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Published on 06.03.2016
As one of the largest islands of Okinawa, Ishigaki Island offers several nice beaches with pristine white sand and brilliant turquoise waters. The island attracts thousands of tourists every year to enjoy exciting snorkeling while being surrounded by amazing tropical marine life.
Snorkeling is the best way for tourists to immerse in aquatic wonderland and feel the sense of oneness with the sea. With a mask, fins and snorkel, tourists can explore this marvelous water area which is home to countless tropical sea creatures. Visitors can have great chances to see the Manta rays swimming with their wings spread wide in this shallow water area. You also can almost touch the colorful fishes and swim along with amazing sea turtles. You can simply enjoy spending hours floating over Okinawa’s endless coral heaven and observing fantastic coral and sea life. Moreover, you are offered with the opportunity to do some underwater photography or film-making thanks to the crystal clear water and great quality of light in this area.
Snorkeling is so cheap with a basic setup costing around 6,000 JPY. There are also many dive shops offering snorkel equipment at very reasonable prices. The kit includes mask, snorkel and fins. Extras may include de-mist spray, rash guard/dive skin, swimming shorts, wetsuits which can be used during Ishigaki's colder months, water-resistant sunblock to protect yourself from UV exposure, towel, and waterproof bag to keep your belongings.
Things to be careful about
When in the beach, visitors are advised to beware of strong currents that can carry you out into open water and poisonous creatures such as Habu Jellyfish. They are also instructed to avoiding direct contact with the reefs for both their own safety and the preservation of the reef.
Below are some recommended beaches for snorkeling in Ishigaki Island
Yonehara Beach: one of Ishigaki's nicest beaches with some of the best snorkeling on the island.
Admission: Free, limited free parking (or 500 yen at the adjacent campsite)
Admission: Free, no parking fees
Admission: Free, 300 yen for parking, 300 yen for facilities