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Ishigaki

Introduction

On the 50’000 people living on the island, 45’000 of them are residing in the largest town, Ishigaki-shi, located on the south coast. It is developed around its harbor. While there are no real attractions for the visitors there, many restaurants are found close to the harbor, as well as a shopping arcade hosting a market (selling mostly local products for souvenirs).

There are nice beaches east to the town of Ishigaki, close to the airport, where the large and expensive ANA hotel is located. However, visitors might prefer to stay in the north-west part of the island, on the peninsula of Kabira. Over there, scenic areas and beautiful beaches are found, and the diving is more interesting, too.

While corals are found more or less all around the island, diving sites around Kabira are known for the regular presence of manta rays, which explain the large number of diving clubs located in this north-west area. Prices for 2 boat dives range between 12'000 and 13'000 yens, not including the (expensive) equipment rental.

Travel facts

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best period
acceptable period
not recommend
air temperature

Diving type

Destination
easily accessible
easily accessible
bargain destination
bargain destination
Diving level & type
for beginners
for beginners
for advanced divers
for advanced divers
shore diving
shore diving
liveaboard
liveaboard
Diving Characteristics
pelagics
pelagics
lots of fish
lots of fish
lots of corals
lots of corals
interesting underwater scenery
interesting underwater scenery
Other activities
attractive natural spots
attractive natural spots
gastronomy
gastronomy
night life
night life
beach
beach
snorkeling
snorkeling

Map

map

Infrastructures

  • diving center
    Umicoza
    logo
    Umicoza (diving center)
    telephone : 81 (980) 88-2434
    fax : 81 (980) 88-2470
    address : Ishigaki-shi Kabira 827-15
    internet : www.umicoza.com (English available)
    rating : 4 / 4 starsrating : 4 / 4 stars
    comments :
    A small and nice diving center located on the Kabira peninsula, on the north-west coast of Ishigaki. Boats are leaving from a nearby beach, and it takes just a couple of minutes to reach the famous Manta Ray Scramble diving site. Our divemaster spoke perfect English - which is not usual in Japan. A typical diving day consists of 2 boat dives, with the boat coming back to the shore for a lunch on the beach; it is sometimes possible to negotiate two dives in the morning to have the rest of the afternoon to visit the island. A good diving center that we can easily recommend.

Diving Sites

  • rating : 4.0
    Manta Ray Scramble

       (川平石崎マンタスクランブル)
    rating : 4.0
    depth : 15 m
    visibility : good
    description :
    Obviously the most famous diving site around Ishigaki and Iriomote (the full name of the site is Kabira Ishigaki Manta Ray Scramble). Located a couple of minutes by boat off the west coast of Kabira peninsula, the probability to have an encounter with mantas is reaching 70-80% at the best season. The diving takes place around a butte at 10-15 meters, over which one or several manta are swimming. Follow the guidelines of the divemasters (do not chase the mantas, do not try to touch them, stay close to the sea bed) to increase the probability of the encounter, and its length. It is sometimes possible to spend tens of minutes with the same manta, who might then come very close. The dive site itself has many fish, but of course divers come here mostly for mantas... During our dive, a 4-meters wide manta came to swim around us. Also a large moray eel swimming in the open sea and two sea snakes.

  • rating : 3.0
    Gurukun no Ne (Ridge of Fusilier)

       (ぐるくんのね)
    rating : 3.0
    depth : 25 m
    visibility : good
    description :
    More corals than on the Manta Ray Scramble dive site. At 25 meters, we could observe a hawkfish in a gorgon (sea fan). As well as the usual reef fish, and a large number of parrot-fish and clown-fish in their anemones. This site has several types of clown-fish.

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