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Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What’s the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

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Snorkeling: An Easy-to-Enjoy Marine Activity

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

Unlike diving, snorkeling is an activity that requires no special equipment like wetsuits or tanks, and no specific skills or licenses. It might be one of the most beloved marine activities that you can experience in Ishigaki Island.

Snorkeling can be done with simple equipment, making it an activity that is easy for small children to try.

While floating on the sea during snorkeling, it's enjoyable to watch numerous colorful tropical fish passing by.

Let's introduce the snorkeling spots you should definitely try in Ishigaki Island along with some recommended snorkeling tours!

 

What is Snorkeling?

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

 

What Equipment is Needed?

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

Snorkeling requires a set of three essential items: a snorkel, underwater goggles (mask), and fins (flippers).

The snorkel is a tool shaped like the letter 'J' in the alphabet, which is placed in the mouth for breathing underwater.

A snorkeling set, including the three items, can be purchased for a few thousand yen or rented locally in Ishigaki Island. Many tours often include the rental set in the tour price.

 

How to Snorkel?

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

While diving involves wearing a wetsuit and carrying a heavy tank to dive into the sea, snorkeling requires only the three-piece set.

With the snorkel in your mouth and wearing underwater goggles and fins, you can quickly enter the sea.

The method is to float on the water's surface, put your face in the water, and observe the underwater world.

Since Ishigaki Island's sea has high visibility, just looking into the sea reveals various creatures and coral reefs.

 

Can You Snorkel Without Confidence in Swimming?

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

Snorkeling allows easy breathing while floating on the sea, so there's no need for skills like breath-holding.

Even if you're not confident in swimming, you can enjoy snorkeling while wearing swimwear or a rash guard. For those less confident or with small children, wearing a floating vest or life jacket over swimwear provides additional buoyancy for peace of mind.

 

Is Snorkeling Suitable for Children?

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

Optional tours of marine activities such as diving and snorkeling often have specified age limits.

For snorkeling, children aged 3 and above can participate with both parents accompanying them.

Ishigaki Island has shallow beaches and safe beaches with lifeguards, making it a reassuring experience even for first-time children.

 

Recommended Beaches for Couples, Female Travelers, and Families

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

Maesato Beach, located about a 5-minute drive from the city center, in front of "Intercontinental Ishigaki Resort," is a recommended beach.

Apart from hotel guests, the beach is free to use, and facilities such as snorkeling equipment rental and showers are available. Lifeguards are stationed, and jellyfish protection nets are installed.

Fusaki Beach, about a 30-minute drive from New Ishigaki Airport, is located in front of the hotel "Fusaki Resort Village."

With a location overlooking Iriomote Island on the other side and a beautiful sunset view, it is popular.

The beach is free to use for non-hotel guests, and snorkeling equipment rental and showers are available. Lifeguards are stationed, and there are facilities for jellyfish protection.

Sunabe Beach is a beach located in front of the Sunabe Seawall in Chatan Town, which is about 30 minutes by car from the central part of Okinawa Island.

It is a famous snorkeling spot with good access from Naha and Chatan. The seawall provides easy entry and exit points for snorkeling, and you can enjoy colorful coral and various fish.

Ishigaki Tours offer easy booking options for snorkeling experience tours, available for booking on the previous day or on the day itself.

 

Snorkeling Tours in Ishigaki Island: Highlights and Recommendations

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

Located about 30 minutes by car from Ishigaki City, near the Yaeyama palm grove, is the Blue Cave.

While the Blue Cave in Onna Village, Okinawa Main Island, is famous, Ishigaki Island also has a Blue Cave where you can enjoy the fantastical blue created by the sun's rays entering the cave.

The depth of the Blue Cave is shallow enough to touch the ground when the tide is low, making snorkeling tours accessible to a wide range of ages, from 3 to 80 years old.

Wetsuits, marine boots, and the necessary three-piece set are included in the tour price, so you only need to bring your swimwear. Even for those not confident in swimming, it's recommended, as you can get used to it with the guide's advice.

 

Encounter Numerous Mantas at Manta Scramble!

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

Manta Scramble, located northwest of Kabira Bay and reachable only by boat, is known for its fast ocean currents, but it probably has the highest probability of encountering mantas in Japan.

While the sea current is fast, the chance of encountering mantas is likely the highest here.

At Manta Scramble, you'll be amazed by the sight of mantas swimming hand in hand and the size of the mantas, exceeding expectations.

 

Watching Sea Turtle in Ishigaki

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

Sea turtles, considered to inhabit only clean seas, can also be found in Ishigaki Island.

Depending on the day's sea conditions and weather, spots for snorkeling are chosen considering the spots where sea turtles are likely to be seen.

Let's meet the slowly swimming sea turtles!

 

Encounter Mantas at Kabira Bay?

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

Kabira Bay, awarded three stars in the Michelin Guidebook, is a spot with emerald blue sea. Although it makes you want to swim in the sea, swimming is prohibited in Kabira Bay due to the influence of the tide.

Therefore, if you want to enjoy snorkeling in Kabira Bay, participating in a boat tour is the basic option.

Snorkeling in Kabira Bay focuses on points where mantas come and swimming among colorful tropical fish in the coral reefs, providing a fulfilling experience in the clear blue water known as Kabira Blue.

Participation is possible from elementary school age, but it's recommended for those who are somewhat accustomed to the sea.

 

Photogenic Spot: "Phantom Island" Hamajima

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

The most popular and photogenic spot in Ishigaki Island is the "Phantom Island" Hamajima.

Currently trending, especially on girls' trips, is the mermaid photo.

Mermaid photos look fantastic against the backdrop of the outstanding transparency of the sea and the white sand. It's a location you'd want to experience at least once.

The Phantom Island Hamajima landing tour includes snorkeling in spots where you can encounter sea turtles in the area known as Osaki and snorkeling in the Ishinoseki Reef, the largest coral colony in Japan.

This tour is recommended for those who want to enjoy snorkeling and sightseeing in Taketomi Island in one day.

 

Combine Snorkeling with a Tour of Taketomi Island

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

For those who want to explore not only snorkeling but also Taketomi Island, it is recommended to combine the two.

After enjoying snorkeling, you can visit Taketomi Island for lunch. Then, you can explore the island by water buffalo carriage, rent a bicycle, or take a glass-bottom boat for a leisurely sightseeing plan.

 

Top Recommendation: Full Day of Snorkeling!

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

You've traveled to the southern resort destination of Ishigaki Island.

Why not make the most of it by dedicating a full day to snorkeling?

Board a snorkeling boat, and an instructor will guide you to the best spots depending on the day. You can enjoy Ishigaki Island's unique snorkeling, such as colorful corals, endangered sea turtles with turtle shell patterns, and mantas.

 

Conclusion

Challenge Snorkeling in Ishigaki Island! What's the Best Way to Enjoy It to the Fullest?

Have you found the snorkeling spots you want to visit?

Since snorkeling is significantly affected by tide levels, feel free to inquire if you want to go to the best spots on that day!

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