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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.

Japan Sea Life

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.

How to Get 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.

Best Scuba Diving in Japan


Diving in Hokkaido mostly happens at the Shiretoko Peninsula that protrudes into the Sea of Okhotsk and in Lake Shikotsu which is in the town of Sapporo. The Shiretoko Peninsula is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and diving usually takes place in February to March when the sea ice is just beginning to break up and ice floes appear off the coast of the peninsula.Ice...


Located at the southwestern tip of the Japanese archipelago, Okinawa is comprised of 160 islands, 49 of which are inhabited, spreading 1000 kilometres/620 miles from east to west and 400 kilometres/250 miles from north to south. Okinawa’s proximity to Southeast Asia once made it an important trading hub; now, the region is growing in popularity as a dive destination...