Ishigaki Island chosen as the best diving spot in Japan for 14 years in a row
April 6, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
Ishigaki Island has won the top spot in Japan for 14 consecutive years at the Dive & Travel Awards hosted by monthly magazine Marine Diving. The winners were selected by the magazine’s readers, who voted for their favourite diving spots. Okinawa Main Island came in second place, and Miyako Island was in third place. The top three are all in the Okinawa region. Diving shop South Point was awarded 9th place in the best diving service section, and Kabira Bay in Ishigaki was voted the 8th-best beach in Japan.
The waters around Ishigaki Island have gained a reputation because there are many diving spots, where divers encounter manta rays frequently. In addition, the largest coral reef in Japan called Sekisei Lagoon lies between Ishigaki and Iriomote Island. Kabira Bay, which won a three-star at the famous travel guidebook Michelin Green Guide Japon, and the well-known beef brand Ishigaki-gyu have made Ishigaki Island a household name.
Chairman of the Yaeyama Diving Association Makoto Sonoda was jubilant. He said “We are very happy because this island won the top award by a wide margin. I think that this win is a result of the efforts of local people and the diving shops in the island to protect the natural environment.” The award ceremony was held in Tokyo on April 4.
(English translation by T&CT)
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