Cape Maeda in Okinawa is a stunning view point, and a very popular spot for snorkeling and diving tours. The exceptionally clear water, and the unique blue cave under the cliff, makes this the number one diving spot for tourists among all the amazing dive sites on the island.
As soon as you pull into the paid parking lot at Cape Maeda, you will realize just how popular this site is for divers and diving schools. The parking lot is filled with mini vans, and people in wet-suits unloading scuba tanks from the vans. As you move on from the parking lot, you will walk past a building which contains more diving related business, a small restaurant and changing rooms.
Straight ahead from the restaurant is a viewing area where one can admire the stunning coastline. Stick to the trail on the left side of the lawn, and you will be able to walk almost all the way to the tip of the cape for the best views. From here you will be able to see one of the reasons for the sites popularity with snorkelers and divers; the otherwise shallow and flat plateau under the water suddenly drops off, as a steep wall disappearing into the darkness of the ocean. This wall has fascinated and attracted divers for years.
On the right side of the restaurant is a set of stairs which lead down to the water. A sign warns you, only to venture into the water with a certified guide. On calm days you can see hundreds of snorkelers and divers swimming in the waters here. There will also be a few boats bringing in divers from other locations. Before venturing into the Okinawan waters, please read this article on beach safety in Okinawa.
The Blue Cave (青の洞窟)
About 100m in south-easterly direction is the famous Blue Cave. The Blue Cave is probably one of the most famous diving locations in Okinawa, and also one of the major draws for divers and snorkelers coming to Maeda. The cave, which can only be entered under water, has earned is name from the mesmerizing blue light which it is bathed in. The sun, reflecting the light through the sea, into the cave is the reason for this beautiful lighting.
The cave can be a little crowded due to the many dive tours, and the fish are used to people. Nevertheless it is highly recommended to reserve a diving tour of the blue cave if you are in Okinawa. It is a unique experience. There are both snorkeling and diving tours available, even for complete begginners.
Blue Cave snorkeling and Diving tours:
- Onna Village Blue Cave Scuba & Snorkel
- Onna Village Blue Cave Diving and Snorkeling Experience in Okinawa
- Onna Village Blue Cave Snorkel & Scuba + SUP & Parasailing Experience (Hotel Pick Up)
By bus: it is possible to go by bus, but it is highly recommended to go by car, or join an arranged tour if you plan on snorkeling or diving. If you must take a bus, then take bus 120 from Naha Bus Terminal to “Kuraha“. The ride from Naha is about 1 hour 40 minutes. From the bus stop it is a 15min walk (1.2km / 0.75mi) to the Cape Maeda parkinglot.
By car: It is highly recommended to go by car. from Naha it takes about 1 hour by car to get to Cape Maeda. Either take the Expressway E58 north, or take the regular route 58 along the coast, until you see signs for Cape Maeda.
Cover photo Cape Maeda, Okinawa. ©OCVB