Japan is a seasoned getaway for people looking to experience a dynamic, bustling city such as Tokyo, or to look for inner peace and some cultural education in Kyoto. Japan is not the the first place that comes to mind when looking for a seaside holiday within Asia… that is until you come to Okinawa.
Located in the far south, Okinawa is credited with a culture that is unique and distinct from the rest of the country. With some of the most intriguing natural settings, a chilled out island vibe and a reputation as a diving mecca, Okinawa is a bucket list-must for nature lovers and adventure junkies everywhere.
Snorkelling in Okinawa
You cannot come to Okinawa and not do some snorkelling; with pristine waters and rare, tropical flora and fauna, how can you resist? One of the most popular spots for snorkelling is Cape Maeda, where you even have the chance to snorkel to an underwater cave; with shallow waters, this is the best option for beginner snorkelers.
For the more adventurous and brave-hearted, you can even snorkel with whale sharks; as the largest species of fish in the world, you cannot help but marvel at the creature. However, don’t let their size fool you – a whale shark’s diet consists mainly of plankton and small fish, making them harmless to snorkelers. If you still want the chance to see a whale shark, but do not feel comfortable being in the water, you can always go whale shark watching, from the comfort and safety of a boat!
Located 40 km off the east coast of Okinawa Island and accessible by ferry from Naha City, the Kerama Islands are a cluster of isles that are a haven for divers from all over the globe; here you will find some of the clearest waters in the world, with exotic aquatic life, vibrant coral and a hundred dive spots to chose from. Sea animal species also makes the Kerama Islands worth a visit; Kamami Island sees sea turtles spawn between April and September, and several of the islands have manta rays and luminous cardinal fish swimming in their waters. If you have no experience with diving, you can try this introductory course, done within a day.
Whilst snorkelling and diving might be the most popular tourist activities in Okinawa, there is still plenty more to do during your visit. Some of the most famous landmarks include Shuri Castle, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Makishi Public Market, a lively bazaar lined with colorful, fresh fish.