You won’t only find Yokohama in Japan but in Hawaii, too. Just don’t expect there to be three million people on this stretch of beach, like there is in the Japanese city.

Located on the west side of Oahu, it’s the northernmost beach on that side of the island. And it’s truly off-the-beaten-path. As compared to Waikiki, where beach-goers sit mat-to-mat, Yokohama is never crowded. It’s also not really accessible to visitors who don’t have a rental car because the city bus does not go past Makaha Beach.

I’ve always enjoyed hearing the backstory to names; like Yokohama, which got its name from Japanese fishermen who came here to fish in the 1900s. It seems the name stuck ever since. But it’s Hawaiian name is Keawaula, meaning “the red harbor.” According to Hawaiians, huge amounts of squid would wash up along shore. They had a bright red tinge to them that lit up the ocean.

While the squid don’t come around anymore, surfers do. Well, during the winter months, anyway. High surf make conditions dangerous for the inexperienced, and like Sandy Beach, the shore break can be deadly. Ask lifeguards to point you in the direction of a safer beach.

Or, you can choose to hang out on shore and enjoy the show. I prefer to do that, especially at this beach. Yokohama is known as a shallow-water surf spot with lots of coral heads. As an experienced surfer, I still say, no, thank you to that! So, be like me, and play it safe when you’re out there! The sunsets are so worth the limited ocean time.


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