Scuba diving in Japan … sounded like such a strange idea when it was first mentioned to me! When I think of Japan I think of snow, huge cities, radiation, and sushi. Why would I want to go diving there?! When I received a phone call asking if I would like to travel to Okinawa Japan to experience the diving, my first reaction was “is this a prank?”. But then a quick google search enlightened me to the tropical waters of Okinawa!
Okinawa is the most southern region of Japan sitting close to the equator. The air temperature in July was around 30 degrees every day, and the water temperature was nearly 30degrees!! Driving from the airport to the hotel I thought I was in Hawaii!
We flew in to Naha Airport and spend a few days around Naha city, what a place! The local markets were fascinating, the Okinawa lifestyle is a very healthy one. They live of fresh foods, including a lot of fresh seafood, there is not much from the ocean they don’t eat.
A short one hour flight took us over to Ishigaki Island, and it wasn’t long until we were out on the boat.
The first thing I noticed out on the water was the contrast of colours, the water is a crystal clear blue, and the tropical greenery of the land pops out of the surface.
As with anywhere we started with a paddle in a sheltered area of water, only 5m deep we could see the coral from the surface! Huge fields of hard corals as far as the eye can see! Even with such warm water, the colour of the coral was vibrant and the best part was the abundance of fish around the coral!
Already impressed with the coral, I was looking forward to the next dive. We headed about 45m around the corner to a dive site called Manta City Point – a popular cleaning station for manta rays. Why was I so excited? Because I had never seen a Manta Ray up close underwater before!
If you’ve been thinking about traveling to Japan don’t forget to visit Okinawa 🙂
Oh and did I mention you can see it all on the official episode from the Okinawa: A journey of Discover campaign 😉