OIST Climbing Club
Welcome to the OIST climbing club!
We are a group of rock climbers (bouldering and sport climbers) at OIST who climb together on Tuesday and Thursday nights at gyms around the island.
We also run a small bouldering wall at the top of faculty road, a couple minutes walk from Lab1, plus we have a community and share invitations to climb at the local gyms and outdoor climbing areas.
Submit a membership application (in the bar on the left), or get hold of us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/260842224382107/ if you want to join us.
Use of our wall requires a quick tutorial session (5-10 minutes) guided by one of our senior members, and signing a safety waiver. After that, you can access the wall whenever you want.
Currently we don't have any fees related to the use of our club, but we may ask for donations from time to time, to repair the wall, get more gear, or even expand the wall. These donations are entirely voluntary, but should be kept in mind if you want to use the gear and wall heavily.
Climbing gyms around Okinawa:
There are multiple indoor gyms, Boulbaka 2, Coral Rock, Koru Piki, Banjat, Look Rock and Dbouldering. All gyms have rental shoes available.
(also for reference, this is their slab https://i.imgur.com/jnlPIQ7.gifv)
Formerly there was a Boulbaka 1 and 2, but #1 closed in 2022 so now only the #2 exists. One of the more traditional bouldering gyms in Okinawa. They offer a high set grade of bouldering, plus a good overall range of routes. Generally well set, with varied styles. They have a moonboard (2017 set) if you're into that sort of thing. Entry is 550yen per hour, plus a bit of tax
Rightfully one of the more popular gyms near Ginowan, has monthly problems and routes are regularly reset. Setting is very good and reasonably consistent in terms of grade, and it can get busy at peak times. Entry is 500yen per hour, or 1500 for all day (tax included)
The original gym in Okinawa, the setting here is good if a little confusing (some people claim the setting is weird). Holds tend to be a little less expensive and new (often homemade and slippery, good training) and the routes are set only once per year. An interesting feature is the huge granite blocks outside that the owner imported and has chipped hundreds of granite holds for the indoor walls, as well as the blocks themselves being boulders. The style is mostly old-school, with probably the most crimpy/outdoor style routes of all the Okinawan gyms. Coral Rock also has the only indoor roped climbs in Okinawa. If you are into sport climbing, this is a must (as well as the only option). There is a 1500yen joining fee, added to your entry fee for your first visit. Regular entry is 7000yen for 6 entries (ask about student discount if you're a student)
Physically the largest bouldering gym and the only one in the north, in Nago city. The walls are a lot less dense than the other gyms, so there are less routes desipte being larger. Mix of new school and old school setting, and if you're short you'd better get good at dynos. Pretty new, probably the most pleasant to spend a day in.
Monthly problems and reasonably often reset, but physically smaller so you can run out of things to climb faster than in other gyms if you go regularly. Setting is a mix of comp/outdoor styles. 500yen per hour.
The newest gym on the island, a chain that has some gyms on mainland as well. Just south of Naha city and the most modern/competetion style of setting with a lot of volumes and more expensive holds. Has a moonboard (2019) and a pretty good training section. Also gives a discount in the neighbouring banana juice shop which is nice. Physically pretty small, despite claiming to be the largest on the island (which is actually Banjat, followed by Coral Rock, followed by Boulkaba 2, then Dboulder). Also claims to have the only moonboard on Okinawa for some reason, despite Boulbaka 2 also having one. More expensive than most, prices on the website, plus a 1650yen joining fee if its your first time.
Places to buy gear (including shoes)
Most gyms in Okinawa have some shoes for purchase, but these are often limited in number and variety (usually to the high end shoes for people that basically live at the gym). If you have big gaijin size feet you might be out of luck also, anything above an EU 40 can be tricky.
Look Rock has the largest shop in a gym , carries Scarpa shoes and maybe some Unparallel, plus chalk/tape/misc stuff. Banjat sells Evolv shoes. Koru Piki sometimes sells Asakusa, plus very lightly used second hand shoes of any brand occasionally. DBoulder sells Unparallel.
Otherwise NEOS and Montbell are the two stores I know that of carry a small range of climbing equipment.
Carries a range of brands and has arguably the most extensive range of gear, but that isn't saying much. Last I checked they had a couple of scarpa, 5:10 and unparallel shoes, but that was a while ago so it may have changed.
Carries only Red Chili shoes, and mostly zeropoint gear. Their selection is a little limited for shoes but for people that like Red Chili, this will be perfect. Also the best stocked for slings/carabiners/etc. Probably would recommend as the first stop for gear (that isn't shoes) on the island.
Otherwise, I have used BananaFingers https://www.bananafingers.co.uk/
for shoes and found them very good. They ship here for cheap and they have a very good sizing guide that gives you the correct size shoe, based on other climbing shoes that have fit you before. It's not what I recommend for your first pair, but it's a good way to get a second.
Online shop in Japan mainland to avoid international shipping fees, I've used them several times and they've always been excellent: