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Ishigaki-jima Travel Guide

Diving and Snorkeling

The scuba-diving and snorkeling around Ishigaki-jima is superb. Trips include the coral reefs near Kabira-wan, Yonehara, and Cape Hirakubo. Lunch-inclusive outings cost around ¥13,000, plus an addition ¥4,000 for gear rental. The most famous diving spot on the island (and perhaps in Japan) is Manta Scramble, near Kabira Bay. In autumn you can sit on the ocean floor and watch manta rays circle above you.

Pushynushima. This great dive company is by the port in Ishigaki, just across the road from the Hotel GranView Ishigaki. Tanaka-san and the other dive instructors speak some English, and offer both half-day and full-day snorkeling or scuba diving tours. Diving is offered all year, but it's at its best in mid-summer. A half day snorkeling is ¥6,000, and a three-tank dive is ¥17,400, plus gear rental. 2–5–6 1F, Ishigaki, Okinawa, 907-0012. 0980/886363. www.ishigaki-diving.net.

Tom Sawyer. This is the only dive shop on Ishigaki with a native English speaker (Richard a friendly Brit) who teaches PADI courses and specialties.The shop operates all year round, but ideally you want to visit in mid-summer so that you can see the manta rays. If you'd like to check out the ocean but don't fancy getting wet, there's also a glass bottom boat. 2–41 Tonoshiro, Ishigaki, Okinawa, 907-0004. 0980/83–4677. ishigaki-tomsawyer.jp.

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