Kabira Lagoon is one of those places that is one hundred percent the paradise you see in all the pictures. No, you have not been fooled by some impressive editing trickery. It actually looks like that!
The water is so blue that it makes the shores of England look more like mud pools surrounded by sand than real beaches. The serine, turquoise water contrasts against the perfectly vibrant greens of the surrounding foliage made this place look like something straight out of a magazine. With the added lines of pristinely white, glass bottomed boats, the scene was complete, resembling the honeymoon scene of your lifetime.
The big downfall to all this beauty is that you cannot actually swim in the sea at Kabira Lagoon, turning it into a ‘you can look but don’t touch’ kind of paradise. This is due to the precious corals that lie underneath the waters surface that not only need to be protected, but also make it a very dangerous place to swim. If you did have your heart set on swimming in the sea, you will need to take a kayak or a boat to another small island nearby. Failing that, there are multiple other areas on the island you can swim that would be much easier to simply drive to from Kabira Lagoon.
What you can do here however is take a glass bottom boat tour. There are a range of tours available which are suitable for all the family and a good alternative to snorkeling if you want to simply view the fish. View large turtles, sea creatures and fishes of all shapes, sizes and vibrant colours below your feet without ever getting wet.
While such tours are good if you have little children to take care of, it doesn’t necessarily appeal greatly to me. I would much rather get in the sea myself and view the fish swimming around me first hand. And, after doing exactly that in some blue caves on the other side of Ishigaki island, I cannot recommend it enough. It is without a doubt one of the best and most amazing experiences in my life. It may feel a little scary at first, as it did with me, but it is definitely worth trying. Kabira Lagoon is stocked with ample parking at a fee, restaurants and a few refreshment stands. However the area tends to get very busy on summer weekends, which can make parking a little more challenging. The refreshment stands serve all the Okinawan classics such as Beni Imo and Chinsuko ice cream for all your snacking needs, but be wary that the restaurants are closed from 3pm to 6pm. Unfortunately, they were closed when we turned up so had Beni Imo soft ice cream instead. Of course, it was delicious but, due to the Okinawa summer heat, it melted quicker than I had time to eat it. Safe to say, it lasted only a matter of seconds, with half of it coating my hand in a brilliant, sticky purple colour.
If you type Kabira Lagoon into any search engine, you’re very likely to be hit with a million calendar worthy pictures. And, while Kabira Lagoon surely is ridiculously beautiful, for me it was just that. We couldn’t go in the water (understandably so) and the sand was too beautifully fine to do anything with. Unlike the sturdy sand of England, which is wet and thick enough to build magnificent sandcastles, Okinawa sand, even the wet kind, as not susceptible to becoming sandcastles, no matter how hard you try.
It seems to me that all you can do at Kabira Lagoon is watch the sea, take some photographs, eat ice cream and maybe do a boat tour. At most, you could probably spend an hour here before it begins to get a little boring.
Definitely check out Kabira Lagoon, capture some beautiful images and watch the stunning views, but you probably wouldn’t want to stay there all day.