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9 Water Activities to do in Okinawa
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9 Water Activities to do in Okinawa

Dec 28, 2020

With a huge cold wave predicted for the end of 2020, it doesn't exactly feel like the time for marine activities. The government has said that they will extend the Go To Travel campaign until the end of June 2021, which means that now is the perfect time to start dreaming of our tropical escapes, before the prices skyrocket and hotels fill up. This article will introduce some of the best water tours and activities offered in Okinawa. Click the titles to see the full details of each activity.

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1. Caving on Miyako Island

Miyako Island is the fourth largest island in Okinawa. Its shores boast stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters. As it is one of the larger islands, you will be able to find plenty of accommodation and places to eat. While there are places you can snorkel directly from the beach, the most impressive coral reefs are found offshore. We offer a tour that combines caving and snorkeling, adventure and relaxation. In this English-language tour you spend the morning snorkeling in the tropical reefs off Miyakojima before heading to a local Okinawan style restaurant for lunch. We recommend trying the "soki soba", a special type of Okinawan soba noodle with pork spare ribs. After the lunch, you'll be taken to some hidden limestone caves where you will don your headlights and explore the caves.

Cost: ¥15,800 per adult


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2. Stand Up Paddle Boarding on Miyako Island

You cannot visit Miyako Island and not try snorkeling. Yoshino Beach is a beautiful white sand beach where you can try snorkeling close to the shore. In this full day tour, you can combine snorkeling offshore amongst sea turtles and manta rays with a stand up paddle board experience. Imagine paddling through water so clear that you can see the detail on every fish and coral. You can substitute the paddle board with a kayak if you prefer.

Cost: ¥15,800 per adult


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3. Kayaking in Kabira Bay

Ishigaki Island is the perfect base for your trip, being located within an easy day trip of many neighbouring islands like Taketomi where you can ride water buffalo or the wild jungles of Iriomote. Ishigaki-jima itself is a very diverse island, home to vibrant coral reefs, lush jungles and field after field of sugar cane. Kabira Bay is a particularly picturesque area where they do not allow normal swimming. One can take a glass bottomed boat, SUP or kayak tour. This English language tour offers stand up paddle boarding or kayaking in the morning, followed by snorkeling in a mysterious blue cave in the afternoon.

Cost: ¥15,800 per adult


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4. Snorkeling off Ishigaki Island

Off the coast of Ishigaki lies a smaller island known as Hamajima, or "Phantom Island". It is called that way because the island is comprised entirely of white sand and only appears at low tide. It is considered one of the most beautiful spots in Ishigaki due to the pure white sand being completely surrounded by clear blue tropical water. We offer a half day tour which takes you to Phantom Island and snorkeling in the nearby coral reefs.

Cost: ¥7,900 per adult


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5. Kayaking and Jungle Trekking on Iriomote Island

Iriomote Island is Okinawa's second largest island, however it is almost entirely wild, with thick jungle and mangroves covering 90% of its land. There is a tour where you can kayak along a river, trek through the jungle and then swim in a waterfall set deep in the jungle. It offers a chance to explore parts of the Iriomote jungle that are inaccessible if walking around unguided.

Cost: ¥7,900 per adult


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6. Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Waterfall Playing on Iriomote Island

Iriomote is known as the "last unexplored region of Japan" for a reason. is full of stunning and unique nature. Paddle boarding (SUP) is a way to enjoy this nature while having some light exercise and plenty of fun. This tour has you paddle your way into a hidden jungle paradise. At a certain point along the river you will disembark and hike through the jungle to an icy cool waterfall where you can swim, splash and play.

Cost: ¥7,900 per adult


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7. Scuba Diving off the Kerama Islands (Zamami Island)

The Kerama Islands are one of the most popular diving destinations in Okinawa, with over 200 different dive sites. Zamami Island is particularly gorgeous and has beach facilities such as snorkel and life jacket rental. There are several companies offering English language diving tours. We linked to one such tour, but you can surely find more. You should be able to see scores of colourful fish, sea turtles, reef sharks, moray eels and more on your dive.

Cost: ¥15,000 for 2 dives (gear not included)


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8. Beach Hopping on Miyako Island

Miyakojima is filled with beaches for you to explore. In fact you can even camp on the non-tourist beaches if you so desire. Maehama Beach is one of the most famous due to its postcard views and the best and clearest water you'll find. It's clearer than a pool! Sunayama Beach is another famous must-visit spot. Nagamahama Beach on Kurima island is a quiet white sand beach where you can try snorkeling, although you may find more marine life at the Nakanoshima Beach or Yoshino Beach. Aragusuku Beach is another snorkeling spot, said to be good for beginners due to its shallow depth. At Boraga Beach, not only can you rent kayaks or snorkels but they actually have a swimming pool which is nice if your hotel doesn't include one. Toguchi Beach is known for its white sand and views of surrounding islands. Sawada Beach has very shallow water making it great for small children, plus the sunset view there is amazing.


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9. Snorkel in the Blue Cave at Onna

The Blue Cave is located in Onna Village on the main island of Okinawa. The refraction of the sunlight causes the water to appear a mesmerising blue colour, making it one of the most popular sights in the area. There are plenty of snorkeling and diving tours to the Blue Cave - probably best for beginners as it is more crowded than other spots of a higher difficulty.

Cost: ¥14,000 not including gear

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