Okinawa Islands Scuba Diving Guide

  • On the main island of Okinawa there are more than 25 different beach spots, the most popular and easiest spots being the Sunabe seawall (soft coral gardens to die for), Maeda Point (a fish bonanza) and Onna point (crevices full of incredible marine creatures).

    There are several diving publications available on Okinawa in English with maps and directions if you wish to venture out on your own or check with a local dive shop to hire a guide.

    A dive boat to the Kerama Islands yields more than 100 dive spots. Most spots are around the main island of Tokashiki, which hosts Ariga Cable, Nozaki point (both superb corals) and Gishippu, a protected bay with large schools of snapper and turtles. Zamami Island also has several very popular spots to dive.

    No description of Okinawa is complete without a mention of Ie island to the north. Deep dropoffs, huge fan corals and giant schools of Tuna are the norm here, as well as some large caves.

    Kerama Islands

    With a depth ranging from 5-35 meters, the Keramas are suitable for all diving levels. Caves and caverns as well as a white sand bottom with many pinnacles can be seen. Sightings of sea turtles, skates, large schools of fish, white tip reef sharks, eels and countless others can be expected.

    Yaeyama Islands

    Numerous points include the Ishigaki Manta Scramble for the sighting of mantas and Yonahara Reef for a relaxing dive with a view of small fish schooling over flourishing coral, as well as Nakanoogan Island for dynamic geological features and Yonaguni with its mysterious underwater ruins site.

    Miyako Island

    Known as a “cave island,” Miyako spots include Toriike, a pair of ponds on land that join each other underground, with one of them connected to the adjacent sea, and the Devil’s Palace with its dynamic structure featuring multiple tunnels and arches.

    Kume Island

    Located in the island’s east is a 7-kilometer-long sandbar nan Hatenoharrta with a steep drop on its north side and a flat sand bott on the south, where Tonbara Rock, known for sightings of lai migratory fish as well as hammerheads in winter, is found.

    Zampa Point

    Large wall dive about 50 meters deep on the northern side. Many caves, swim-throughs and large fan corals on the southern side.

    Manza Dream Hole

    The hole begins at a depth of 6 meters, leading to a larger chamber that hosts a school of a couple thousand fish.


    A popular local site known for a variety of hard coral species and the sighting of turtles. Swim-throughs and crevasse at a depth of 7.5 meters.

    Ginowan Gardens

    The area (depth 10-35 meters) is lined with coral-covered pinnacles, home to a large variety of reef fish, great for photography.

    USS Emmons Shipwreck

    Destroyed in an attack by Japanese kamikaze aircraft during World War II, the USS Emmons (90 meters in length) was reportedly sunk by the US to avoid the danger of it drifting towards Japanese territory.

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