(Okinawa) PADI Open Water Diving License

Diving is a highly technical sport (vs say, hiking where all one has to do is walk... albeit uphill), so training is important before being allowed to dive by yourself. This is how I got my training. 

Budget: JPY52,430 (~USD350) from Tokyo

  • JPY35,000. Open Dive License Training fee
  • JPY1,720. Bus, Tokyo < > Chatan  (JPY860 one way) 
  • JPY15,710. Flight, Tokyo < > Okinawa
  • +JPY19,500. Hotel, Chatan (5d4n)
    • The cheapest option is around JPY10,000
  • +Food and drinks. I was probably eating/drinking JPY5,000 to JPY10,000 a day. Because yes, I eat a lot. 

Visit Date

  • October 27-31

When to Go
Throughout the year. Okinawa remains warm throughout the year, and the providers use a thicker wetsuit that will keep divers warm. I went diving in winter (February), and was warm. 

Special Notes
  • There are different courses, I chose PADI because I think it's the most internationally acknowledged one. 
    • Open Water Diving Course - needed to dive up to18m
    • Advanced Open Water Diving Course - needed to dive up to 30m
  • The actual open diving course I booked : https://activityjapan.com/publish/plan/40284
  • The goal of the course is for the student to learn - not to pass/fail the test. So the student will almost surely pass the course.
    • I can barely swim, and there was no swim test (thankfully!). 
      • But there was an exercise where I had to remove the life vest (buoyancy control device/BCD), and so for about 5 seconds I have to remain floating, but I had huge fins and a wetsuit. 
      • If you are not comfortable with water, it will be very very difficult. Not impossible, but quite difficult  I would say. 
  • I had to submit the answers to the test, and we did a quick briefing, and then Eiji-san gave me my dive book (yey!) and told me to wait for the mail for my PADI certification card. 
    • I got my PADI C-card around November 17. 
  • October 27. Fly in to Okinawa. Travel to Chatan via bus (google maps work, buses can be late, so be patient)
  • October 28. Rest day. Need a day off in between flying and diving. 
  • October 29. Dive day. Since I was solo, we were able to finish within the day.  
  • October 30. Rest day (initially booked as dive day)
  • October 31. Fly back to Tokyo.