Amami Oshima, Tokunoshima, Okinoerabu, and Yoronto are four of the many islands in the Amami Islands archipelago. Each of these islands features stunning natural landscapes and beautiful ocean views for diving and exploring. Nevertheless, Amami as a dive destination is often overlooked in favor of Okinawa, an island that is further south and more known for its tropical climate.
Amami, however, with its blue sea, colorful corals, and abundance of marine life, has many charms of its own. When you take a chance and dive, you’ll get to see thousands of different sea creatures. One of the most popular species is fragile cardinalfish, living in sheltered lagoons and bays. You can see shrimps, starfish, and other sea creatures up close in their hiding places under ledges and rocks.
Diving beneath the surface also lets you see unique underwater vistas. In some dive sites, you will find rocks and corals that stand alone, surrounded by white sand that stretches for miles and miles. Places like these are ideal habitats for marine life, and divers can lie on the sand and take enough photos to their heart’s content.
On the island of Tokunoshima, swimming turtles and singing whales are the main events of the subtropical seas. If you want to spot migrating dolphins and whales as well as see the numerous kinds of reef fish and turtles, hop on a boat and visit Okinoerabu. Macro divers can also see the sea slugs, sea snakes, sea cucumbers, and sometimes stingrays and reef sharks. Yoronto, a tiny place with quaint villages and sugar cane farms, has a famous beach—Yurigahama—where you can see star-shaped sand due to dead plankton and pieces of coral that look like stars.
Aside from diving, there is also an abundance of other activities for you to do in these beautiful islands. Between trekking, hiking, swimming, and snorkeling, there is much to do and see in the Amami archipelago.