Humpback Whales, dancers in Okinawa’s winter sea

Winter, get close to wildlife

Zamami Island

About 50 minutes by high-speed boat from the city of Naha. Every January to March, humpback whales come to the waters of the Okinawa and Kerama Islands for mating, giving birth and raising their young. Because it is Okinawa in winter, you can enjoy whale watching from ships, observing the unique behaviors of the 15-meter long humpback whales as they breach the surface of the ocean with big jumps and spout out of their blowholes. Unknown adventure and excitement are waiting for you.

Whale watching from Zamami Island

Zamami Island (the village of Zamami) is the mecca for whale watching in Okinawa. The islanders felt a sense of crisis as the number of humpback whales dropped sharply for a time due to whaling. In 1991, they launched the “Zamami Whale Watching Association” under the slogan “from capturing whales to watching whales”. Since then, while following rules for observation that are friendly to whales, they have conducted whale-watching tours. In recent years, there have been years when as many as 200 whales have come.

Photo credit: Takeshi Kato

Kerama Islands with more transparent sea in winter

In winter the transparency of the sea around the Kerama Islands is outstanding. Since, unlike the summer, there are less people diving, you can relax and enjoy the world under the sea. You might come across giant cuttle fish swimming above the beautiful coral reefs.

Enjoy the Zamami night with Awamori liquor

After a day of enjoying whale watching, evening is the time to enjoy Awamori liquor. The village of Zamami is dotted with taverns that serve island cuisine and a variety of Awamori liquor.

Mt. Takatsuki Observatory Deck

A viewing spot on the plateau of Zamami Island. There is an unbroken view of Furuzamami Beach, the village and harbor of Zamami and the color gradation of the sea. In the distance are the other Kerama Islands.


Location/Access Zamami Island: Zamami-son, Shimajiri-gun, Okinawa Prefecture
By car (taxi) about 10 to 15 minutes from Naha Airport to Tomari Port. From Tomari Port, 50 to 70 minutes by high-speed boat to the village of Zamami in the Kerama Islands.
Inquiries Zamami Village
TEL 098-987-2277

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