I explored the Blue Grotto in Okinawa!
Since I was in Onna Village I thought why not explore the famous Blue Grotto. The hotel I was scheduled to stay at told me I could join the diving tour if I sign up an hour before the tour departs. So I did!
★This is the hotel I stayed at (overlooking the beautiful ocean!)
【Rizzan Sea Park Hotel Tancha Bay】 http://www.rizzan.co.jp/
★Tour that I joined
【Diving excursion: The Blue Grotto Tour】
Rental gear is available, so all we need is swim wear and a towel. These are available at the hotel for a fee. (Please inquire at the hotel or check their website for details.)
We don't want to lose or get our valuables wet (such as our wallet, mobile phone or camera) so these are left in the hotel locker or safe.
Now we’re ready! We all meet at the designated meeting place at the hotel. Here we sign a waiver and consent form upon joining the tour. This form contains an explanation on how to use the gear and information that will help us judge whether we are able to participate in the tour or not so it must be read carefully before filling it out.
From here we take a free shuttle from the hotel to the dive shop where we rent our wetsuits and change into them. Don’t worry, there’s a changing room and a shower!
After we change, we all go to the boat for an orientation.
We do a final check on how to use the equipment, ear clearing, and hand signals. Since we can’t speak underwater, we communicate by hand signals when we want to say things such as “Ear clearing ok!” or “No problem!”
They also take pictures for us underwater. We were given some tips on underwater photography. (One of them was to hold your breath when taking a picture to prevent bubbles)
After the orientation, we go to the diving spot by boat.
It’s quite thrilling and exciting to sit on the edge of a moving boat.
The water is beautiful and superb, with no smell of the sea. The sea in Okinawa is really beautiful!
And we’re at the diving point and ready to dive!
In this tour, it was the instructor, my friend and me.
As soon as I put my face in the water, I saw fish! Wow!
Those who have never dived before may feel nervous, but there’s not a thing to worry about. It was my friend’s first time to dive, and there was no hesitation.
Diving takes no effort. Don’t be afraid! It just takes courage!
As we go deeper down, more colorful fish and coral reef appear before our eyes.
Overwhelmed by the view, we approach the Blue Grotto site as often seen in pictures.
Then, we arrive at a somewhat dark ocean floor. Here the instructor takes our picture. Huh? What’s behind us? We turn around and see…
The famous Blue Grotto! The glittering sea-surface and the clear blue color. What a stunning and enchanting view!
We can’t stay here forever watching the breathtaking view, so off to the next spot.
In this tour, you can even feed the fish.
We need to hide the food in our hand when we feed them so that the fish don’t take it from us in one bite. For some reason a lot of big fish kept coming to me and bit my hand that I got scared and let go of the food, which of course was taken away in less than a second. I’ve never seen fish so aggressive.
I was robbed of fish feed, but at least I was able to enjoy watching my friend feeding clownfish, despite the disturbing big fish, and also closely observe other different kinds of fish.
Before you know it, the diving tour is over and we are at the surface of the water. In the returning boat, we were incessantly talking to each other like “That was amazing!” or asking questions to the instructor like “What was that?” It was really an amazing experience. I think I’m already a diving addict!
The boat took us back to the shore and we used the shower at the shop. When we were ready, the shuttle took us back to the hotel.
This diving experience gave me the opportunity to witness a beautiful scene in the uniquely Okinawan transparent blue ocean. The fish seemed to be tame that we were able to observe them from a very close distance—so close that we can even touch them, and that was exciting! And the Blue Grotto was breathtakingly beautiful. We were told that the view changes according to the time of day and weather so it gives us a reason to come again!
Designer in Kobe. Always wishes to travel a few times a year. Loves to go to variety shops and cafes.