Okinawa Tourism Information:FeeltheBlueHuesofIrabuIsland!

Feel the Blue Hues of Irabu Island!

post : 2019.08.14 07:00


Did you know that the waters off Irabu Island in the Miyako Islands is famous for its amazing transparency and breathtaking beauty?
It’s acclaimed to be the clearest within the Miyako area, with transparency levels so high that you can see clearly 20 to 30 meters deep in the water.

(Photo Courtesy of Miyakojima Kanko Kyokai (Tourism Association))

Irabu Island offers miles of white sandy beaches like Toguchi-no Hama, and a great number of fantastic diving spots like the double arches that look like an underwater opening. It’s truly a diver’s dream come true.

(Photo Courtesy of Blue Sky)

Up until recently, Irabu Island was only accessible by ferry from Miyako Island, but with the completion and opening of the Irabu Ohashi Bridge on January 31, 2015, it got a lot closer and a lot more convenient!
It’s only about five minutes away by car from Miyako Island, and with such an easy access, I had to hop over to Irabu Island to get my fill on the various marine activities offered there.

In this article, I’ll introduce the Ao-no Dokutsu (Blue Cave) tour.
Choose a wetsuit, goggles, and other equipment at the shop, change into the suit, and now you’re ready to snorkel! They offer a wide range in sizes for children and adults, so you can go without taking anything with you.

(Photo Courtesy of Irabu Island Tour Guide, Yumutsu)

It’s about a five-minute boat ride from Sarahama Fishing Port in Irabu Island to the Blue Cave.
Even if you’re a beginner at snorkeling, the guide is great about teaching everybody all you need to know.
This tour is offered for the whole family, from children aged three to adults.

Within minutes, you will arrive at the entry point of the Blue Cave.
Locally, this entry point was called the Barutatsu.
There are numerous theories to the origin of this name, but in the local Irabu language, “Barutatsu” means “crossing at the mouth” since the entry is an opening between rocks that you can see during low tide.
And now, let’s enter the Blue Cave!

(Photo Courtesy of Irabu Island Tour Guide, Yumutsu)

After adjusting to the water and equipment, here we go! Enter the Blue Cave! The kids are ecstatic!
Inside the cave is a world of fantasy. For very young children and those who aren’t confident in the water, don’t worry. You can enter the cave on a kayak, too.
When you shine a light into the water, you’ll see the twinkling of a school nocturnal fish called cave sweepers or Ryukyu Hatanpo, in the deep dark blue waters.
As you go deeper into the cave, you might come across a big-eye soldierfish or peeking out from behind the rocks in the darkness might be a Japanese spiny lobster!