Epic boat diving in Northern Okinawa

Beyond Okinawa’s iconic beach scenery lies a northern underwater realm. This lesser-known area offers an exceptional dive into an ecosystem abundant in sea creatures and coral gardens.

We recently went on a first diving trip to explore the relatively unknown sites off the northern islands of Okinawa. For a bit more than our normal dive trips, we went on a boat trip to rarely-visited reefs and even a sunken wreck off Kouri Island, Sesoko Island, and Nakijin.

We dove unspoiled coral reefs exploding with color and encountered creatures like sea turtles in their natural habitat.

Our dive experiences were enriched by insider knowledge and access to northern islands unlocked exclusive spots for us to enjoy.

This once-in-a-lifetime experience will show you a secret side of Okinawa that most divers never get to see.

Wild dive sites of North Okinawa

The northern islands of Okinawa offer some of the most remote and unexplored dive sites in the region.

The dive sites around these northern islands remain wild and untouched. Without the crowds and tourists found at many sites further south, we felt like true explorers discovering untouched reefs. The northern waters host an abundance of marine life and corals, surprising us at every turn.

Kouri Island houses a protected marine area, offering pristine dive conditions. Around Kouri we discovered sea turtles, schools of jackfish, and colorful coral gardens.

Sesoko Island sits within swimming distance of Okinawa’s mainland. The island’s location results in strong currents and nutrients that feed the diverse marine ecosystem. We were amazed by huge schools of fish and the many varieties of coral that call Sesoko home.

Mina Island is the smallest of the three, but its dive sites pack a punch. Reef sharks, moray eels, and coral groupers are common sights around Mina.

The northern islands deliver a world-class diving experience without the crowds. We felt privileged to dive in such remote and wild locations teeming with marine life.

Exploring the Kouri Maru Shipwreck

The highlight of our north Okinawa diving experience was exploring the Kouri Maru, a 30-meter wooden fishing boat that sunk around 10 years ago off the coast of Kouri Island. This historic wreck lies between 25-30 meters deep and is home to an abundance of marine life.

As we approached the Kouri Maru underwater, its distinct outline emerged against the ocean’s blue. It looked striking from afar. Getting closer, we noted the wooden exterior’s detailed preservation.

Exploring the Kouri Maru through diving provided us a captivating insight into Okinawa’s deep-sea history and rare aquatic species. The exploration of this historical ship’s remains was truly memorable.

North Okinawa's Underwater Marvels

North Okinawa’s marine life is spectacular, featuring vibrant corals that set the stage for an incredible underwater safari. Divers encounter a kaleidoscope of tropical fish, including sergeant majors, surgeonfish, triggerfish, and parrotfish, moving through the water in vibrant flashes.

Near Kouri and Sesoko Islands, the diversity amplifies. Moorish idols captivate with their striking stripes, while clownfish weave through anemones. The ocean floor is home to giant clams, over a meter in length, alongside the algae-scraping bumphead parrotfish and its colorfully finned relative, the steephead parrotfish.

Camouflaged predators like scorpionfish and stonefish lie in wait, perfectly blended with their surroundings. Observant divers might spot moray eels peeking from crevices or, with keen eyes, rare species such as pygmy seahorses, ghost pipefish, and mandarinfish hidden amongst the coral.

This vibrant ecosystem welcomes exploration, offering a glimpse into the abundant life thriving beneath the waves.

Why Choose Boat Dive in North Okinawa?

  1. Year-Round Pleasant Water Temperatures: Enjoy comfortable dives without the need for thick wetsuits.
  2. Excellent Visibility: Experience the underwater world with clarity, enhancing your dive experience.
  3. Diverse Dive Sites: Explore everything from coral walls and historic wrecks to vibrant marine ecosystems.
  4. Expert-Led Excursions: Dive with confidence under our guidance.
  5. Drift Diving Opportunities: Experience the thrill of drift diving along the reef walls, utilizing favourable currents.
  6. Small Group Sizes: Benefit from a personalized approach and increased safety with fewer divers. (Read why group size matter)
  7. Remote Site Access: Access unique, less-visited dive sites that promise seclusion and undisturbed marine life.
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