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Diving in Japan

A country brimming with history, Japan offers unique scuba diving in a serene setting. Trek from the mountains to massive cities to the endless ocean, all in a single day.

Diving in Japan

Quick facts

Because of Japan’s vast size and relative land to ocean ratio there is a huge variety of dives to partake in. There are at least three distinct ecosystems, from the far north: where you can find king crabs prowling the depths, to the warm south: where you can explore coral reefs. Swim through kelp forests and discover large creatures in the region in between the two.

From November to May you can swim with schools of hammerheads, and during the summer you can watch manta rays go through their cleaning stations.

Turquoise fringed archipelagos and crystal blue lagoons await off the shore. Old WWII wrecks sit quietly on the sandy sea floor, slowly accruing coral and algae. For history buffs there are few better sites to explore than near Okinawa. The white sand beaches and carpets of coral in this gorgeous area are unforgettable.

When to go

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Where to dive

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  • Hokkaido

    Dip under the ice floes for a magical ice diving experience with sea angels in Hokkaido.

  • Okinawa

    A subtropical, world-class diving destination, Okinawa’s crystal-clear waters allow divers to truly appreciate its stunning underwater seascapes.

What to see

Because of the wide range of temperatures in Japan’s waters, there is an incredible variety of marine life to encounter on a dive. There are over 3000 species of fish in Japan. You can see firefly squid, angelfish, and astounding anemones near the reefs. Sharks patrol the depths in great schools.

Marine mammals are also found in abundance. The rare dugong is also seen in the warm shallows around the islands, so spend some time near estuaries and lagoons for your best chance to come face to face with this beautiful creature. Humpback whales also make an appearance on their annual migrations.


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Japan is a collection of more than 5,000 islands, stretching for an incredibly vast distance. The history here is unmatched, a land of great art and epic landscapes. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu. The rest of the islands are small, and most are uninhabited.

Throughout time, Japan has been through extreme highs and lows, from imperial dynasties to the horrific atomic bombings in WWII. During a trip to Japan you should explore the pagodas and bamboo forests, learning about the rich history of this island nation.

Almost 130 million people live in Japan, spread from Tokyo to the distant mountains. The country’s economy is blossoming, and technology is constantly taking off to new heights.

Other attractions

Japan has a vast, stimulating history. To fully appreciate this diverse country you need to get out of the water and explore. The huge cities like Tokyo require at least a week to begin to comprehend. Treks out into the mountains, or to relaxing hot springs are a necessity, as well. The food in Japan is some of the freshest and healthiest (not to mention most delicious) in the world, eat well and often.

Getting there

International and domestic flights zoom all across Japan, where you can island hop with the greatest of ease. There are also ferries and excellent public transportation, so take advantage of your options.


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Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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