Diving Sites

Diving around Iriomote Island

Iriomote Island is surrounded by white sandy beaches and pretty coral reefs, where you’ll encounter amazing biodiversity.

It is known as one of the world’s best diving destinations, having a number of coral species and marine life as large as those in the Great Barrier Reef. Over 400 types of corals and many kinds of tropical fish species all live around here.

The Diving Site is largely divided into North Area and West Area.

better DIVE than NEVER is located on the north shore of Iriomote Island. So I often dive North Area.

Being protected by a barrier reef, we are given beautiful, calm waters with amazing visibility and low current which makes for an awesome dive viewing our pristine reef!

North Area

Diving Sites have plenty of variety.The diving here is everything from shallow coral gardens, to walls, swim-throughs and tall drop off. Normaly, we can’t see big fish. But there are incredible things of beauty, with a fascinating mix of underwater gardens and marine life.

There are 14 sites that I visit around Iriomtoe Island, most are suited to all levels of diver but a few require an Advanced certification or higher. All of the dive sites are located 15-20 minutes away from Funaura Port.

01.Chromis Heaven

Level ★☆☆☆☆ (beginner to advanced)
Depth 5~18m
Course Introductoly Diving, Fun Diving, snorkeling

My favorite dive spot is “Chromis Heaven” that takes its name from the damselfishes (chromis means damselfish).  You can see variety of damselfishes.

Especially the sight that thousands of black-axil chromis are swimming over branch corals. That kind of sight cannot be seen anywhere else in the world and most heart-gripping sight of all.

This is a great dive site for all levels of diver with almost no current, it’s a relaxing experience.

There are lots of coral bommies and a full array of pretty reef fish, “Chromis Heaven” is a fantastic shallow site for the novice diver, or the experienced diver who likes to take photos.

02.Indabishi West

Level ★☆☆☆☆ (beginner to advanced)
Depth 5~15m
Course Introductoly Diving, Fun Diving, snorkeling

It doesn’t snow Iriomote Island. But there is white sand such as powder snow as far as the eye can see!

In some places, the rocks and coral stand alone, surrounded by white sand that stretches for miles. They’re an ideal habitat for marine life in terms of dark areas to hide in or rich coral to huddle or shelter against, while divers can lie across the sand and take plenty of close-up shots.

Cardinal fishes are steady and focused, numbering in their thousands in tornado formation, hovering over the many rocks that are surrounded by carpets of white sand. The big fish chase and try to eat them. I get really excited when I see this scenery.

The maximum depth of the shore dives is around 15m, and with no current, they are suitable for beginners or those who enjoy macrolife or exploring the rocks.

03.Indabishi North

Level ★★☆☆☆ (Intermediate to advanced)
Depth 5~18m
Course Fun Diving, snorkeling

“Indabishi North” is known as one of the most beautiful area. Coral reef is simply beautiful!

You can enjoy diving and snorkeling with calm oceanic condition.

You will see the vast coral reef and tropical fishes swimming around them. Reefs are dense, with hard corals packed tightly together like high-rise residents. There are unending stretch.

I’m lost for words. It’s really amazing.

04.Barasu East

Level ★★☆☆☆ (Intermediate to advanced)
Depth 5~20m
Course Introductoly Diving, Fun Diving, snorkeling

This spot is a drop off. Weak current and a good visibility of 10 to 30 meters. Descending from 3 meters to 20 meters depth. It is today covered in a multitude of coral.

The dive starts on a scree‐covered slope with nudibranchs, goby and shrimp sets.

The Wall Surface, contains an excellent ‘aquarium section’. There you can see cuttlefish, octopus, Boxer crabs and many other unexpected marine life. It’s just like treasure-hunting!

At 20m, you can see huge Annella mollis.

There are thousands of Peach fairy basslet at shallow area.The sight that they swim against the current is like falling cherry-blossoms.

05.Barasu West

Level ★★★☆☆ (Intermediate to advanced)
Depth 5~18m
Course Fun Diving

This dive site, belongs to the pyramid butterfly fish that school around the reef. They float and swim in a relaxed way. I am healed just by looking at it.

Reefs are dense, with hard corals packed tightly together like high-rise residents.

Because the passage of water good, Many kinds of bananafish come around there. Large fish such as tunafish and barracuda come to eat them.

All you have to do is to stay there. You can see the grand spectacle without much difficulty!!

06.Barasu North

Level ★★★☆☆ (Intermediate to advanced)
Depth 5~20m
Course Fun Diving

Thousands of Sea goldie and Pearch anthias inhabit here. Them body are vivid red and water is deep blue. I love the contrast of colors in this site.

Sometime a tidal current is little strong, but there are some crevice here. it is worthwhile to duck into these to avoid the current and to allow you to relax and enjoy the corals and the multitude of reef fish.

When you look much deeper(15~18m), you may find White tip reef shark, Napoleon fish and Ray.

What you can see there? It’s depending on the day. It’s like a exploration or an adventurea. The site makes me touched, excited or thrilled.

07.Barasu SP Point

Level ★☆☆☆☆ (beginner to advanced)
Depth 5~13m
Course Introductoly Diving, Fun Diving, snorkeling

“SP” means something SPECIAL!

This is the reason why diving “BARASU SP Point” is like finning through an aquarium.

For starters, you’ll have more bottom time when you’re tooling around where the sun still shines. Those natural light conditions are an underwater photographer’s dream.

The sloping plateau starts in just 3m of water, where luxurious carpets of colorful soft corals stretch endlessly.

If you are luckey, you have a chance to swim with turtle.


Level ★☆☆☆☆ (beginner to advanced)
Depth 5~18m
Course Introductoly Diving, Fun Diving, snorkeling

The submerged lava arches, caverns, pinnacles and finger corals peppering this site offer plenty to explore.

“Nakano-Oki” means “Off the coast of Nakano”.

It is a relatively shallow dive site that may be done as a easy reef dive. It is the perfect site for beginners and certified divers alike.

With its shallow depths, you can expect a nice long bottom time here. Common sightings include eels, few kinds of anemonefish and damselfish. And the coral is beautiful.

Hidden tunnels and grottoes await the advanced diver. And while all the elements combine to create a ­surreal scene, if you time your dive correctly, you’ll get an added bonus as the seascape is lit by intense shafts of light squeezing through the congestion above.

09.Nakano-Oki Part2

Level ★★☆☆☆ (beginner to advanced)
Depth 5~18m
Course Introductoly Diving, Fun Diving, snorkeling

This dive is quite an easy one, with beautiful warm waters and little to no current.

Underwater canyons and small caves to discover at a depth of 15m. The water is crystal clear which makes the dive superb for all divers.

There are relaxing and beautiful coral reefs. It has never fail to astound even the most seasoned divers. There is nothing more invigorating than the sight of multitudes of tropical fish, crowding together in schools of thousands.

10.Hatoma Lolita Point

Level ★★☆☆☆ (beginner to advanced)
Depth 5~18m
Course Introductoly Diving, Fun Diving

An easy shallow dive along the rocky shoreline. Excellent for beginners and photography.

“Lolita” means “Young fish”. A lot of marine life, it’s a nursery for young fish.

You can see a variety of young fishes. It is very interesting that them body color are different from the adult.

Also, There are 2 tunnels. The Tunnel dive site is one of these dives that makes a difference, changes you as much as it entertains you! The first thing you will notice is the beautiful light and dramatically shaped walls.

You can enjoy both marine life & terrain.

11.Hatoma Higashi

Level ★★☆☆☆ (beginner to advanced)
Depth 5~18m
Course Introductoly Diving, Fun Diving, snorkeling

There are impressive coral formations here and all types of fish around. A lot of fishes swim over coral reefs.

Especially Striped large-eye bream make big schools. They don’t afraid of divers. So you can see it up very close!!

The sandy bottom hosts a population of small reef fish, different species of crabs.

12.Tokakin Sone

Level ★★★★☆ (advanced)
Depth 14~20m
Course Fun Diving

This site is for experts. Visibility is very good but current is little bit strong.

“Tokakin” means “Dogtooth tuna”. You can see a lot of large migratory fishes, including barracuda whitetip reef shark, Dogtooth tuna and more.

The passage of water good, so there are school of bananafish and butterflyfish.

Diving here is without a large excitement mistake!!

It’s just gambling-like site. If you have an unlucky day, you can’t see them. However you were lucky, you can see a magnificent landscape!!

13.Hinai Beach Mae

Level ★★★☆☆ (Intermediate to advanced)
Depth 5~18m
Course Fun Diving

Being placed within a bay, the area is relatively safe with quiet waves.

The best thing about diving here is Saddleback clownfish(It is rare in Japan).

You can see 6 kinds of anemone fish around Iriomote Island. And Saddleback clownfish is seen only this site.

There are tiny Frogfish, Diamond Leatherjacket (Rudarius excelsus) and Short-bodied pipe fish. If You find carefully, you can see some strange kind of fish.

Visibility is not so good but full of excitement such as a treasure hunt.

14.Funaura Part2

Level ★★★☆☆ (Intermediate to advanced)
Depth 3~8m
Course Fun Diving

This site is estuary so it is mix of sea and river. In other words, You can dive between fresh & sea water.

Like in the last point, the critters are not as common as other reef animals. Some fishes can be found in only here(Brackish water).

The most famous ones are Mandarinfish and Pajama cardinalfish.

Bottom is covered in mud. Visibility is 3~5m. So if you like easy diving and macro critters, then muck diving might just be for you.

Most animals have adapted to living in a constant twilight. I will dive here as 3rd dive.

Do you need more information?

Diving Plan&Price

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Seasonality about diving around Ieiomote Island

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My Diving Style

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If you can’t find the information you need, please feel free to contact me directly.


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