Mikomoto Jima (Mikomoto Island) is a small windswept rocky island some 9km off the southern tip of the Izu Peninsula. Barely large enough to support the lighthouse, which is its distinguishing feature, Mikomoto Jima ascends from deep water. It is continuously washed by the cold current that rises from the nearby ocean trench. The trench continues on from the tip of Izu and becomes the deepest point in the ocean off the Marianas Islands between Saipan and Tinian. These conditions make for exceptionally clean water, big fish, and exciting diving. The exposed nature of the Island means that even on a calm day there will be an ocean swell with currents that run up to 3 knots in some places. For this reason Mikomoto should only be attempted by experienced divers.
Boat charters to Mikomoto are based in the picturesque fishing village of Koina. This beautiful natural harbor is an idyllic spot to while away the surface intervals when the weather is good, and when it’s bad a long soak in the nearby hot spring is highly recommended. Because of its remoteness, charters to Mikomoto should be no less than 48 hours to make sure you get as much diving at this splendid location as possible. For those that have any energy left after diving, evenings are often spent in nearby Shimoda.
Mikomoto jima is an uninhabited island about 10 kilometers away from the Izu Peninsula. Cold currents bring nutrients and plankton to feed the schools of reef fish. These in turn attract the larger fish. Tuna, rays, and on occasion, hammerhead sharks can all be seen at Mikomoto. In among the rocks an exceptional variety of fish life can be found. The clean water is especially good for soft corals, which are possibly more colorful here than anywhere else in IZU.
Named after a distinctive rock formation covered in bright blue corals, this dive is famous for its dramatic scenery and ripping currents.
Another fantastic drift dive across a broken terrain of coral covered walls and trenches. Large schools of yellowtails are often present and once into the deep water hammerheads can be seen in the autumn months.
This playground of car-sized boulders scattered on a sandy bottom around 13 to 20 meters is ideal as a gentle introduction to drift diving. Sheltered from the ebb current by the bulk of Mikomoto Island, this spot is a haven for smaller fish, invertebrates, and brightly colored sponges.
After a gentle meander through the rocks ascend slowly before reaching the drop off and let the current take you on a tour through spires of jagged pinnacles. Finally, surface out in the deep water, surrounded by bottomless blue.
Mikomoto is located right at the end of the Izu Peninsula, which means any journey to Mikomoto is going to be lengthy. It is possible to take the train to Atami or Shimoda, but you will need to take a car or bus from there. The easiest way to get to Shimoda is via the JR Odoriko Limited Express Services from either Tokyo or Shinjuku.
Visitors can stay at a traditional minshuku in the beautiful village of Koina. Delicious Japanese food and a dip in a ryokan onsen always make a memorable end to a day’s diving at Mikomoto.
Mikomoto Diving and Tourism Info:
- 950-1 Teishi, Minamiizu Town (Minami-izu-cho), Kamo District (Kamo-gun), Shizuoka Prefecture (Shizuoka-ken) 415-0153, Japan TEL: 0558-62-5210 FAX: 0558-62-5212Website: http://www.mikomoto-ds.com/
- 901-28 Minato, Minami-izu Town (Minamiizu-cho), Kamo District (Kamo-gun), Shizuoka Prefecture (Shizuoka-ken) 415-0152, Japan Tel/Fax: 0558-62-1980, 0558-62-3657Website: http://www.mikomoto.jp/
- Tel: 0558-62-0321
- TEL: 0558-62-3650 FAX: 0558-62-3870Website: http://www.290.jp/
- Tel: 03-3372-3330 Fax: 03-6410-4440Website: http://www.diving-team-sam.net/ja/mikomoto_index.htm
- TEL/FAX: 0558-53-2012
- Minamiizu Town (Minamiizu-cho) Beaches
- Minamiizu Town (Minamiizu-cho) Diving Shops, Resorts & Courses
- 157-1 Shimogamo, Minamiizu Town (Minami-izu-cho), Kamo District (Kamo-gun), Shizuoka Prefecture (Shizuoka-ken) 415-0303, Japan TEL: 0558-62-0141 FAX: 0558-62-1319Minami-Izu Town (Minami-izu-cho) Tourism Website: http://minami-izu.jp/
Izu City Tourism Association, Website: http://www.izushi.info/
Izu Area Tourism Promotion Council, Website: http://www.izu-kankou.or.jp/en/index.html
- 328-2 Shimogamo, Minamiizu Town (Minami-izu-cho), Kamo District, Shizuoka Prefecture 415-0392, Japan Tel: 0558-62-6300 (Tourism), 0558-62-1111 Fax: 0558-62-1119Website: http://www.town.minamiizu.shizuoka.jp/