If you have time for only one spot in the Kerama archipelago, head to Furuzamami Beach. Marine life is exceptionally abundant around the coral formations fringing the western side of the beach: hundreds of green chromis hidden in acropora clusters, lots of clownfish, gorgeous clown triggerfish hidden underneath rocks and even sea snakes sliding on the seabed looking for a prey… All mingle and set up up an endless show. If you are spending one day on Zamami Island, you can easily combine your Furuzamami Beach experience with Ama Beach, another snorkeling spot located about 2 miles from here.
Update: a large part of Furuzamami coral reef is now closed. The protected area is marked by buoys and a rope, and a supervisor on the beach ensures that snorkelers respect the regulation. We do not know whether this measure is temporary or not. In the meantime, know that snorkeling this spot is now less interesting, because the best area of the reef can no longer be explored.
Furuzamami beach is located on Zamami Island. Naha will probably be your first step in Okinawa, it is also the departure point to many neighboring islands. First head to Tomari harbor, located close to the city center (the closest monorail stop is Miebashi (美栄橋), you will then have to walk for about 10 minutes to reach the jetty). The express boat is most convenient (50 minutes, round trip about $48) but you might prefer the cheaper ferry (120 minutes, round trip about $32). Schedules depend on the seasons. Be careful as there can sometimes be only one or two round trips per day.
To reach the beach from Zamami Island’s harbor, you can rent a bike (20 minutes ride, steep road), a scooter or a car. Furuzamami beach is well indicated from the jetty.
Furuzamami is a large beach, but the reef area only exists on its western part. Walk on your left when facing the sea until you reach the black rocks closing the beach. Most of the snorkelers leave their belongings here and enter the water nearby. Before long, you’ll be swimming over corals.
The snorkeling area is located on the reef area fringing the western end of the beach. It is narrow but you can roam this place as you like. The reefs are covered with well-preserved corals, which drop-off into a sandy seabed (↕12ft).
Furuzamami is a fantastic place for clownfish spotting. 3 species (out of the 5 living in Okinawa islands) can easily be seen here: tomato clownfish, Clark clownfish and pink skunk clownfish. If you look closely you will know how to differentiate them. Did you know each species inhabits a different sea anemone species? There are so many sea anemones here that you simply can’t miss them.
You will also come across other colorful fish here. Amongst them are foxface rabbitfish (gathering in groups of 2), clown triggerfish (rather wild here), bannerfish and several butterflyfish species.
Venomous sea snakes like this spot. You might spot them hunting their favorite prey, moray eels, in and around crevices. Most of the time sea snakes are not aggressive and remain close to the seabed. However, be especially careful here and do not touch rocks or the seabed with bare hands and feet.
A kiosk set on the beach border sells beverages and snacks (expect Japanese food). In Zamami village, about 1 mile from the beach, you will find a wider range of restaurants and inexpensive accommodation.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
I was there in 14th November 2019. The snorkelling area is now a “protecteed area” and we can no longer swim over the corals. There’s a rope delimitating the area (and a very active guardian!) and you can only swim outside the coral area. You can see some fish and coral in the fringe but that’s all.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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