Okinawa – Snorkelling in Onna-son

We love snorkelling.  In 2015, we chose Okinawa for snorkelling during our summer holiday in Japan.

We normally stay at an Airbnb apartment or a hotel where we can stay for free using credit card points.  For this trip, I chose an apartment in Onna-son

We travelled from Fukuoka by air.  It was right after Obon Holiday period (Avoid travelling during Obon!!) and I found a cheap ticket on skyscanner.net.   I tried other Japanese comparison sites but incredibly skyscanner beat the local sites!  We flew with JetStar and reached Naha International Airport.  At the airport, I picked up my pocket wifi that I organised ‘airport pick up’ online.  I always rent a mobile wifi when I go to Japan.  I will write about ‘pocket wifi’ services in a separate article.  I should write about the phone (sim or roaming) soon, too.

Anyway, we were picked up by staff from the car rental shop (free service).  I normally use Tabirai comparison site for rental car service providers but this time I used Aqua Rent-A-Car.  Sorry, no English site for this company.  They gave me the cheapest quote for the period I wanted with International Driving License.  I will write about renting a car in Japan soon.

Equipped with a car, we went north to Onna-son.  I always use toll road to shorten the travelling time when I’m on holiday in Japan. I think I paid around 650 yen.  It took us nearly 2 hours for some reason.  The guidebook says 1 hour…  I just followed the satnav  to get to the apartment.

Tiger Beach is set up in a strange way.  It is a public beach, yet you have to walk through fancy Hotel Monterey Resort & Spa.  Well, it is kind of convenient that you can use their fancy, clean facilities for free. The downside is that you have to follow their rules.

We snorkelled just past the hotel Tiger Beach area. I think the beach is called Fuchaku Beach.  Good snorkelling there.  A wide variety of fish.  Visibility was excellent – crystal clear.  The shallow sea was calm and warm.

After a couple of days of snorkelling there, we looked for alternatives.  Because my daughter was not a strong swimmer at the time, we didn’t want to go to Blue Cave.  We drove along the sea on No. 58 road and found Nabee Beach.  The main beach wasn’t suitable for snorkelling as there was a jellyfish protection net around the beach, which meant no fish could come in either.  Just like Tiger Beach, you weren’t allowed to use snorkel within the swimming area.

So we walked past the main Nabee beach and kept walking towards north.  Then we came across the perfect snorkelling spot for families.  Safe fish heaven!  If you look towards Intercontinental Hotel from Nabee Beach, you notice twin rocks not far from the shore between the hotel and Nabee. That’s the spot.

There were other families snorkelling and feeding fish with some sausage. We did the same with some bread and rice next day. It was just perfect for our snorkelling level.

We used Nabee Beach facilities (100 yen for hot shower) and had lunch at the diner. It was very reasonable.  I wasn’t sure about their food ticket machine.  What is the point of it?