SCUBA Diving in Shakotan, Hokkaido
Shimamui Beach in Shakotan is listed as one of “Japan’s 100 most beautiful sea shores”. Shakotan also has the only underwater national park in Hokkaido and it is a popular diving spot for local divers during the warmer months of the year. As it is near Sapporo city, the biggest city in Hokkaido, many dive shops also run day trips out to the dive sites in the area.
There are lots of volcanic rocks in the water and the visibility is great, reaching over 25m on a still day.
You can go on whale watching tours and see Orcas (Orcinus orca) in April, or Dall’s porpoises (Phocoenoides daily), and Baird’s beaked whales (Berardius birdie) in June .
The sea urchin season begins around June, July or August every year. People from all over Japan visit Shakotan to eat the fresh sea urchin dishes there.
What you can see
All year round: Sea angles (Clione limacina), nudibranchs, shrimps, crabs and other small sea creatures.
December to April: A near-threatened species, the Steller’s sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus); the Giant North Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini); Smooth lumpsuckers (Aptocyclus ventricosus & Pelagocyclus vitiazi); Lumpsuckers (Cyclopteridae) and Sculpin (Cottoidea).