Wait before putting your wetsuit away, now is a great time to go diving!
As the weather cools and the north winds start to blow many divers on Okinawa start to pack up their dive gear and put things away until the warm southern winds of spring grace our shores again. But wait putting your gear up for the winter will cause you to miss some of the best diving Okinawa and the southern islands of Japan have to offer.
As the weather cools in Okinawa the sea surrounding the island comes even more alive. Winter is the start of the humpback whale season in Okinawa and the Keramas. Starting in late December humpback whales will converge on the crystal clear waters surrounding Okinawa to mate, give birth and frolic in the waves. These amazing creatures can be seen on numerous whale watching tours or while diving the Keramas or contact Reef Encounters for the only snorkeling and kayaking with whale tours on Okinawa.
Whales are not the only groups to converge on Okinawa – starting in January in Yonaguni its “Hammertime” as massive schools of hammerhead sharks converge on this western most point of Japan. Diving with schools numbering up into the hundreds of 12 to 15 foot sharks is an experience of a lifetime and Japan is one of the few places in the world where it can be done.
As the tourist scene wains in Okinawa shore dive sites become less crowed and more accessible. As the divers leave the critters float back in. During the winter the number and variety of macro animals for photo bugs to capture that perfect shot of are located close to shore and waiting to pose for you. Also larger pelagic creatures including mantas, whale sharks and even killer whales appear in the waters in the Keramas and other small islands in Okinawa. So as the weather cools, get that gear serviced, dig out that 5 mm wetsuit with hood and go Get Wet!