Soft robots are difficult to control because of their compliant and elastic body dynamics compared with robots made of rigid bodies. In this paper, we present a control scheme inspired by the octopus called timing-based control for soft robotic arms. This control scheme is motivated to positively exploit the natural dynamics of the soft body. We demonstrate a scheme for controlling an object-reaching task by using an echo state network on a 3D physical soft robotic arm simulator and show that this network can successfully perform the task. Detailed analyses and evaluations of the generalization capacity of the network and the performances to the reaching task are presented.