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Best Japan Diving Spots

A string of islands near the east coast of Asia create a picturesque backdrop for the aquatic animals and migratory species that frequent this region of East Asia.

This section contains an extensive list of Japan diving sites with information about the marine creatures that divers and snorkelers can find in the waters that surround this island nation.

When is the Scuba Diving Season in Japan?

There is no doubt that the landscape below the sea is as captivating as the mountain ranges above it.

The four main islands that occupy almost the entire land area of Japan are (running from north to south):

As a result, the vast archipelago of Japanese islands provides an array of diverse diving destinations in the western North Pacific Ocean.

So, when are the best months to scuba dive in Japan? In general, the optimum time for beginners to explore scuba diving is from the start of November through to the end of May.


The cooler temperatures and dry weather conditions of spring time tends to attract schools of hammerhead sharks, aquatic mammals, and reptiles (e.g. sea snakes).

Whereas, the hot summer months provide divers with better opportunities to catch sightings of reef sharks, Ocean sunfish, and ray fish (including manta rays at cleaning stations).

List of Japan Dive Sites

Most of the dive sites around the Japanese islands are Ocean dives (usually deep around sunken shipwrecks). Even so, you will also find a number of Reef dives and several popular spots for making Drift dives.

It's also true to say that you can experience three distinct and diverse ecosystems. The water temperatures in the far north are much colder. So, this is where you're most likely to find red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus).

There are underwater kelp forests further south, and the warm waters of the far south are good places to explore coral reef formations.

Japan Dive Sites: Best Place for Scuba Diving and SnorkelingCheck out these popular locations if you enjoy diving around WWII wrecks or snorkeling in crystal blue lagoons:

Pro Tip: Underwater locales where no-one has yet dived still remain undiscovered. But, you will get better access to the top dive sites if you already have a Drift Diving certification and Wreck Diver experience.

Related Information and Help Guides

Pro Tip: This short video clip [59 seconds] presented by "PADI®" contains footage of snorkelers enjoying the popular Japanese dive spots.

Getting to Japan

There is no shortage of International and domestic flights covering the islands of Japan. Furthermore, local ferries and public transportation gives trippers and island hoppers plenty of options.

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