Photo:troy_williams on Flickr

Cape Zanpa in Yomitan, Okinawa

An amazing view, sharp and steep cliffs, deep blue waters and the horizon to gaze at. Cape Zanpa never disappoints in beauty and majesty. I came to love the sight and would like to take my students and friends there for sightseeing. Cape Zanpa (often referred to as Zampa) is located in the West of Okinawa Honto, in the village of Yomitan. To get to the Zanpa cliff the curvy roads take you along the ocean through sugar cane fields. The drive to Zanpa alone is worth the trip. On a sunny day or when the sun sets, the view along the coast is simply breathtaking. Zanpa is very close to Hotels like Alivila and Renaissance and easy to find if you follow the signs or even have a map.

Zanpa has its own beach and hotel resort, where you can relax before or after visiting the cape. The Zanpamisaki Royal Hotel welcomes you with great service, fun activities, facilities and dining. Another wonderful hotel choice if you plan on a vacation in Okinawa. If you are a local in Okinawa or already have a hotel booked, no worries. Visit the hotel beach on your sightseeing tour through Yomitan anyways.

The water is clear and cool and the beach offers water sports and has showers to freshen up after a good swim. Across the street there is also a petting zoo where you can feed animals and a restaurant for your enjoyment. The beach and hotel resort can be found just a couple hundred meters before you reach the actual cape.

Coming to Zanpa you will immediately spot the white light house which is located right at the cape. Okinawa prefecture recently renovated the light house and the little park, so it is a lot more comfortable now to walk around the cape. The lighthouse itself sits on the black coral rocks of the cliff and overlooks the ocean. If you stick around longer at the coast, you can witness a beautiful sun set. I have seen lots of sun sets in Okinawa but personally I like them in Yomitan the best. You can also go up to the top of the lighthouse for a small price. 100 Yen for kids, 200 Yen for adults. Take some water with you, the climb up the stairs is a good exercise but it is totally worth it. The view is amazing from the top! On the main floor you can find a small museum about the history of this lighthouse. Check it out on your way down!

Right next to the lighthouse you can carefully climb the rocks to look over the cliff. Before the renovation a fence prevented you from reaching the edge of the rocks but tourists were continually climbing over it and it became really a secret spot and a "must see" attraction for visitors. So after the renovation the Lighthouse staff put up a little bar that allows you to actually pass through legally to climb on the rocks.

Just be really cautious and don't take little kids with you. The coral rocks are sharp and the fall into the water is high (in case you fall). But the view is one of its own. You can watch the locals fish there and also spot some sea turtles if you are lucky. The rest of the cape sight offers lots of trails and memorials, that tell the history of the Cape and give you more opportunity to enjoy the view. Cape Zanpa actually plays a big part in the World War II history since the Americans landed at Zanpa and old Okinawians tell stories of warships arriving at this very coast.

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