Yum Cha Chats: Okinawa’s best beaches with Japan’s iamSHUM
Post coronavirus bucket list sorted
Sunday’s are hard but can be made easier with unexpected delights — so here’s some fluff to get you through it. Inspired by a recent jaunt for dim sum with Miss Yellow in Hong Kong, allow us to deliver a new edition of Yum Cha Chats — which means let’s go eat dim sum and drink tea in Cantonese. The series will dig into the obscure and tasty 'fillings' you never knew about your favourite DJs and have nothing to do with music — every Sunday. Best enjoyed from bed…
Hailing from the tropical paradise of Okinawa, iamSHUM is one of Japan’s hardest working, and most in demand, DJ and producers. He began his career on the Avex label as one half of EDM duo Future Boyz and since going solo last year; he’s scored multiple top ten hits on Japan’s iTunes Chart. When not touring around Japan, you can catch iamSHUM on the beaches of Okinawa, some of the most beautiful in the world. The natural beauty – white sand, blue water, endless sky – make the island of one of the hidden gems of Asia.
iamSHUM told Mixmag Asia, “I was born and raised in Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa is an island surrounded by the sea with a population of about 1.45 million. There are many beautiful beaches around the island; it’s famous for slow waves and great vibes. When I was a kid, I would often go to the sea to take a walk, swim in the sea, have lunch. That’s where I kissed a girl for the first time. And to this day, it’s where I find inspiration for my music."
He went on to sum up the current situation, “Right now, I realize travel is a challenge for most of Asia and the world, due to restrictions related to the coronavirus. But, once things start to get back to normal, I’d love to invite you to come and experience Okinawa. Beautiful beaches, great food, and really friendly people. It’s a really special place.”
To him, the five most beautiful beaches in Okinawa are...
1. Kouri Beach
"This is the main beach on the island of Kouri. To get there, you need to cross a long bridge; and then you are suddenly in paradise. I really find a lot of inspiration for my songs here. Also, it’s a great place to shoot music videos. I filmed my video 'Don’t Be Afraid' here in 2017, so it holds s a lot great of memories.”
2. Araha Beach
"Location is everything! This beach is about a ten minute walk from my parent’s house. So, this was my go-to beach growing up. I’ve been going there since I was little. The band scene of the music video for my song 'Don't Be Afraid' was filmed here. There are parks and other beautiful surroundings adjacent to the beach. It’s always filled with families, couples, tourists and other people just relaxing and having a great time. If you walk a little further, there is a place called "Sunset Beach", where there is a shopping mall. It’s a perfect place to have food and a drink, and stare out at the waves.”
3. Toyosaki Beach
"This beach is recommended for those who want to go straight to the sea the moment they arrive in Okinawa. Toyosaki Chura SUN Beach is about a twenty-minute drive from Naha Airport. You can see planes flying over your head from the beach; it’s that close to the airport. But still extremely beautiful. In the summer, many tents are set up on the lawn in front of the beach, with people lounging and enjoying the view. Barbequing is huge passion there and the facilities are well-equipped for a cookout. Also, students can enjoy soccer and volleyball on the sandy beach, which is crowded with students and youngsters."
4. Uruzamami Beach
"Uruzamami Beach on Zamami Island is a place famous for corals. The attraction is its high transparency; it’s truly beautiful. You can see all kinds of colorful tropical fish, and you can swim with them when you go diving or snorkeling. Also, since the sea area around Furuzamami Beach is a spawning ground for sea turtles, you can catch the sea turtles if the timing is right. It’s a spectacular site."
5. Zampa Beach
"Zanpa Beach spreads to the west of the famous tourist spot, Cape Zanpa. Usually, it's not too crowded, so it's perfect for those who want to relax and enjoy the sea. You can have the beach to yourself on a quiet day. There is a multipurpose open space where you can interact with animals such as turtles and goats. The beach is also amazing for families, as there are plenty of marine sports in the area. It’s a relaxing spot and a nice place for a day with friends or family".