I've been wanting to visit Tokashiki since we moved to Okinawa over a year ago, but just didn't get there last year. We have friends visiting from Australia right now and the weather forecast was looking good so I jumped on the opportunity and off to Tokashiki Island we went!
We opted for the 10am slow ferry over, and the 4pm slow ferry back because I thought for sure 5 hours on the island would be enough. If I could change that though, I would definitely opt for more time! By the time you get from the ferry to the beach and then get the bus back to the beach, we really only had 3 hours on the beach, which seems like a lot, but flew by!
When we got off the ferry at Tokashiki port, there were buses waiting to go to the beaches. We opted for Aharen Beach, basically just because the bus was the closest and I had read good reviews of both the popular beaches (Aharen and Tokashiku). The bus ride to the beach takes about 10 minutes and is up over twisty mountain road. The views coming down to the beach were stunning! The bus drops you right at the entrance to the beach with a shower/toilet changing block. We brought all our snorkels, beach shoes, picnic and a beach tent with us, but you can hire everything you would ever need at the beach. We actually decided to get a beach umbrella (1000yen for the day) for extra shade, and my friend even rented a swimming shirt because she forgot her own!
We set up our spot on the beach and headed straight in to the water to snorkel! At first I was a bit worried the snorkelling wouldn't be great because the swimming area looked netted, but it actually wasn't a net, just a barrier because there were water sports happening around the beach (jetskis, banana rides etc). The water was crystal clear and there were heaps of fish following us around! I could spend all day snorkelling I swear! The only thing that got me out of the water was the fact that I was cold and hungry....
The 3 hours we had on the beach absolutely flew by, so I definitely recommend making a long day of it if you can. My one other tip would be to make sure you take something for sea sickness!! The ferry ride over to the island was pretty horrific, I'm not going to lie. I'm not one to get sick easily, and I think beause the ocean was a little rough, it might have made it worse, but I felt horrible the whole trip. Luckily the sold motion sickness tablets at a little souvenir stand at Tokashiki port so we bought some of those for the trip home, which I think helped a little. I definitely want to go back to Tokashiki, but I will come prepared for sea sickness next time. If you are planning to travel to Tokashiki during Golden Week or the peak summer period, you definitely need to book your spot on a ferry in advance. You can ring the Tomari port to make your booking and find information about ferry times and how to book here