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wudai

Okinawa,Japan - when to go?

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I'm based in Hong Kong and we get time off work at the end of January 2009 for Chinese New Year. Hong Kong Express introduced direct flights from Hong Kong to Okinawa earlier this year (2.5 hours to Japan!) and I was wondering if anyone has gone diving there, how cold it gets in late January and what's there to see at this time of the year.

 

thanks!!

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Lived there for 2 years in the 80's. Go in the summer. You can get rough seas in the winter and may not be able to dive for a week. I have a number of hair raising stories about diving in the winter.

 

If you don't get a typhoon the water will be flat in the summer.

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I'll be doing a 10-day dive tour of Okinawa and Yonaguni in a week. Any tips/hints for those who have been there before?

 

.mike

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Yonaguni:

If you've never dived with Japanese ops before, they are into the group orgy thing. Where everyone goes to around as a group and are herded like sheep. If you want to do gaijin wandering around on your own stuff, just talk to your guide before hand. Be prepared to see a lot of diver contact with reef if you have many beginner japanese divers.

They usually have a set route to do the monuments, going down to do the "river channel" and then up to the slabs with "writing" then move on up to the monument steps before ending at the big ball on a slab which many japanese like to do a little underwater prayer. Most of the dives are drift dives.

Do try the hanasake that's locally brewed... it's 60% alcohol only ;) I had my first fresh marlin heart sushi washed down with the hanasake. That was harsh!

Who are you diving with in Yonaguni? You'd better brush up on your japanese if you're not diving with an ops with an english speaking DM. There's a great japanese curry place in Kubura. Accomodations are very basic. Tatami mattresses take a bit of getting use to.

You're a little early for the hammerhead schools though. Have fun. I had a great blast in Yonaguni and I do want to return to do the caverns again. We had just started diving that site in 99.

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Drew,

 

Thanks for the tip on the hanasake. I've got to try that ;) I'll be diving with reefencounters.org who employ English-speaking DMs. They were able to craft a custom itinerary for me based on my fly in/out dates so I hope *crosses fingers* it's a more intimate diving scenario. Thanks again for the tips.

 

.mike

 

Yonaguni:

If you've never dived with Japanese ops before, they are into the group orgy thing. Where everyone goes to around as a group and are herded like sheep. If you want to do gaijin wandering around on your own stuff, just talk to your guide before hand. Be prepared to see a lot of diver contact with reef if you have many beginner japanese divers.

They usually have a set route to do the monuments, going down to do the "river channel" and then up to the slabs with "writing" then move on up to the monument steps before ending at the big ball on a slab which many japanese like to do a little underwater prayer. Most of the dives are drift dives.

Do try the hanasake that's locally brewed... it's 60% alcohol only :) I had my first fresh marlin heart sushi washed down with the hanasake. That was harsh!

Who are you diving with in Yonaguni? You'd better brush up on your japanese if you're not diving with an ops with an english speaking DM. There's a great japanese curry place in Kubura. Accomodations are very basic. Tatami mattresses take a bit of getting use to.

You're a little early for the hammerhead schools though. Have fun. I had a great blast in Yonaguni and I do want to return to do the caverns again. We had just started diving that site in 99.

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