The largest of Izu islands, with a circumference of 52 km, Oshima is readily reached from Tokyo, either by ferry, jetfoil or airplane. Since the island is very popular in July And August, when thousands of surfers, divers and fishermen arrive there usually for the week-end, this destination is more pleasant in spring and autumn, when the area is much more quiet. The island is, indeed, characterized by its pleasant climate, with winters much warmer than Tokyo and summers that are slightly cooler; the island earned the name of the "island of the eternal spring".
Oshima offers some of the best diving sites of the Kanto (the area of Japan located around Tokyo). The island is especially popular among folks from Tokyo, who enjoy the fact that most dive sites are accessible directly from the shore (shore diving); a simple car thus allows to travel from one dive site to another. And this is the reason why those dive sites can be quite crowded.
Global Sports Club (diving center)telephone : 81 (4992) 2 1966address : Tokyo-to, Oshima machi, Motomachi, Kitano 1-74email : firstname.lastname@example.org : www.global-ds.comrating : 3 / 4 starscomments :One of the large diving centers of the island, organizing guided shore dives and renting material to divers with the proper certification. Comprehensive infrastructure with showers, changing rooms, storage and even a picnic facility.
Akinohama (秋の浜)rating : 4.0level : for advanced diversdepth : 40 m
Our favorite diving site of Oshima, which was also elected the 'second best dive site of the Kanto area'. The parking lot, along the sea shore, is reached by a very narrow and steep road. A jetty made of rocks and concrete advances in the sea, providing divers with two easy entry points: just jump on either site! 2 ladders are available for exiting the water.
Around the jetty, a depth of 3-6 meters makes it easy for beginners to get comfortable in the water. A little further, the bottom reaches 9-12 meters. Akinohama is a great dive site for those interested by macro photography. In fact, we saw every dive an incredible number of different nudibranchs. There are many sea anemones, too. But if you prefer bigger stuff, this site will delight you, too. It is also the only dive site of Oshima were we could observe schools of fish, and it is usual to see half a dozen of moray eels. A nurse shark was also found under a rock. The bottom around the jetty is covered with a reddish alga, rending unusual colors underwater. Using a lamp, even during the day time, improve the experience. Advanced divers should try to go a little further to the right, where following a gentle slope, they can reach the 30-40 meters depth area. There, a beautiful coral garden is to be found: it contains mostly white corals, some red ones, with the shape of trees, rending the place very mysterious.
A popular night dive, too. Note that there is also, in summer, a small swimming pool for children close to the diving site.
Nodahama (野田浜)rating : 3.0depth : 13 m
One of the typical shore dives of Oshima island. A large parking lot is available for cars, facing the sea and a bell that divers seems to enjoy to ring before jumping in the water! The sea shore is a couple of meters below and easily reached by stairs. The dive starts from the gravel beach, following a rope underwater.
A very enjoyable site for beginners, who can dive just a couple of meters from the shore in a relatively sheltered area formed by a small bay and a couple of rocks emerging at the surface. In this area, the maximum depth is 13 meters, with an interesting relief forming a small maze. One of the famous spot here is an underwater arch where up to 5 divers that swim through simultaneously. More experienced divers will probably want to go a little further, especially if other divers are underwater at the same time.
Keikai (ケイカイ)rating : 2.0depth : 18 m
A perfect dive site to test your orientation skill! From the entry point located in a cove large of a couple of meters, follow the shallow bottom (2 to 6 meters) in the north-west direction. After 5 good minutes, you will arrive in an area where more or less large canyons run parallel to each others. There are also a couple of sandy areas. The maximum depth reaches 18 meters, although if you continue further west, you can reach a 30-meters deep area.
The fauna can be quite rich, and apart of the fish commonly found in those waters, this is a good site to spot some rays and, especially in winter, sea turtles. Note that in case of rain, the visibility can be very reduced, especially at shallow depths.