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Diving Manta Scramble Boasting thousands of islands with a combined coastline of 21,000 miles (34,000 km), Japan just might be the diving world’s best-kept secret. Join hammerhead sharks and lionfish as you investigate the reefs and wrecks of the Izu Peninsula, a thickly forested outcrop of land not far from Tokyo. For a bit of adventure, make the long journey to the Ogasawara Islands to explore World War Two wrecks and meet rare marine life in the “Galapagos of the Orient”. The jewel in Japan’s diving crown is Okinawa. With white sandy beaches, mangrove swamps, dense jungle and a rich and distinctive local culture, Japan’s southernmost prefecture is a true island paradise.

Dive off the coast of Ishigaki Island to see huge Pacific manta rays. Watching them swirling above the coral reef is like witnessing a magnificent water ballet. Spring through to autumn is the best time to see the manta rays.

Under the waves of this stunning archipelago you’ll experience some of the best diving conditions in the world as you visit kaleidoscopic coral reefs, explore caves and pinnacles, and come face to face with sea turtles, manta rays and perhaps even migrating humpback whales. To top it all off, at the remote island of Yonaguni you can even visit the remains of what some believe to be a real-life Atlantis. Whether you’re a serious diver or a first-timer, diving in Japan is an opportunity not to be missed.

Hammerhead sharks Izu Peninsula

Fancy swimming amid a school of hammerhead sharks? From November to May hundreds of shark teem in the waters around Yonaguni Island. Attacks on humans by hammerhead sharks are almost unheard of, instead they prefer to hunt stingray, which they pin to the ocean floor with their huge rectangular heads – an amazing spectacle.

© MirJah

Ogasawara

“Lost stones of Iseki” Could this be the remains of a long-lost civilisation? We’ll let you decide! Discovered in 1987, these strange rock formations – with clean, geometric lines and smooth, flat surfaces – lie on the ocean floor off the coast of Yonaguni Island. If the rocks are indeed man-made, not simply a result of erosion, they would pre-date the pyramids. Either way, this site makes for a fascinating dive.

Kerama Islands

Ishigaki

© Kerama

Yonaguni

Sea turtles Beautiful, placid sea turtles are one of the earth’s oldest creatures. In fact they’ve been around for 110 million years, since the time of the dinosaurs. The gorgeous Kerama Islands are home to five species of sea turtle which are easy to spot even when snorkeling. 248 kinds of coral can also be seen in the waters here.

A beginner’s dive on Ishigaki by Ben Morrow Ben spent two years studying and working in Tokyo “ Before long I was underwater with my instructor close behind, amazed at just how clear the water before joining InsideJapan. On a recent trip to was. We explored the coral reef admiring the Ishigaki he tried scuba diving for the first time. array of multi-coloured tropical fish. I saw clown “ Having never dived before, I was a little fish playing amongst sea anemones, and one daunted about the idea of plunging 12 metres inquisitive little creature even took a nibble of my below the sea. What if my ears can’t cope with finger! I loved every minute of my first dive and it? Will there be sharks? Luckily my instructor can’t wait to try it again.” was able to answer all of my silly questions and explain the whole diving process in perfect English. 102

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W W W. I N S I D E J A PA N TO U R S . C O M I I N F O @ I N S I D E J A PA N TO U R S . C O M I U K : 0 1 1 7 3 7 0 9 7 3 0 I A U S : 0 2 8 0 1 1 3 2 2 9

Excited to take the plunge? Consider our Diving Small Group Tour, featured on page 38-39. Or visit our website, which has a fantastic diving section including example itineraries and pricing. Alternatively, pick up the phone and talk to one of our travel consultants who can weave diving into any Self-Guided Adventure or Exclusive Private Journey.

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Inside Japan 2016 tailor made options  

Japan is brimming with exciting, inspiring hands-on activities whether you're interested in arts and crafts, history, sport, gardens, festiv...

Inside Japan 2016 tailor made options  

Japan is brimming with exciting, inspiring hands-on activities whether you're interested in arts and crafts, history, sport, gardens, festiv...

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