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Spending a week on the islands in April

Discussion in 'Japan' started by npole, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. npole

    npole Contributor

    458
    152
    Hi dudes, during my next trip to Japan, I will spend a week on the Islands for scuba diving. Since I want the shortest trip possible (to not waste time) from Tokyo ( back and forth) considering that I will have only a week, do you recommend Okinawa (main island) or Ishigaki? It'll be in early April, they can be both reached by direct flights from Tokyo.
    Thanks.
     
  2. divinh

    divinh Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco
    1,054
    554
    I've done most of my diving in Ishigaki, twice now. I recommend Viking Scuba in Kabira, run by Toyo and Anna. Toyo is a macro expert. He finds all the tiny things, if you're into photographing that. The famous thing in Ishigaki are the mantas at Manta Point or Manta Scramble.

    For Okinawa, the diving is north of Naha. There's the USS Emmons wreck, which is amazing! But most dive shops don't go there often. It's at 36-45m, so you need buoyancy and good on air. I recommend Piranha Divers.
     
  3. npole

    npole Contributor

    458
    152
    Thanks, but since I will not hop between islands (i prefer to not do so), I have to chose one, that was my primary question (I will have time to chose an op)... but I have no idea if it's "better" Okinawa or Ishigaki, better overall.. coz I know that they could be different a a personal taste, but overall there should be a preferred place for a first time dive in Japan.
     
  4. divinh

    divinh Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco
    1,054
    554
    My choice would be Ishigaki.
     
  5. npole

    npole Contributor

    458
    152
    Thank you. The reason? If you would like to share your opinion.
     
  6. divinh

    divinh Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco
    1,054
    554
    Kabira is a very small town, very relaxed, only a few restaurants and shops. You ended up revisiting places and they remember you.

    For the diving, it's a very short boat ride to dive sites and the boats are small, so not a ton of people. There's an amazing variety of macro critters, things I like to photograph.

    Diving from Naha requires 1-2 hr boat rides to Kerama Islands. You could go north Okinawa and I think that's mostly resort territory, so expensive for someone who stays in hostels to travel cheap and longer.

    In short: Ishigaki, more chill and cheaper for someone like me and the macro is superb. The mantas are great too, for large things.
     
  7. npole

    npole Contributor

    458
    152
    Tnx, I think i'll opt for Ishigaki then.
     
  8. Alfawolfje

    Alfawolfje Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tokyo
    137
    31
    I second Ishigaki... island is smaller and easier to get around and the city center is small(er) so easy to walk around and go shopping and eating out.
    It’s also a bit more south so tends to be slightly warmer and with the manta cleaning station, they are famous for manta rays which I just love !!
    If Viking scuba does not work out, check out Prime Scuba as well. They have a really comfortable boat and Zohar is the best guide you can ask for! Cheers
     
    npole likes this.

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