Woman snorkeling with fish at Ikei Island Okinawa

Snorkeling in Paradise: Beach Trip to Ikei Island, Okinawa

Your vacation is set: Okinawa! The long summers, beautiful beaches and the breathtaking sunsets await! Snorkeling and swimming in deep turquoise water, what a dream! A dream that can come true! Just head over to the easily accessible island called Ikei, which is located off of the central peninsula of Uruma, not too far from your hotel if you have booked central or south. Make it a little one-day adventure! You will never forget it!

Here are my 5 tips for an awesome snorkeling and beach adventure on Ikei Island.

1. Pack lunch!

AEON shopping center and parking lot
Photo credit: Kugel on Wikimedia Commons

Ikei is a small island that is connected to mainland Okinawa through Miyagi-jima. There are not many conbini or places to get food on either of the islands, so make sure you buy a bento, definitely water and maybe a canned coffee at a store before you head over to Ikei island. Gushikawa Aeon is right on the way as you drive along the Uruma peninsula. A great place to pack anything you need, even buy a bathing suit or snorkelling gear!

2. Rent snorkel gear while in Uruma

Man snorkeling in the water

If you are just on the island for a vacation and want to borrow gear for your adventure, check out “Destiny Charters.” They rent snorkelling and scuba diving gear for cheap and are located right in Uruma. Here is their website for more information: Destiny Charters

3. Hit the snorkelling spot first

Red Bridge going to Ikei Island
Photo credit: Nelo Hotsuma on Flickr

As you leave Miyagi island on Route 10 (the only street leading to Ikei) you will encounter the famous red bridge. On your drive to Ikei soak in the beautiful island nature and feel the ocean breeze. Park your car along the road, be careful of traffic and snap some great shots of the scenery. But you want to get in the water! Make sure to load up on sun screen, since it is easy to forget the time in the water and suffer from sunburn on your neck and legs.

Beach on Ikei Island

As you enter Ikei, right by the red bridge, you will find a local snorkelling spot. There are not many people who know this spot and it is a bit of a climb down to get to. But when you make it, a beautiful view awaits you!

4. Be safe in the water, don’t snorkel by yourself

View from the ocean surface

It is the ocean. You always need to let someone know where you are when you go swimming and always take someone with you when you explore new snorkelling spots. Keep to the rocks. It gets pretty deep and you will see some beautiful fish, even if you don’t swim far out. Keep on the side with the factory strip in sight to be sure not to encounter riptides which can become dangerous.

Arrow pointing to factory strip on horizon
With the factory strip in sight, you can safely snorkel here!
Ikei Island jellyfish swimming
A Tomato Clownfish swimming at Ikei Island
Small fish swimming in clear water off Ikei Island Okinawa

5. Enjoy the drive home

As you pack up your snorkelling gear and walk back to your baking hot car, which stood in the sun for a few hours, roll down your windows and just take in this summer life! If you want, you can cruise around the island before heading back to the real world. The trip back with the incredible island view is just a wonderful way to finish your adventure on Ikei island.

Watch a wonderful clip of the island here:

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