Konichiwa! Known as the land of the rising sun, this incredible country truly brings together past and future with some parts of the country boasting a rich, delicate and beautiful culture that stretches back millennia, whilst other parts such as Tokyo truly look as though they are a scene from ‘the Jetsons’. There are endless things to do in Japan, some of our favourites include the temples and gardens of Kyoto, Cherry-Blossom viewing in Southern Higashiyma, shopping in Tokyo, snowboarding down the powder covered mountains of Hokkaido and visiting the Oku-No-In at Koya San.
Not often sold as a diving destination, Japan may just be one of the world’s best kept diving secrets, with wrecks reef, pelagics and around 34,000 kilometres of coastline to explore! Whether drifting alongside hammerheads on the Izu Penninsula, exploring a think forest of coral off the coast of Tokyo or discovering world war two wrecks in the Galapagos of Japan, Ogasawara, there is something to suit every diver!
It is however, world-renowned Yonaguni Monument located off the coast of Okinawa that brings divers from all over the world each year to explore Japan’s waters. This incredible underwater structure consists of sand and mud stone connected to an underlying rock mass that believe to date back 20 million years. Debate still continues to this day as to whether the structures are man-made or a natural occurrence.
Diving Destinations in Japan
- Entry Requirements
- Time Zone
- Water Temperature
- Departure Tax
Australian passport holders require six months validity past their intended stay. A visa is not required for stays under 90 days. For more information and for holders of other passports, please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for the latest travel advice.
The Japanese Yen (JPY) is the unit of currency. One Australian dollar buys approximately 90 JPY. US Dollars are also widely accepted in Okinawa due to the large American military population. Not all shops accept credit cards and not all ATMs accept foreign cards. 7 Eleven always accepts foreign cards, and the dive centre can direct you to others nearby.
Japanese is the official language; however the Okinawan languages Uchina-guchi are also widely spoken. English is not commonly spoken outside the American military bases.
100V and uses an unearthed American plug type (2 pins only). In Australia you cannot buy an adaptor that goes from three pins to two pins so it is recommended to either use a universal plug adaptor, or take a European adaptor and buy a Europe to Japan adaptor when you arrive.
GMT+9 (1 hour behind Sydney)
Casual clothing (not beach wear) is suitable for most restaurants and public areas.
Okinawa has clear seasons and air temperature ranges from 17°C in January/February to 30°C in August-September. The climate is pleasant throughout the year.
Starts at 17°C in December and ranges to 30°C in July.
None at 1 July 2012.
Tipping is generally not expected or encouraged by the Japanese, however the dive operator is American and you may choose to give a tip of 10-15% if you experience excellent service.