Begins in 2018! The most convenient way to get to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and Motobu.

[Things to enjoy in the northern area and the west coast by Okinawa Airport Shuttle—airport express bus]

A mecca for divers?! closely located near to Okinawa Airport Shuttle’s new bus stop—Michi-no-Eki “Onna-no-eki Nakayukui Ichiba”.

Okinawa’s mecca for divers, reporting from the ocean!

From February 1st, Okinawa Airport Shuttle has become more convenient by changing its route and adding rapid services! In the last article, I mentioned that “Onna-no-eki Nakayukui Ichiba” became the new gateway of the west coast resorts, and I also have introduced Cape Maeda.

Actually, I already introduced a little bit about the famous location near Cape Maeda in the last article, “Blue Cave”—a mecca for divers!!

Often a number of small boats floating on the coast of east side from Cape Maeda.

Usually divers are on these boats. To the Blue Cave, there are two routes to get there. One is going down to the sea directly from Cape Maeda, another is to travel by boat to the vicinity of Cape Maeda.

So, this time, Umi the editor took the route of going by boat to the Blue Cave.

I participated in the “Blue Cave Diving Experience” offered by Reef Resort Kariyushi, which is located in the close distance of Okinawa Airport Shuttle’s “Kariyushi Beach” bus stop. You can apply similar plans at Cape Maeda and hotels nearby, or even at diving shops.

Since I am a beginner to all this, I first received a lecture on the knowledge of diving at a fishing port nearby, and then I got on to a boat after changing into a wet suit.

This is the view of Cape Maeda from the sea.

As you can see from the photograph of the previous article, the cliff close to the surface of the sea has been eroded by the waves.

Oxygen tank essential for diving was much heavier than I imagined… If you are diving from the boat, you only have to shoulder it just before you dive so I was lucky not to feel the weight for so long.

Immediate encounter with fish! Be prepared of the nature

Once in the sea, the instructor will remind you to “relieve ear pressure” as you slowly dive deeper.

Near the surface of the water, we met fish with their mouth wide open. You see this kind of scenery in the aquarium as well. Don’t worry, they haven’t dislocated their jaws. I’m sure you knew that!? They are just enjoying their food while swimming.

Even though we often say “the bottom of the ocean” but it is a configuration full of unpredictable sea floor. It is like there are mountains and valleys in the ocean. As I went deeper, I realized that each sea creature is living in the place that are suited to them.

Under water, it is impossible to listen as the instructor explains to you…

What is the name of this sea creature?!

I should’ve studied more in the aquarium beforehand.

Finally, we dove near to the bottom of the ocean and entered the cave.

I met this bright red fish in the cave. I think they were Blotcheye soldierfish because their eyes were huge. Since they live in the dark places, probably felt annoyed when I shone a light to them.

Let’s head deeper into the cave!

This is the blue cave! ! Enchanted by the blue beauty

When I looked up…

The sunlight was shining in blue. Indescribable blue.

This is why they call this place the Blue Cave!!

When the weather is great, apparently you get to see even more beautiful blue.

You can take a commemorative photo at the bottom of the sea.

When you float inside the cave, you’ll get to see the blue cave from the surface of the sea too.

The water shined in blue and even the wall of the cave was illuminating in blue.

There was also this sharp pointy mountain at the bottom of the sea! The tip of the rock was reflecting on the surface of water.

Meeting the “real” Nemo!

It makes me wonder how many types of coral there are because there are so many of them.

Inside a sea anemone, an anemonefish was playing hide and seek. It’s the famous “NEMO”!

I was swimming back and forth to take a picture of it but in the end the anemonefish was looking at me as if to say “what do you want?”.

The instructor scattered some food to get surrounding fish come closer to us while in the water.

Fish in this area know that “humans = food” so they don’t seem to be scared of us.

Yes, really, they don’t swim away….

In fact, it seemed like they are all saying "What is it? You don’t have any food?" by swimming into you and overcrowding you.

As for me, I was thinking “mmm, are you tasty as sashimi?” to every fish I saw.

It made me laugh looking at the facial expressions of various fish at close distance because so many kinds of fish jumbled together and were all directing at me.

Is this a spacewalk? Or zero gravity space!?

Just to mention, all beginners are carried like this in the ocean.

“Please don’t try to swim”, I was told by the instructor so I let my arms and legs go free in the sea. While I allowed my instructor to carry me, I was thinking to myself “Is this like being in the zero-gravity space?”

Because you also won’t fall.

This was a diving experience of appreciating the beauty of the Blue Cave and “socializing” with those colorful fish.

※The content of this article was written at the end of February 2019. It is subject to change without notice.

 

Information

Okinawa Airport Shuttle
An express bus that connects Naha Airport and Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium as short as in 2 hours.
Going from Naha Airport to Nago Shiyakusho Mae (Nago City Hall) takes about 1 hour 20 minutes using this express bus.
https://www.okinawa-shuttle.co.jp/en/

◇Access to Cape Maeda and Blue Cave
Take Okinawa Airport Shuttle and get off at “Onna-no-eki Nakayukui Ichiba” bus stop.
(Takes about 1 hour 20 minutes from Naha Airport International Terminal)
About 5 minutes by car from Onna-no-eki Nakayukui Ichiba.
http://www.maedamisaki.jp/

To participate the Blue Cave Diving Tour, you will need to apply in advance.
This tour in the article is offered by Reef Resort Kariyushi.
http://www.kariyushi-beach.co.jp

Japan Taxi APP
https://japantaxi.jp/