The Kerama Islands, located 30 km west of Naha City, is made up of about 20 islands of varying sizes and is one of the world’s best dive sites. In addition, it is here that whales like to spend their mating season, which is a pleasure to watch at this time. Check clothesbliss for how to get to Japan.
Zamami Island is famous for its amazing diving. The water temperature here is always above +20 °C, and the choice of diving site is huge. You can get here by ferry from the port of Tomari (Naha city) in 1.5-2 hours, or from Naha airport in 20 minutes.
Tokashiki Island, the largest of the Kerama Islands, is located 32 km west of Naha. The island is surrounded by white-sand beaches, and the local waters are rich in coral reefs and are so transparent that they allow you to see to a depth of 50 m. 35 minutes by express ferry from the port of Tomari separate this island from the capital.
The archipelago also includes the islands of Aka (diving), Geruma (ancient Okinawan houses), Tonaki (included in the national park) and Aguni (the world-famous Aguni salt is mined here).
It is located as much as 400 km from the main island of Okinawa, and is the third largest and most densely populated among the islands of the archipelago. In addition, Miyako is known as the site of the annual triathlon competition, as well as for its beautiful white sand beaches and Yaebisi coral reefs.
Near Miyako Island are Tarama, Iekma (bridged to Miyako), Irabu (famous for excellent mackerel fishing), and Shimoji (excellent diving and Japan’s only training ground for commercial pilots).
You can get here in 9 hours by ferry from the port of the capital of Sinko or 45 minutes by plane from Naha Airport.
It is located 100 km from the city of Naha and is famous for the chic sandy beach of Eef. In addition, the island of Kume happily escaped destruction during the hostilities in Okinawa, so amazing monuments from the era of the Ryukyu kingdom have been preserved here.
You can get to Kume Island in 1 hour and 45 minutes by ferry from Tomari Port (Naha City) or half an hour from Naha Airport.
The Yaeyama Islands are located 500 km west of the main island of the archipelago – Okinawa, and consist of 10 islands: Ishigaki, Taketomi, Kohama, Iriomote, Hateruma, Yonaguni, Kuro and Yufu.
Ishigaki Island is home to 80% of Yaeyama’s population and is also home to the main port through which all communication with the rest of the Yaeyama archipelago is carried out. In addition, Ishigaki is home to the beautiful Shiraho Beach and Kariba Bay. You can get to this island by ferry from the port of Naha Sinko or 50 minutes by plane from Naha.
Iriomote Island is the largest of the islands in the Yaeyama archipelago and is famous for its rare species of animals, such as the Iriomote wild cat, due to its unique tropical flora. The other side of the island’s tropical paradise is frequent tropical downpours and high humidity. Travel: 40 minutes by ferry from Ishigaki Island.
Taketomi Island is an amazing atmosphere of old Okinawa; wagons pulled by Indian buffaloes; traditional red tile buildings and ancient stone walls. This oasis of peace and tranquility can be reached in just 10 minutes by ferry from Ishigaki Port.
Yonaguni Island is the westernmost island of Japan. From here on sunny days you can see the shores of distant Taiwan, which is only 111 km from the island. 4 hours by ferry or half an hour by flight separates Yonaguni from Ishigaki Island.
The tiny island of Kohama (only 16.6 km in circumference) is interesting because it was here that the popular Japanese television series Churasan was filmed. Travel: 25 minutes by ferry from Ishigaki.
Diving in Okinawa
The underwater world of Okinawa is familiar to more than one sophisticated diver. The abundance of coral reefs, varieties of fish and dive centers throughout the archipelago allow you to dive here at any convenient time and place. The English-speaking Fathoms Diving Shop can be found in Sunabe District, Chatan City.
Popular dive sites:
- Sunabe: night diving, suitable for both beginners and pros, easy access from Sunabe beach
- Maeda – year-round dives, suitable for all skill levels, dives from a specially built ladder at Maeda Point
- Onna – a place hidden from prying eyes is located between Cape Manza and Manza Beach. Due to the characteristic shape of the coast, this place is often called Toilet Seat Point (“stool”)
- Seragaki is a popular snorkeling spot. You can get there through the territory of paid camping, which, by the way, is ideal for picnics.
- Porto Yomitan where you can see whale sharks
- The coastal waters of Yonaguni (Yaeyama Islands) amaze with ancient buildings discovered in the coastal waters of the island
- and others.
Weather in Okinawa
Okinawa is located in the subtropical climate zone, where the average annual air temperature is +23 °C. Seasonal winds come from the south in summer and from the north in winter. The coldest month is January (+16°C), the hottest month is July (+29°C).