Tropical fish gathering around the boundless reef of soft coral, white tip reef sharks resting under rocks, big sea turtles cruising around the hard coral reef, huge tunas swimming around the big pinnacles, mild currents forming our ‘sea fan paradise,’ colorful nudibranchs mating, a school of friendly bat fish come greet to you…are just some of the sea life you can find in Okinawa. 

Dive Shop Bluefield, located on in Mizugama, Okinawa

When I think of Japan, beaches and tropical seas are not the first thing that come to mind. So it’s news to me that the coral reefs around Okinawa support the highest diversity of endemic species, plants, and animals in the world.

Ippei & Janine Naoi's Snorkeling in Japan! album on Flickr shows how incredibly clear, turquoise, and inviting the water is. Add it to the bucket list!

Crystal clear water of a Japanese tropical island, Taketomi (by Ippei & Janine Naoi)

Kondoi Coral Beach, Taketomi Island, Okinawa, Japan

For our recommended islands of Japan, please check out:

Taketomi Island belongs to the Yaeyama Island group which boasts of paradisical beaches, untouched tropical rainforests, lush mangrove rivers and one of the world’s largest healthy coral reef systems.
Yaeyama Islands are also known as one of the world’s best diving destinations, having a number of coral species and marine lives as large as those in the Great Barrier Reef. Over 400 types of corals, 5 types of sea turtles, manta rays, whale sharks and all kinds of tropical fish species all live around the islands of Okinawa.

Buttress roots of Looking-glass mangrove in Yanbaru jungle, Okinawa, Japan | ©Ippei & Janine Naoi 

The so called Looking-glass mangrove, Heritiera littoralis (Malvaceae) is a species of mangrove found on the shores of the Indian and West Pacific Oceans.

References: [1] - [2]

Made with Flickr