diving & snorkelling

The Kuroshio is a 200km wide ocean current that flows close by Yakushima.  The current’s distinguishing features are its high temperature, high salinity, water clarity and it’s speed.  The winter temperature of the current is an average 19.2C and this makes the winters on Yakushima considerably milder than mainland Kagoshima.

The warm waters allow coral to flourish and the swift current brings a plethora of marine life including the sea turtles that nest on the island during the summer.  The current also brings the flying fish and mackerel that are main catches of the fishing industry on Yakushima.  There is certainly plenty to see under the water.  An annual nationwide ocean diversity survey has, on three occasions, found Yakushima to have the greatest variety of sea life in Japan. 

There are several Yakushima diving companies on the island which offer a range of diving services catering from first timers to more experienced divers.  You can dive all year round, although from late spring to late autumn is the most comfortable season.  The prime beach dive area on Yakushinma is Isso in the north.  Expect to pay around 10,000 yen for one dive or 15,000 yen for two dives.

If you’d like to book a guide then contact YES and we’ll be happy to help.


From late spring to early autumn another option is snorkelling.  If you go with a marine guide it will cost around 7000 yen for a half day session and if you are interested in observing marine life then going snorkeling with a local marine guide is far more productive than going by yourself.  The diving guides know where to go and so you don’t waste hours trying to find a good spot. 

However, if you are not so bothered about seeing all the good stuff, then you can bring your own snorkel or pick one up on the island for a couple of thousand yen and still have a good experience. Anywhere with a rocky shore will have some interesting underwater life to explore, but for coral viewing then Isso and Kurio are the best places to go.  Check Haruta hama at low tide as it has some beautiful tidal pools that even children or non-swimmers can enjoy with just a pair of goggles.  Also, check the rocky shore at Yudomari where you can also relax in the  beachside  onsen (hot spring bath) after your swim!

If you’d like to book a guide then contact YES and we’ll be happy to help.