Japan Dive: Ishigaki


Me getting up close and personal with a turtle. Photo credit : Mantaholic

Ishigaki is one of the best spots for diving in Japan, maybe next to Ogasawara, is what I was told. And when you say diving in Ishigaki, it means MANTAS. There's one diving spot with the Manta cleaning station, and that is in Kabira Bay. So off to Kabira Bay I went. 

Budget (JPY118,000+, ~USD850+)

  • JPY12,000. RT Flight to Ishigaki. 
    • +JPY5,000. Luggage RT
    • +JPY15,000. Rescheduling fee due to personal reasons
  • JPY42,900. JPY21,450 x2. Per day, 3 boat dives. Manta Holic's Package.
  • JPY25,000. Hostel in the area. 
  • JPY1,080. Bus, Airport < > Hostel
  • JPY3,000. Train, Home < > Narita Station
  • JPY15,000+. Food, coz I eat a lot.

Dives : 6 dives (all boat)


  • Highly recommend going with Manta Holic. (Tell Harvey that Cecilia recommended you). The manta cleaning station is at Kabira Bay, so if you go with dive shops near the main town of Ishigaki, they will either take an extra one hour boat ride to go all the way to the north of the island, or drive you to Kabira Bay and take a 15 minute boat ride. Your choice. 
  • The manta cleaning station has 5 "parking lots". Meaning only 5 boats can be docked to let divers down. At one point, we had to "fall in line" for about 1.5 hours. 
  • The shops will recommend that you hold on to the corals, or if you could, hover really close. Touching corals is definitely not recommended as that will kill them. In this case, I think there's a bit of a compromise in that the local association of diver shops have tried to minimize damage by limiting the "exposed" area.
  • It was a pretty brainless trip for me. I went to Ishigaki Airport, took the bus to my hostel, waited for the pickup from Manta Holic. That's it. There are plenty of other things to do in Ishigaki, but they are mainly day activities, and I didn't have extra days off. 


  • Saturday / Sunday Everyday
    • 08:00 - Pick up from hotel in Ishigaki main town.
    • 08:30 - Arrival at Kabira Bay, get gear ready. Most rent their gear at the shop, so people will need to do fitting, etc. 
    • ~12:00 pm. Lunch at boat. 
    • Afternoon dive. Go back to dive shop to shower/collect pictures/pay bill. Drive back to Ishigaki main town 

Dive Spots

Manta City

Rock Lake

W Arch

Yonehara Pukapi East


 Special Mention: SEA SNAKES