Frequently Asked Questions:

General

1. Do you offer guided snorkelling tours?

We do not offer guided snorkelling tours, we can however recommend you to a few spots where you can go and independently enjoy snorkelling and swimming.

2. Do you offer Whale Shark Diving?

We do not offer Whale Shark diving or snorkelling, as it contributes to animal cruelty. We believe Whale Sharks should be seen in their natural environment not from inside of a net. Whale Sharks sightings in Okinawa are unheard of, if you are lucky enough to meet one during a dive it is purely a happy coincidence.

3. Do you offer services similar to what's common in Southeast Asia?

We offer a much more European approach to diving! We see diving as a sport combined with a healthy mix of adventure.

As a certified diver our Divemaster will not take you by the hand, but they are more than happy to show you interesting marine life and features of Okinawa underwater. If you need some advice on improving your diving skills, don’t hesitate to ask us! We love when people take the initiative and want to become better divers.

We expect that you as a certified diver, are be able to set up your own equipment and have full understanding of all scuba diving safety measures required. We are of course happy to assist divers who are a bit “rusty” and need a little refresher, just let us know!

It is also common for dive operations in Japan to not have extra staff to help carry equipment, as physically strong as our staff are, it is still much appreciated that you assist one another with carrying your own equipment. We of course understand if you are unable to lift heavy gear due to age or disability.

We are continually striving to provide a good experience for all divers diving together in a group. We understand that everyone can vary significantly in level and experience. We aim to do our best to cater for everyone to have the best scuba experience possible.

3. What is the weather going to be like?

Commonly asked but hard to answer. Okinawa is sub-tropical with very mild winters, and long, moist and rainy summers. Rainy season is between April and June, however rain and thunder does not affect the diving.

Typhoon season is typically from May to October. Typhoons generally disrupt diving when it passes nearby or directly over for the day. Diving scheduled often returns to normal but we always take precautions. [Typhoon Forecast]

Wind and waves is the only real factor that may ruin a scheduled trip. [Wind and Weather Forecast]

The sea temperature in Okinawa is never cold, temperature drops to a minimum of 22°C (72°F) in February and March, while it gets very warm in summer with temperatures around 29°C (84°F). We offer both long and short wetsuits as temperatures change, hoods and vests are also available if you want to stay a little warmer.

4. What to do about:

Motion Sickness: Please bring your own medication and take it 1-2 hours before diving.

Contact lenses: You can use them while diving, however you can't buy them over the counter in Japan, make sure you bring enough for your trip.

Ear infections: You can't buy ear-drops to cure or prevent ear-infections over the counter in Japan please bring your own if you are prone. Making a doctor’s appointment is time consuming and there is often a language barrier for most visitors which can make things quite difficult.

Sunscreen: They are only available in small expensive bottles, if you need a lot bring it from home. Preferably a brand which is reef safe, without the ingredients Oxybenzone and Octinoxate.

PADI Medical Statement: You should be able to answer “No” to all questions, or see a doctor in your home country before arrival.

Travel and Dive Insurance: It is not required but strongly recommended. Diving related injuries usually cost a lot of money to be treated especially in a foreign country.

4. Do you do Hotel Pickups?

Yes, we do from the following Hotels:

Marriott Hotel

Kariyushi Hotel

Exes Spa Resort

Resort Class Inn Onna

The Ritz Carlton Hotel

Kanehide Kise Beach Palace

Best Western – Kouki Beach

Miyuki Beach Hotel

Umito Nakama

The Busena Terrace

We DO NOT offer pick-ups from Chatan, Naha or Airbnb locations.

*Staying at the Pension Weekend, we are associated with the B&B however payment is to be made to the owners, not Piranha Divers.

6. Can I get a Discount?

We do not offer discounts as the prices reflect the costs necessary to run our operation and to be able to pay fair wages to the hard working staff. We take pride in offering you high standards of safety and service with well-maintained scuba diving equipment and small personal dive groups.

Certified Divers / Fun Diving

1. Are all the dives guided? I'm traveling without a dive buddy.

Yes, all dives are guided by an Instructor or Divemaster.

If there is no other diver to be your dive buddy you will buddy up with the Instructor/Divemaster leading the dive.

2. Do you offer Enriched Air Nitrox?

No! Nitrox and Oxygen is heavily regulated in Japan, which makes it hard to obtain. Some operators do offer a premixed cylinders usually containing 32% O2, which is expensive and not very efficient.

We do not offer pure Oxygen, Helium or Scrubber for Rebreather and Technical divers, as demand is low and the cost is high.

3. May I take photos or record videos during the dive?

Yes, by all means, but please don't forget to pay attention, maintain your buoyancy and check your dive buddy is still there.

You can also rent a camera from us and keep the memory card at the end of the day.

4. Do I need to bring my Certification card?

Please bring your certification card and your logbook, or at least one of the two.

If you have lost your card we can look you up in the PADI system with your full name and date of birth. If you are not a PADI diver please contact your certifying agency.

5. Boats and dive time limits:

Boat diving in Japan is generally done from modified fishing boat thus they are without much luxury. Most of these boats will not have a dry area, large sunroof, crew, tank racks, tables or benches.

Boats are mostly run by the local fisherman union who also control the majority of the ports in Okinawa. Majority of dive operators on the island do not own their own boats for this reason. It is common for several dive companies to be on board and share the boat for the day.

Do be aware that during peak season (summer) and public holidays that these boats can be quite crowded. We will try our best to guide you to areas to avoid other divers in the water but there’s not much we can do about the boat space!

Most boats will return to shore in between dives as the ride out is normally be between 5-10 minutes, only exception is on a full day trip. Because these boats make trips back to the port due to their scheduling, your dive time will generally range from 40-50 minutes. Shore diving however does not have a time limit, only your air consumption is the limit!

6. Can my non Diving Partner join me on the boat and snorkel while I dive?

Most boat operators in Okinawa only allow guided snorkelling tours for liability reasons. We are not able to offer such tours, as we do not have enough staff to provide a snorkelling service as well as diving.

Boats in Okinawa are not made for extra passengers in mind. With no dry area, sun shade, seats or any extra level of comfort, we do not recommend non divers to join.

7. What type of scuba tanks do you use?

All of our scuba tanks have a DIN valve which are best compatible with European style Din Regulators. Even if you have a common Yoke Regulator an adapter insert will be provided.

Our standard tanks are Aluminium 11.2 litre/80 cubic foot tanks.

We also have smaller Aluminium 7 litre/50 cubic foot tanks which are suitable for children and pool training.

We have limited amount of 18 litre/130 cubic foot steel tanks for bigger, heavy breather divers and deep dives that are available upon request.

8. Can I only do 1 dive instead of 2?

Unfortunately we do not offer 1 dive options. Should you choose not to do the second dive of the day, no refund or discount can be offered.

Do plan ahead to make sure you can do all the dives for the day and have enough time before flying.

If you have any concerns and/or worries regarding an upcoming dive for any reason. We need you to speak up to a staff member before diving to make sure your concerns are appropriately dealt with. We want you to be safe and enjoy scuba diving with us!

Diving Courses

1. Do I have to be able to swim?

You will be in and under water! It is preferred that you are comfortable and confident being in water.

For Discover Scuba Diving, swimming is not required but recommended.

For the PADI Open Water Course it is a prerequisite that you are able to swim 200 meters without stopping, as well as tread water for 10 minutes in water too deep to stand up in.

2. Can I use my camera/rent a camera during my training?

To keep your training safe and to make sure you are focused we would not recommend bringing your camera. There are a few exceptions such as body mounted action camera or during some dives of the Advanced Open Water Diver Course where it may be allowed.

3. How deep will we dive?

During an Open Water class you will learn to scuba dive down to 18 meters (59 feet) deep.

During the Advanced Diver class you will dive down to 30 meters (98 feet) deep.

An exception is the PADI Deep Diver specialty course where you will learn to scuba dive down to 40 meters (131 feet).

All dives are planned non decompression dives.

4. How long does it take to learn diving?

Our Open Water Diver training takes 3 days, it is preferred that you complete the e-learning materials before your class is due to begin.

We are aware that other scuba diving operators offer the same training in fewer days, however those operators are likely to be cutting corners and breaking standards. This results in a less comprehensive course where it will not be a fun or safe environment for you to learn in.

5. How many students per class?

PADI permits up to 8 students per Instructor in an Open Water class. We believe in a more personal and safe approach by only allowing up to 4 students per class. Should you book as a group of more than 4 people, another Instructor/Divemaster will be present to assist in the class.

6. What if I don't finish my course in the scheduled time? Do I get a refund?

For reasons such as sudden illness, inability to meet certification requirements or you simply do not enjoying diving etc. You will receive a referral form but no refunds will be given.

If you are not eligible for a refund you are also able to complete your training here at Piranha Divers Okinawa at a later date. The offer is valid for one year from the starting date without incurring any additional costs.

Bad weather, is the only reason for a partial refund!

7. What is a Referral form?

This form is needed if you started your training at a different location in the world and want to complete training with us.

If you do not complete your scheduled training with us, you will also receive a referral form.

Referral forms are valid for one year.

We only accept PADI referral forms.