Dive off the coast of Ishigaki Island to see huge Pacific manta rays
Ishigaki's beautiful manta rays offer some of Asia's most exciting scuba diving. Watching them swirling above the coral reef is like witnessing a magnificent water ballet. Spring through to autumn is the best time to see the mantas.
Just off the coast of Ishigaki is a dive spot known as "manta scramble". It's also called the "cleaning station": an area of coral reef, sub-tropical anemones and sea plants home to thousands of feeder fish who gobble up parasites lurking in the skin and gills of the manta rays. It's a reasonably easy dive to see the mantas - only 50 to 65 feet (15-20m) deep in water temperatures around 21°C (70°F) and always with fantastic visibility.
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After soaking up the temples of mainland Japan, add on this 6 night extension to the island of Ishigaki for some subtropical rest and relaxation.
The islands of Okinawa are just a few hours by plane from mainland Japan, and yet it's a world apart. Let us introduce you to the jewel in Okinawa's crown, the southern island of Ishigaki - closer to Taiwan than Tokyo!