Basic infomation

It's like Okinawa but here is Kagoshima.
located 380 km from Kagoshima and 300 km from Okinawa.

Coordinates: 28 ° 19′N / 129 ° 22′E
Area: 712㎢ (largest after Okinawa main island-Sado island)
Population: about 65,000

More than 80% of the island is mountainous, with pristine subtropical rainforest.
The average annual rainfall is around 3000mm, and it is warm and rainy all year around.
From June to October, as in the Okinawa Islands, typhoons approach and pass frequently.

A treasure trove of animals and plants full of endemic and rare species, such as the Amami black rabbit, a special natural monument of the country.

The mangrove forest located in the town of Sumiyo, Amami City, has the second largest area in Japan after Iriomote Island.

In recent years, the number of humpback whales has increased every year from mid-January to the end of March, making it an increasingly popular island for whale watching after the Okinawa Islands. (Swim with whales are also possible in Amami island.)

 

Climate

The maximum water temperature in summer is around 29 ℃, and the minimum water temperature in winter is around 19 ℃.

From June to mid-November, the water temperature is above 25 ° C, so recommend to wear wet suit.
From late November to May, the water temperature falls below 25 ° C.
From January to February, the coldest season, the water temperature drops to 18 ° C, so wear dry suit is recommended.

An author wear wet suit from Jun to Nov, wear dry suit from Dec to May:)
You should know that here is colder bit than Okinawa.

Access

By plane or ferry. LCC from Osaka and Tokyo are convenient.

By direct flight, it takes about 60 minutes from Kagoshima Airport or Naha Airport to Amami Airport.
About 2 hours from Haneda Airport and about 2 hours 30 minutes from Narita Airport.
About 1 hour and 30 minutes from Itami Airport and Kansai Airport.
About 1 hour and 20 minutes from Fukuoka Airport.
In addition, an increasing number of people use flights from Kobe and Chubu airports via Kagoshima.

The ferry takes about 11 hours from Kagoshima New Port to Amami Nase Port and about 13 hours from Naha Port to Amami Nase Port.
If you take a ferry, you should know it will be a long journey.
However you can not fly for at least 18 hours after dives so just enjoy your long journey.

On the way from Amami Oshima to Okinawa main island, it passes through three remote islands: Tokunoshima-Okinerabu-Yoron.
If you have the time, good to take a leisurely ferry to explore nearby islands.

Beach (north side)

The northern beach is sea slugs paradise during winter to early spring.

The sea slug's season of Amami island  around late January to early May.
A lot of sea slugs can be observed at Beach Point from late January to March and at Boat Point from March to early May.
From mid-May, the number of sea slugs gradually decreases, and the season with the lowest number of sea slugs in the year is autumn (September to November).

You should know that this island is big and wide so keep in mind that the island is divided as northern, central and southern areas.(takes 2hours from north are to south area by car)

Here are three of the author's favorite beach points where sea slugs can be observed, especially in the north area.

倉崎海岸(Kurasaki Beach)

Access: About 25 minutes by car from Amami Airport
Facilities: toilets and showers available (in nearby hotel facilities / not free)
Bottom sediment: sand / coral / dead coral / mud and silt
Maximum depth: ~ 25M

A famous beach among the many beaches on Amami island.
In summer, many tourists visit but still not crowded if compare with Okinawa beach.
The beaches faces East China Sea and quite calm from spring to early autumn when the south wind blows.
After the end of November, the north wind start to blows, so it often gets rough, but still can go dive sometimes even winter due to the beach located inside bay.

There are many types of small creatures you could see in this beach such as a goby, shrimp and seaslugs.
You can observe various types of sea slugs from shallow to deep fields during dive.

手広海岸(Tebiro Beach)

Access: About 20 minutes by car from Amami Airport
Facilities: toilet / shower available (cold water only) free of charge
Bottom sediment: sand / rock
Maximum depth: ~ 12M

Speaking of places where there are many sea slugs in Amami Oshima, first of all, there are many people who raise this Tehiro coast, famous for sea slug diving.
The leaf next to the entry is a popular spot for surfers so that surfing competitions are held.
Facing the Pacific Ocean side, Tehiro Beach becomes calm during winter when the Kurasaki Beach cannot dive.

Immediately after the entry, you can see a sea turtle butterfly on the rocky shore, and sand squirrels and sea dolphins on the sandy land and seaweed that spreads ahead.
Near the roots off the coast is the so-called "Nudibranch Wall", where you can observe a large number of doris and minnows.
Every year in winter, the Udefritsu Nozaya Nudibranch (Pikachu Nudibranch), which can be observed, is also popular.

Apart from sea turtles, sea turtles are sighted very often, making it a place where you can enjoy snorkeling.
Even in the summer when the number of sea slugs decreases, if you dive, you will encounter something. If you are looking for sea slugs with a shallow depth, we recommend this place first.

ピアテグリ(Pier-teguri)

Access: About 25 minutes by car from Amami Airport
Facilities: No toilet / shower
Bottom sediment: small rock / coral / dead coral / mud and silt
Maximum depth: ~ 25M

This dive site is not displayed on Googlemap, but is called "pierteguri" among divers.
The name comes from the fact that Mandarin fish can be observed.
(Pier in English and mandarine fish’s Japanese name is Nishikiteguri)

It faces the East China Sea and located inside the bay, so still can go dive even if sea condition is rough.

It is a famous spot for mandarine fish observation, but it is a wonderful place where you can observe many sea slugs from winter to early spring.
However, since the visibility is not good as other points, there are rarely to see divers normally.

 

 

 

Beach (south side)

Boat dives are popular in the south, but there are also few beach points.

Coming up soon!!