Yonaguni Island, mysterious jewel to the southwest, is a glorious place for diving! With over 70 dive sites to choose from, Yonaguni is guaranteed to scratch any diving itch. Throughout the year there are schools of Big eye Trevally and Barracuda, Dogtooth Tuna, Turtles, large Cuttlefish, and much much more. Between the months of April and September, Marlin and Sailfish are on the menu and between December and May, Hammerhead Sharks!
Okinawa comprises 160 islands, 49 of which are inhabited. It sits between the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, in the path of the Kuroshio, the world’s largest warm current. Well connected by air and sea, the various islands are also easily accessible. Okinawa is endowed with an abundant natural environment fostered by the warm, subtropical climate. With its own unique history and culture, many visitors come to enjoy East Asia’s biggest resort island. One of the greatest attractions of Okinawa is the sea! Among professional divers, it’s known as one location that everybody wants to visit, and there are many attractive dive points dotted around the islands.
The Blue Cave, which even beginners can enjoy, is very popular. The Kerama Shoto National Park boasts outstanding translucence, with visibility up to 40 or 50m. The appeal of the Miyako area lies in its caves bathed in beautiful blue light and its dynamic topography. In the Yaeyama Islands, known as one of the best places in the world for manta rays, there is a mysterious giant stone structure at Yonaguni Island. In an endlessly transparent sea, coral reefs shimmer in the sunlight and shoals of subtropical fish play.
Elegant manta rays appear before your eyes, large migratory fish visit, and you may be lucky enough to encounter hammerheads and even whale sharks. In the winter, migrating humpback whales visit Okinawa’s life-giving seas. Seawater temperatures are around 28°C in summer, and a warm 21°C even in winter. From families with children to professional divers, the resort island seas of Okinawa can be enjoyed year-round.
The Yaeyama Islands include wonderful Islands such as Taketomi Island, Iriomote Island, Yonaguni Island and Phontom Island (Hama Island) with Ishigaki Island at their center. You can enjoy an undersea world teeming with life, from the therapeutic spots around outlying islands to dynamic topography. There are many points that attract divers from around the world.
Naha, the gateway to Okinawa, is located in Okinawa main Island. Diving spots are dotted along the west coast, and there’s great diving on the outlying islands with their exotic topography.There are many dive spots that are accessible from the beach,
which is perfect for beginners.
Day 1: Departure from Europe² to Japan
Our dive packages to Japan and Okinawa Islands are all available from all major European airport. The total price for this dive packages depends on availability on your preferred dates of travel, but are in principle available all year round with a few modifications. In order to book your dive package please advise us your preferred travel time. Also consider the best time to visit the Kerama Islands as the water temperature can vary a lot depending on the season. The normal route to Ishigaki is via Osaka or Tokyo.
Day 2: Arrive Ishigaki
You must arrive in Japan in the morning in order to catch the onward domestic flight to Ishigaki. Upon arrival at Ishigaki you will be transferred to your hotel and registration. Overnight Hotel Peace Island Ishigaki or similar
Day 3 & 4: Diving the Ishigaki Island (B)
We have included 2 full days of diving with focus on Ishigaki's famous manta sightings. The stay can be extended if you wish to see more of the island and / or explore the underwater wonders with more indepth diving as the island and waters surrod8ing it have plenty more to offer. Overnight Hotel Peace Island Ishigaki or similar (3 nights)
Diving Ishigaki Island
Ishigaki's climate is semi-tropical and the ocean which surrounds the Yaeyama archipelago remains warm year-round. Scuba diving is extremely popular activity with people travelling from both Japan and further afield to dive with manta rays. The most reliable place to view these magnificent creatures is 'Manta Point' (also known as 'Manta Scramble') which is located just off Kabira's coast. Mantas make their way to this point to clean and feed on plankton, however, there are other sites where they are frequently spotted throughout the archipelago.
In terms of diving on Ishigaki there are some other quality sites such as a cave which is located just off the coast of Yonehara. The ocean to the west of the Uganzaki peninsula is also favored by many dive operators on the island. Ishigaki's Hirakubo peninsula, which extends to the north east of the island is also home to serveral dive spots, and manta rays have even been photographed by people paragliding along the peninsula's coastline.
Ishigaki has an abundance of coral in its waters and the ocean teams with life. Indeed, in many cases expansive areas of coral are located so close to the shoreline that a snorkel is often preferred over scuba gear. Shiraho is a town positioned on the south west coast of Ishigaki and the waters off its coast are famed for having one of the largest areas of blue coral in the world. There are also a number of drop-offs and cave diving opportunities to be enjoyed on the island and it is often said that Ishigaki compares well will better known dive locations throughout Asia.
The Yonaguni Monument
The mysterious underwater monument off the coast of Yonagunijima was discovered in 1986 by Sou-Wes founder and divemaster Kihachiro Aratake when he was scouting the seas around the island for new hammerhead shark-watching points. The discovery sparked a debate as to whether they are naturally formed or man-made structures created by an ancient civilization. If the monument is indeed manmade or modified by man, that would date it back to the last Ice Age, around 10,000 years BC, when the sea level was 40m lower than it is now and Yongunijima was part of a land bridge connecting Japan, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. This would make the monument the oldest man-made artifact on earth, significantly pre-dating the pyramids in Egypt.
While there are arguments for and against this view, most divers – including numerous scholars as well as the late skin diver Jaques Mayol who visited the island and wrote a book about the monument – are convinced that they are manmade structures when they see them with their own eyes. Key features of the site include perfectly perpendicular terracing reminiscent of terracing at Incan sites, a staircase, two megaliths standing side by side, a triangular-shaped pool with a drainage channel, a room carved out of the rock, decorative rock carvings and a formation which looks distinctly like a face, reminiscent of the famous heads at Easter Island. The precision of the terracing and sheer number of peculiar features gathered in one small area suggest that the monument can only have
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