 make a right turn on to 58 and drive for about 3.2 km and turn left. (This is just past the McDonald’s and opposite gate 4). Take this road for about 0.8km following the main traffic down the hill to the left eventually passing over the red bridge. Make a left turn by Star bucks / Aeon. Take this road for about 0.5km and make a right turn in front of the two tall white apartment buildings. Follow this road for another 0.5km and you will be at the parking lot. There is usually plenty of parking, but it can get crowded on really nice weekends.
A big THANK YOU to Chris Rose for organizing these photo tours. Your enthusiasm, knowledge, skills, and generosity have helped each of us become better photographers. We wish all the best in your future endeavors.