The island of Okinawa is the most common and logical destination for divers coming into Japan's remote southern islands. Naha Airport is Japan's 7th busiest airport; it services Okinawa from Tokyo, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and China. Once in Okinawa, divers can explore the area's history and touring options and check into one of the great dive shops in Okinawa that can outfit your dives and answer questions. Reef Encounters caters to English and Japanese-speaking divers, and offers charters to wreck dives and as far as the ruins off Yonaguni. The shop also offers technical training and certification courses. Other dive shops that offer dive excursions and training in Okinawa are Asian Dive Tours, Kaifu Divers, and Viamare, which specializes in underwater photography.
While many dive shops out of Okinawa offer excursions to Yonaguni, some divers may want to get to the island and settle first. The remote island of Yonaguni, at the very southern tip of Japan, is considered a challenge as far as time and money. Those determined to really experience the mysterious underwater ruins and island for themselves fly into the small Yonaguni Airport (OGN) or ferry to the island. There are direct flights to Yonaguni departing from Taiwan's nearby Hualien Airport. Keep in mind that Taiwan is much closer than Japan's mainland international airports. There are also hop flights into Yonaguni from Ishigaki Airport (ISG). The island of Ishigaki is a nearby island and the region's largest island and the hub of the region. The best way to get to Ishigaki from Japan's mainland is to fly from Tokyo International Airport, but once again a flight from Taiwan may be a better option. For those who like to take to the open seas, Fukuyama Kaiun is a ferryboat service departing from Ishigaki Island a couple times a week. The four-hour boat ride to Yonaguni is a great way to experience Japan's southern islands.
Once in Yonaguni, the classic dive shop that so famously hosts expeditions to the famous Yonaguni underwater ruins is Sou-Wes Diving & Hotel Irifune. In fact, Sou-Wes owner and dive master Kihachiro Aratake was the individual who actually discovered the amazing underwater ruins back in 1986. The ruins are still under hot debate, whether they are man-made or natural formations. Even geologists disagree about what and how the symmetrical, megalithic formations originated. Sou-Wes dive shop offers dive tours for beginners and advanced divers and for those not wishing to get their feet wet, Sou-Wes offers glass bottom boat rides that cruise over the ruins.
The ruins really are a place that you need to see for yourself, it is one of the spots on Earth where different people see different things, and where belief is powerful. The ruins will no doubt open any divers mind and get their curiosity fired up.
Scott and April are totally amazing divers. April is also an amazing and an inspirational instructor. They are fun to dive with and make each dive memorable and wonderful in unique ways. They are very knowledgeable about diving and I hope to take more classes taught by April.
Today (18 May) I had a very bad experience with your company, agency Sunrise Tours I did the 'morning tour' in Tokyo with Kumie guide, car 11. The first stop was the Tokyo Tower, where there is no time to contemplate the view. Kumie did not use microphone and the group were large. Impossible all to hear it. She promissed free time. But that is not true, the time was exactly to run all over the place, we cannot stop. The guide also did not ask if somebody had questions and let us no time to...