TOUR

A sea of coral, Prayers of Uminchu fishermen

4 days  Difficulty level 2 – Beginner (easy physical activity; 2-4 hours of activity per day)

kayaking Snorkeling Hiking

Adventure Coral Northern Okinawa

Highlight

Join the Uminchu fishermen to the sea of Yanbaru.
Experience the nature of the ocean. 

Okinawa is one of the rare places in the word with a rich coral ocean.
While coral is decreasing around the world, Okinawa is home to 400 species, around half of all species in the world, and even now new species are being discovered.
Coral is called an “oceanic tropical forest” and an “oasis in the sea”, and it provides shelter and egg-laying spaces for many different creatures, playing a crucial role in the oceanic ecosystem. This precious ocean has been maintained as a result of the local uminchu fishermen’s life in harmony with the sea.

This tour touches on the village life that is still going on today as well as traditional sabani sailboats, and travelers go out to sea with local fishermen to directly experience the ocean of Yanbaru through the eyes of the uminchu.  

Itinerary

Day 1

Living for the sea

An introduction to uminchu

Visit a manufacturing atelier of wooden sabani sailboats, which were essential to the fishing culture of uminchu hundreds of years ago. Conversations with the shipbuilders, who work hard to pass on the traditional building techniques to future generations, convey the spirit and determination of the uminchu who have gained their means of living from the ocean, at great risk to themselves.
Experience sailing out into the wide sea.
 
Explore the village with the guide. The villages of Okinawa are gathered along the coastlines, and also close to mountains or forests near the sea. Come to understand how customs related to the ocean remain present in today’s way of life.

【Activity: Sabani-sailing, Village walk】

Day 2

Reading the sea

Enjoying the geographical features of the sea

From a fishing port, head by kayak to an island in a shoal surrounded by reefs. Experience the wisdom of the uminchu, like reading the depth of the sea and the tides, fish species and information about the seasons.
Learning about the unique geographic features of the sea of Yanbaru where they fish, and the ecology of the fish from the guide, travelers can appreciate the beauty of the ocean, famous for its clarity, with their whole body. Feel the diverse ecosystem supported by various kinds of coral.

【Activity: Kayaking】

Day 3

Return to the sea

Real fishing, and the circulation of the future ocean

It is time to venture into the wider ocean with uminchu. Travelers get on board.
Learning how to read the tides and natural blessings directly from uminchu, and experiencing them themselves, travelers can truly understand the way uminchu face the sea.
 
The coral which nurtures the rich ecosystem is extremely important.
In order to protect the ocean for the future, the uminchu plant coral with their own hands. Led by these uminchu, travelers also plant coral, allowing them to feel the incredible nature of this activity from the bottom of their hearts. 
After coral planting, the uminchu will take them on a snorkeling tour above the stunning coral reefs. Not just witnessing the beauty of the great coral reefs, but also playing a role in their future, travelers will come to love coral even more, and be more moved by the sight.

【Activity: Kayaking, Coral planting, Snorkeling】

Day 4

From the northern tip of Okinawa, looking over the forest of Yambaru and the wide ocean

From the northern tip of Okinawa, looking over the forest of Yambaru and the wide ocean

Prayer to the sea

Feeling the appreciation in the heart of uminchu

On the final day, travelers head to Cape Hedo, on the northern tip of Okinawa. They stand on a sheer cliff formed by ancient limestone eroded by the sea, looking at Yoron island in the distance. Looking down, they see beautiful coral reefs stretching out in the clear cobalt blue ocean.
Looking behind them, a sacred utaki site stands high. This is the place where the Ryukyu myth of the creation of Okinawa takes place, where Amamikiyo, the sea goddess who created the islands of Ryukyu, first landed.
Atop the sacred grove, seeing the wide forest and sea of Yambaru before their eyes, the travelers feel the awe and grace of the ocean that is at the bottom of the uminchu’s heart.

【Activity: Hiking】

Tour Map

OKINAWA ADVENTURES greets you at Naha airport, and coordinates everything from your transport to the various activities during the tour. From the moment of arrival to the final departure, travelers can focus on their experience.

Gathering and disbanding at Naha Airport. The gathering will be around 1:00 pm on the first day, and the disbanding will be around 5:00 pm on the last day.
There may be changes depending on the season.

 Please note that the tour content may change due to weather or other circumstances.