Things you should know before going to Kerama whale watching

Last summer one of my friends told me he is planning to go to Kerama Islands for whale watching. As I’ve been in Zamami I was surprised a little bit because the season to see this incredible giants starts on January and lasts till the beginning of April. So, if you go to Kerama in summer, you will hardly have a chance to meet any whale there. Now I will introduce you some important things you should know before going to whale watching to Kerama Islands.

  1. The first important fact to take into account is the season. Kerama Islands offer plenty of attractions during the whole year but if your main purpose of visiting this island is exactly whale watching, make sure to know that the best whale watching season starts in the middle of winter and lasts till the middle of spring. This is the best period because whales love breeding in warm parts of the ocean and they come here for that reason.
  2. Open water brings its consequences usually in the form of winds. It’s a little bit cooler in warm water than in the beach. Thus before going to whale watching put on layers and shed them. Don’t forget to cover your phot camera or any device you are going to use, because you can catch some water sprays. Put on comfortable shoes, preferably sneakers which don’t slip.
  3. If you want to see whales but have seasick then going on board can be a serious challenge for you. To avoid this, go for whale watching in the morning. It’s better to take some seasick pills with you especially if it’s your first time on board.
  4. Remember that whale watching tour lasts 2-3 hours and if you are taking your kids, it might be boring for them to wait whales to appear.
  5. Whales are very curious about who is there in their territory. So don’t get surprised if they approach vessels to “have a conversation” with you. The best option is to keep a good distance.
  6. Don’t even try to swim with whales or touch them. It’s risky and can harm yourself. Whales are multi-ton mammals and in case you don’t know how to behave with them, make sure to just following them to avoid bad things to happen. Don’t throw food for them, because human food can be harmful for their health. Try to behave you as a guest: polite and kind.
  7. Approach these amazing marine creatures from the side. Make sure not to block them to get into deep waters.


If you follow all these steps before going to whale watching in Kerama, this journey will be the most unforgettable in your life. Don’t forget to take photos and send to our official page.

See also

You may meet people who say they are travelling to Kerama Islands in winter. Before getting surprised, make sure you know much about this fascinating part of the earth because the most wonderful season of the year to visit this island. So many activities to do, that you will definitely need a lot of free time to manage everything.
About ten years ago,island fishermen reported seeing whales in the area. Then the humpback whales have returned to the Kerama,where they once were hunted. Foer several years the number of whales migrating to the Kerama gradually increased. Current from February to March every year,many boats (departed from Naha and each islands) is used for whale watching around the Kerama islands.
 Study of Humpback Whales in Japanese Waters WWF Japan supported a survey of humpback whales in Japanese waters from 1988 to 1995. The survey was initiated by a Canadian scientist, Dr.James Darling, with help of Japanese volunteers. He used a method to identify animals by photo identification. Shapes and pattern of flukes of each humpback whale is different like human's finger prints. The purposes were to study status of the species in Northwestern Pacific Ocean and to introduce the method to Japan.
At present in the oceans of our earth there are seventy-six varieties of whales and dolphins comprised of sixty-six kinds of toothed whales and ten varieties of baleen whales. Among those that can have confirmed sightings in the seas off Okinawa are nineteen varieties of toothed whales and seven varieties of baleen whales. One of the most frequently sighted among the baleen whales is the Humpback. The Humpback Whales in the Pacific
In order to win females to pair up with as mates, male whales engage in repeated fierce battles amongst themselves. At certain times as many as two to eight males will accompany one female. The male humpbacks do this to propagate their species and for them it is serious business, but for whale-watchers it is a chance to have an unforgettable experience viewing this dramatic behavior. The seas off Zamami Island are mating seas for the humpback and in contrast to other sea areas, such as feeding seas where such behavior as bubble net fishing can be seen, the Zamami seas are where visitors can come to watch their mating pod behavior.
Humpbacks usually congregate in small groups of one to four but gather in much larger groups when they are in the seas where they feed. Humpback Whales are popular among whale-watchers because of their dynamic performances. Whale Singing
 by Senzo Uchida Humpback Whale