Atami Diving of Izu Peninsula

Atami Diving resort

Atami is a small seaside resort town located on the east coast of Izu, where the peninsula joins the mainland. A popular onsen resort, Atami has lost the luster it once had during the bubble era days when it was a favorite get away for honeymooners and Tokyo executives with their wives (or secretaries). At the east end of the beach a small breakwater encloses a small harbor against the main sea wall. This provides almost perfect conditions for confined water training and shallow water dives when the weather is too rough for the main sites. The lack of crowds here is a rare privilege compared to some of the east cost locations in Izu.

Easy access from Tokyo metropolitan area makes Atami an optimum location for a weekend hideaway from busy life. Atami is blessed with beautiful beaches, mountains, an island and hot springs of the top quality and quantity. There are 6 spa areas in the city, including Izu-Yugawara, Izusan, Atami, Izu-Taga, Ajiro and Hatsushima Island. Among things to see in Atami is the Kiun-Kaku residence built in 1919, and its garden, and the Riviera-style seafront. Thus the city can offer a lot to visitors, including fresh sea food, marine sports, golf, flowers and cultural spots. It aims at prospering further as a “long-stay resort” meeting needs of the age and “global resort” entertaining guests from all over the world.
Atami Marine Fireworks Show at atami beach.

FEATURES

Atami is a bay enclosed by an outer sea wall, most of the dive locations are located off the rocky point at the west end of the bay, about a 10-minute boat ride outside the seawall. The shingle bottom is punctuated by coral covered rock outcrops and one of the largest wrecks in the area. The location and characteristics of the bay mean that except for rare days the dive sites are nearly always calm and accessible with little or no current.

Changing and shower facilities are conveniently placed next to the harbor. furthermore, a dingy is available to sail the protected bay along Atami's beach between and after dives.

MARINE LIFE

Abundant soft corals and sponges cover every rock surface on the Atami sites. This in turn provides habitats for a wide range of fish life. Large numbers of moray eels lurk among the rocks and an observant diver might see the evasive stonefish and nudibranch. Sometimes larger fish are brought in from deep water when conditions are right; ocean fish and dorado have been seen on occasions.

DIVE SITES

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CHINSEN -

This is the most popular and well-known dive site in Atami. A 120-meter cargo vessel lies on the bottom in 30 meters of water - broken in two pieces.

SODAINE -

a rock outcrop rising from the bottom at 28 meters to around 14 meters.

BITAGANE -

Similar to Sodaine with access to Chinsen and its Tugboat.

KOSOGADOKUTSU -

A submerged sea arch providing a 40-meter tunnel through the rock at the point. This dive is only accessible during the winter months.

HARBOR -

While not the most challenging dive, the harbor itself holds a surprising number of sights, especially at night.

GETTING THERE

The town some 70 km from Tokyo stands on the neck of the geologically friable Izu Peninsula, above the upper half of the crater of an extinct volcano. The other half of the canted cone is submerged beneath the Pacific waters of Sagami Bay. Atami is a Shinkansen (bullet train) stop on the Tokaido Line and is easily accessible in 50 minutes from Tokyo. it is also served by the Odoriko Limited Express from Shinjuku.

ACCOMMODATION

Atami can easily be dived in a day from Tokyo, however there are some great Minshuku accommodation at very reasonable prices.

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