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Okinawa, Yonaguni, Ishigaki ...

Discussion in 'Japan' started by maddog2, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. maddog2

    maddog2 Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Vancouver, Canada
    16
    0
    My wife (who is a non-diver and non-swimmer) and I are planning to visit Okinawa (Naha) in the spring of 2014. Does anyone have any suggestions on hotels, dive companies, or even tour operators who can arrange a package tour for the two of us. We would prefer western style rooms, but nothing fancy. We just want to get a feel for the local culture on the various islands, cuisine, sights and sounds, and for me some 'tropical' dives. We're planning on a maximum of 10-14 days, and then off to Tokyo.
     
  2. japan-diver

    japan-diver Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
    1,538
    239
    10-14 days is a normal trip how many of the islands are you looking at visiting? Okinawa is the best for non-divers with lots to do and a huge variety of diving for the diver in the family. Yonaguni has awesome diving with large pelagics and the of course the ruins but not a lot for the non-divers. Western style rooms are available on Okinawa and Yonaguni no problem. How much diving are you interested in doing over the 14 days.
     
  3. maddog2

    maddog2 Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Vancouver, Canada
    16
    0
    I was thinking of visiting at least three of the larger islands with 3-5 dives on each island. Probably more on Okinawa (Kerama and surrounding islands). I'm not sure whether Miyakojima would be a better destination than Ishigaki (?). I'm thinking a 2 dives in the morning would leave more time in the Afternoon to spend with my wife, whereas 3 dives would mean a late afternoon return from a boat dive.

    I'd probably bring my Regs, AI computer, mask, and possibly my 5mm wetsuit (or would it be too warm for a 5mm?).
     
  4. japan-diver

    japan-diver Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
    1,538
    239
    For three islands that time of year Okinawa, Ishigaki, Yonaguni would be the best bet. Contact reservations@reefencounters.org and they can set up a trip no problem.
     
  5. Alfawolfje

    Alfawolfje Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tokyo
    137
    31
    Haven't been to yonaguni yet but I was diving 5 dives in ishigaki and I loved the manta scramble!!! I dived with umicoza. Check out their website and package deals!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. maddog2

    maddog2 Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Vancouver, Canada
    16
    0
    Thanks! The umicoza web site is very helpful with prices for accomModations and diving packages. There's even SPA packages for my wife. She'll love that!
     
  7. Golo

    Golo Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Germany
    117
    29
    I don't think 5mm is too warm in spring, but that depends a lot on how easily you feel cold.

    When I have been diving Okinawa end of April/beginning of May, I was a little cold in a 5mm alone and fine when combining with a 3mm vest. A lot of other people also dove with 5mm plus vest. But some were diving with 3mm suit and were fine.
     
  8. maddog2

    maddog2 Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Vancouver, Canada
    16
    0
    Thanks Golo.
    I dove a 5mm in Kona Hawaii in mid-January and it was about right for me (depth 85-100 feet or 25-30 meters). So, I'm guessing that a 5mm will be okay for me in Okinawa.
     
  9. maddog2

    maddog2 Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Vancouver, Canada
    16
    0
    Thanks for the tip on Umicoza. We visited Ishigaki and stayed at Hotel Patina down by the Ferry port. The hotel is an excellent budget hotel. I went to a tour operator at the Ferry port who spoke english. She said that she could make arrangements for me for diving either with a dive company near the Ferry, or with Umicoza. She suggested Umicoza because their staff spoke english. Having heard about Umicoza from you that's who I chose, and I didn't have any regrets. They came by in a Van and picked up both myself and my wife. They dropped off my wife at a village at Kabira bay before the dive/s and picked her up after (all with no extra charge).

    The dives were fantastic. Lots of life on the reefs surrounding Ishigaki that I don't get to see diving in the Pacific Northwest. The entire Umicoza staff that I met spoke english. Harvey a Malaysian and his japanese wife run the dive shop and boat and both spoke english, as did Ako one of the dive instructors. We dove Hanagoi Reef on our first dive and another reef nicknamed Mash 2 (shaped like a large mushroom) on our 2nd dive. As would be expected on a reef dive there was an abundance of colourful fish, many interesting varieties of coral, cuttle fish, pipe fish, sea snakes, etc.

    I also stayed on Zamami island (part of the Kerama islands) at Pension Takatsuki and used their dive services. The dives there definitely were not as good. I've got the feeling that because I was their only dive customer that they may not have taken me to their best dive sites. We went to a dive site just off Ama beach for our first dive and then to butso butso sango for the second dive. Octo, lion fish, and white tip reef sharks were the highlights.
     
  10. Alfawolfje

    Alfawolfje Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tokyo
    137
    31
    Thank you for your own feedback on Umicoza and Ishigaki as I am planning a return trip in November again.
    JUST returned from Zamami and was a bit disappointed by the sea life as well. I went with No-Y divers which is the diveshop of Takatsuki. Really friendly, same dive point and sharks were the highlights.
    I also went diving went Coral divers. Not much English but they generally have more advanced divers and go to further "out" dives including a bit of drift diving!

    http://homepage3.nifty.com/coraldivers/

    Next to No-Y divers, I would recommend them for more advanced dives but except for the shop wife's owner, the staff only speaks Japanese, which was ok for me!
     

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