Guide to diving Okinawa Islands
A diving trip to Japan is practiced mainly in the South of the country, in Okinawa Prefecture. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea. This area near to Manila contains 160 islands which 49 are uninhabited. Okinawa has a temperate climate all year and offers to divers a rich coral reef in Flora and fauna. With its white sand beaches, clear waters and paradise islands, Okinawa is one of the most beautiful seaside resorts of Japan.
Where to dive in Okinawa? The best dive sites
For your diving trip in Japan and Okinawa you have the choice between 3 different zones from each other :
The Kerama Islands
Kuroshima Island offers 3 dive sites with excellent visibility but there are strong currents. Moreover, this diving is reserved for experienced divers. The first is Twin Rocks which is famous for its two rocks coming out of the water with a vertical descent of nearly 30m. You can find green turtles, barracuda, tuna, white tip sharks and manta ray . The second is Hija Bay next to Twin Rocks, there are many corals and fauna like Threefin blenny, scorpion fish and The Yaeyama Blenny. At least, Kuroshima South is a great reef composed of crevices and cornice. You can see rays-eagles, manta rays and turtles .
The largest and most populated island of Kerama , the dive sites are located on the west coast of the island. Uminciyu is a famous island located next to Tokashiku Beach, the artificial reefs at this place attracts a lot of tropical fish and tourists. Aharen Lighthouse is located next to the lighthouse with the same name, the light seeps through the rocks and creates a beautiful panorama; here is little current at this place which attracts many novice divers. Arigaa Cable is a sandy area which has some rocks covered with corals; there are Anthias, Anemones and leaf fish .
The main island of Yaeyama , offers beautiful dives with manta rays. In contrast, regarding what was the most beautiful dive area “Ishigaki National Park”, the massive presence of acanthaster in the spring of 2012 have made this place a desert, there are only manta rays . Between modernity and tradition, Japan is a vast archipelago with a unique and mesmerizing culture. So, enjoy your diving holiday in Japan to meet people and know their cultural and natural wealth.
When to go to in Japan ?
Japan enjoys a pleasant subtropical climate all year. However, avoid going during the seasons when typhoons are devastating. The typhoon season runs from July to October, with a peak in August. In summer, the temperature can go up to 30 ° C and in winter the temperature drops to 16 °. The temperature of the water is around 20 ° C.
The diving conditions vary according to the sites. Ugan, Aharen Lighthouse, Nishibama (Kerama Island) or Tonbara (Kume) have a strong current. Sites such as Sat'as Palace (Shimoji) and Hammerhead Rock (Yonaguni) usually have a lot of current. Okinawa and the Kerama Islands have exceptional visibility.
The underwater fauna of Japan
The warm waters of Okinawa have a very dense and varied fauna, from small to large. You can see barracudas, decarangues, coral sharks and sea turtles all the years. There are many nudibranchs from January to April. Manta rays and dolphins appear in May and visible until November. You can see tropical fish at almost every dive site from August to December. Thus, you will come across a multitude of anthias,wrasses and moray eels . Humpback whales are present from January to March.