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Sustainable Whale-watching in Zamami


Ⓒ Zamami Village Office  

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Sustainable Whale-watching in Zamami


Admire the majestic humpback whales in Keramashoto National Park

Zamami Village Tourism Association


Ⓒ Zamami Whale Watching Association


Just 50 minutes away by high-speed boat from Naha on Okinawa’s main island, Zamami is a great place to enjoy unspoiled nature. The village is composed of a multitude of islands including three inhabited ones, Zamami, Aka, and Geruma, and is part of the Keramashoto (Kerama archipelago), the 31st National Park of Japan.


In the winter, the sea surrounding the islands of Zamami becomes a paradise for humpback whales, which come at this moment of the year to mate in its warmer waters. These otherworldly animals, which measure 13-15 meters long and weigh around 25-30 tons, can be recognized by the color patterns on their tail. Whale-watching excursions are held in Zamami from late December to early April. Join a tour for a chance to see the whales performing spectacular moves and hear them singing to court their future partner!


Ⓒ Zamami Whale Watching Association


Whale-watching in Zamami is both breathtaking and respectful of the whales. For 30 years, the Zamami Village Whale Watching Association has been carefully overseeing the tours and implementing a set of rules to prevent disturbance for the animals. Tours take place on a boat, keeping appropriate distance from the whales, and follow the guidance of observers who survey the sea from different points. The Association also takes part in conservation effort in order to safeguard the fragile environment.

Whether you take a day trip from Naha or decide to stay over in Zamami, whale-watching is great if you want to experience the Kerama archipelago in the winter. During this season, the islands get less busy, and you can enjoy their scenic beauty, unique geology, flora, and fauna at your own pace.


Ⓒ Zamami Whale Watching Association



How to get there


To get to Zamami Village, take a high-speed boat to Zamami Island (50-70 minutes) from Tomari Port on Okinawa Main Island. A ferry also connects Tomari Port to Aka Island (1.5 hours) and Zamami Island (2 hours).


Zamami Port: 1 Chisaki, Zamami, Zamamison, Shimajiri-gun, Okinawa



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