Beginners friendly! The attraction of snorkeling in Okinawa

Compared to scuba diving, even the inexperienced can safely enjoy the beautiful waters of Okinawa by snorkeling. The ocean in Okinawa is clear enough to offer a view of colorful fish in shallow water, rather than going further offshore. Snorkeling is also an easy way to get into scuba diving. However, the fact is that there are many snorkeling accidents every year. Let’s follow the basic guidelines in order to enjoy snorkeling safely.

Basic of Snorkeling

Must items
Mask, snorkel (a tube for breathing) and fins

Useful items
Wet suit or life jacket, gloves and boots

First, make sure to wear a life jacket or wet suit over a swimsuit.
Wearing light clothing is preferable even in the midsummer to protect your skin from strong sunshine, corals, and jellyfish.
Place a snorkel on the left side of the mask, put anti-fog treatments on the lenses, and wear the mask.
Make sure that your nose is absolutely put inside the mask, no any strands of hair is caught in the mask and the straps are not twisted.

When you put a snorkel, shape your mouth as “u” tightly. Otherwise, sea water might get in your mouth.
Before entering the water, you should practice how to breathe on the land. Inhale slowly, exhale boldly.
In case the seawater comes into the snorkel, do exhale strongly to purge.

How to Hold a Snorkel in your mouth

How to Hold a Snorkel in your mouth
Hold the mouthpiece in your mouth with shaping your mouth “u” to have a good seal.

How to hold a snorkel in your mouth (X) open mouth widely
If there is a space between the mouth and snorkel, seawater will come into your mouth.

After wearing fins, walk sideways into the water.
Once you get to waist deep level, wear your snorkel and put your face just above the sea level.
Keep your snorkel upright, so water won’t get in.

Eye Line When You Swim

Eye Line When You Swim
Put your face just above the sea level and keep your eyes diagonally forward.

Eye Line When You Swim (X) look down
Keep your snorkel upright, so water won’t get in.

Straighten your knees and move your foot up and down widely. Do not kick like pedaling because you cannot move forward well.

How to Fin Kicks

How to Fin Kicks

How to Fin Kicks (X) pedaling motion
Kick like pedaling. You cannot move forward.

When returning the beach, keep swimming until you get to waist deep level. Stand on the heels, turn sideways and walk toward the beach.

Recommended Spots

Introduce some must-go snorkeling spots to experience the beauty of Okinawa! Since some shops offer tours to these spots, even beginners can enjoy snorkeling safely. Look into the beautiful undersea world.

Blue Cave (Okinawa Main Island)

This is a representative point of Okinawa, located at Cape Maeda, Onna Village on Northern Okinawa. You can enjoy the mysterious scenery of the blue cave that the sunlight seeps through rocks and reflect to the bottom of the sea. You can see Bigscale Soldierfish as well as a specialty of Okinawa, Ryukyu sweepers.

Hatenohama (Kume Island)

Japan’s one of the biggest shoal, 7 kilometers length from east to west, is on an offshore of Kume Island surrounded by corals. This is divided into “Hatenohama”, “Menuhama” and “Nakanohama” that most tours are taken to. You can enjoy beautiful corals and colorful tropical fish like Anemone fish swimming in front of you.

Yabiji (Miyako Island)

Japan’s one of the biggest coral reef area, which is called “Yabiji,” spreads Northern Miyako Island. It is about 17 kilometers from north to south and about 6.5 kilometers from east to west. The corals are usually located below the water’s surface, but they appear above sea level during a spring tide. Not only corals, but clownfish, Redfin Anthias are also must-see.


Have your partner when you go into the water. Just as scuba diving, you need to use the buddy system to improve safety and reduce risk. When snorkeling while you communicate with your buddy who stays nearby, you will benefit in terms of safety and fun.
Since your schedule might be tight during a trip, avoid snorkeling when you do not get enough sleep or feel sick. Never drink alcohol prior to diving.
Inexperienced swimmers or children should be accompanied. If you are concerned about going under the water, use an inner tube while snorkeling.