Futo Diving of Izu Peninsula
Nestled below dark volcanic cliffs and steep heavily wooded hills, the tiny fishing harbor of Futo is the home of one of the oldest and most popular dive operations in Izu. Futo is on the east coast of the Izu Peninsula south of Ito and just north of IOP (Izu Ocean Park). A rocky bay facing east catches much of the swell from the prevailing wind and the harbor is at the north end of the bay.
There are two beach sites, Waki no Hama which is located at the entrance, and Yokobama which is further down at the end of the service road, a nice walk carrying scuba gear. When conditions are good there are interesting shore dives easily accessible from the dive operation. A strong wind and heavy surf can rapidly lower the visibility in the bay, so the real attractions of Futo are the sites accessed by boat.
Futo is one of the most popular dive sites on the Izu Peninsula and as such is extremely busy during the summer months. Perhaps the best time to dive Futo is in the autumn and winter months when lower temperatures bring clearer water and discourage the massive crowds of Japanese divers.
Futo is one of our favorite dive sites in Izu. Futo is also one of Japans top diving resorts with a big variety of reef fish. From Mr. Ishii's vessel several species of dolphins can be spotted such as the bottlenose dolphin, the Pacific white-sided dolphin, the striped dolphin and the pan tropical spotted dolphin.
The underwater landscape off Futo features a steep shelving screen of lava blocks that tumble to a sandy bottom at about 45 meters. Mild currents make this a good area to introduce novice divers to current and serve to make the soft coral growth extremely colorful. Enjoy a day of relaxing diving in the Onsen Maru, a boat that has been filled with water from the nearby hot spring.
Futo is a good place to see any of the wide variety of sea life found around the Izu Peninsula, but is especially well-known for the high probability of seeing Eagle Rays. Lionfish are also plentiful around the sandy bottom. Morays and Scorpion Fish can be found among the rocks as well.
This site can also be reached from IOP if you are a strong swimmer and have good navigation skills. Generally, it's easier to do this dive from a boat. starting at 7 meters, a series of three large volcanic boulders stand out from the litter of broken rocks all around. Covered in brightly colored soft corals and washed by a gentle current Sankaku is an exciting dive.
Famous for Eagle Rays, this site is a flat-rock outcrop that rises from the sandy bottom at 25 meters.
Futo is about a one and a half hour drive from Atami. Pickup at Atami station (approximate driving time 45 minutes to 1 hour) or Izu Kogen station, about 15 minutes.
The best way to enjoy Futo is to stay in ATAMI in one of the many traditional Minshuku; this allows a combined charter with a day at Atami and a day at Futo.