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Looking at Huge Coral Reef on Glass Boat 「Ikema Island Underwater Sightseeing 」
post : 2015.04.15 22:00
Off shore to the North East from Ikema Island,
there is a huge Coral Reef called 「Yabiji」which appears on the sea surface once a year.
Needless to say, this is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Miyako Island, however,
most of the tour boats depart at around 09:00 and come back in the evening.
In such long tours, family with small kids might have difficulty to join.
If you wish a short tour, how about taking a Glass Boat and see the untouched beautiful Coral Reef closely?
It is about 50 minutes tour, shorter than above 「Yabiji」tour and the Coral Reef is just as beautiful as Yabiji.
「Ikema jima kaitei Kanko 」(Ikema Island Underwater Sightseeing)
has a service to guide you to「Uganbashi」, a hidden Coral point which only the local people would know.
Unfortunately, the geographical point detail can not be disclosed in this edition,
but the Coral Reef has a root in wide range and very alive just like 「Yabiji｣ and the point is almost a paradise to the Coral.
As this is not an advertised point to tourists ,
there are not many tour boats like a Yabiji tour, so you can really relax
and enjoy the underwater view on the boat.
In 10 minutes from Ikema Port, as you approach to the hidden point,a
wide range of the Coral suddenly appears and it is just like a big grassland.
Here you can find a variety kinds of Corals such as Vegetable Coral,
Table Coral which can be grown in several meters, Coral Tree,
Ryukyu Chrysanthemum, rose shaped Sea Rose and round shaped
green stones which look like a cedar tree. Some Coral are step type
and some are soft type, very rare kinds of Coral cluster can also be found.
As these Corals stay in a shallow sea, you can clearly see them through
a floor glass on the boat or from above the sea.
Of course, you can also find big and small kinds of colorful tropical fish.
There are some tourists who are so impressed by the beauty
and jump into the sea on a clear day in summer.
The highlight of this tour is to find the 「Ohama Sango」the Porites Solida
which is 5 meter in height and 14 meters in diameter, and y over 1000 years
old and still keeps on growing. What a surprise!
The color changes by reflection of the sunlight and very beautiful.
The captain of the boat Mr. Nagamine has spent a long time and finally found
a "Napping Point". If you are lucky enough, you might also be able to find a Sea turtle there.
The owner and captain Mr. Nagamine was born in Ikema Island
and used to operate a big shipping vessel for 27 years and has a good experience.
As he wished to share the beautiful ocean view of Ikema Island
with many other people, he started this tour business in 1999.
「I used to guide Yabiji, but there are many service dealers now...」,
he seemed lonely and said. 「I would like tourists to take a good time
and see the untouched nature of the beautiful sea, Uganbashi 」.
There is a time the Corals look the most beautiful.
「The Corals look the most beautiful around noon time when the Sun is high, so please come in that time. 」, he said.
I was so impressed by the Captain who truly loves the sea and his expression of being proud of what he is doing.
Ikema jima Kaitei Kanko (Ikema Island Underwater Sightseeing)
Address/ 938-2 Aza Ikema, Hirara, Miyako Island, Okinawa prefecture
Fare/ 3000yen over junior high school 1,500yen children (incl. Tax)
Open/ 08:00～18:30 (October to March close at 16:00)
20 trips are normally available during the above business hours,
however, please contact in advance as the service is subject to
the weather and other conditions.
Okinawa CLIP Photo writer by Ken Ogawa (Qey Word)