Scuba diving in the world's northernmost giant coral reef

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Written by Editorial department

Located in the very south of the Honshu region of Japan, Kushimoto is one of the finest diving spots in the country, and is home to the northernmost coral reef in the world. Kushimoto is home to over 20 diving shops, with courses available for divers of all skill levels. So whether you want the full beginner's experience, or you'd rather take a boat offshore and dive a bit more freely, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Rent all the gear you need! It's diving made quick and easy

Today we're taking part in the boat-diving course for diving license holders. First there's a briefing to go over the diving point for the course, then it's time to change into our wetsuits. Rest assured, wetsuits, tanks and any other gear you need is available for rental. Once everyone is changed, it's time to walk to the pier to get on the boat. It typically takes about 10 minutes to arrive at the diving point, though this time can vary from day to day. In the beginner's experience course, you enter the water from the shore. After a simple explanation of all the diving gear, there's a 10 minute practice session in the ocean shallows.

Time to go over today's diving point.
Time to go over today's diving point.
Heading to a pier five minutes away from the shop.
Heading to a pier five minutes away from the shop.

Diving into a diverse world of fish and coral

After arriving at the diving point, we quickly put on our gear and dive in. We start off by diving deep down to the bottom and walking on the ocean floor. The water around Kushimoto is a high latitude ocean, and is situated right by the world's largest warm ocean current, the Kuroshio Current. As such, the water temperature here is between 17~28℃, which is why the area is home to all kinds of coral and colorful tropical fish. We were able to catch sight of some whitesaddle goatfish, stripey and various other fish swimming through the coral reefs. The fish you can see change from season to season, so you can be sure of a unique ocean experience depending on when you go diving.

Diving back-first into the water.
Diving back-first into the water.
On the boat-diving course, you can enjoy a stroll on the ocean floor for an hour.
On the boat-diving course, you can enjoy a stroll on the ocean floor for an hour.
Various colorful tropical fish swim around the coral reefs.
Various colorful tropical fish swim around the coral reefs.

You can experience these things here!