Sea Tour

Time required About 7 hours
Cost About ¥8,000 up
What to take Swimming suit, towel, 3-piece set if available (mask, snorkel, fins)

Climb on board, and we're off…

If you're lucky, you may see dolphins or a manta while you're still inside Futami Bay. Keep watching for dolphins as you cruise around the island.


The skipper and our guide look for our chance to swim with the dolphins. Will they come over and swim with us? Will they come to the boat?

We put on our snorkels and fins, getting ready to dive.

Bottlenose dolphins will usually swim with you, while spinner dolphins will give a show-performing the spinning jumps you often see at the aquarium.

The skipper gives the Go sign. We dive in, keeping our eyes on the dolphins. Sometimes dolphins come close, and sometimes they swim away. It depends on their mood.

On to Minamijima ("South Island").

Before going ashore, we follow our guide's instructions to wash our shoes so that we don't track mud and seeds onto the pristine shore.

All the guides here have been certified as nature guides by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Each guide can accompany a maximum of 15 people. Each group is permitted only two hours on the island. No more than 100 people can visit the island each day.

These rules are necessary to preserve the natural state of the island.

On the white sand around the Ōgi pool we see countless snail fossils. They are the fossils of the now extinct Mandarina luhuana air-breathing snail. It's a surprise to see so many. But we have to be careful anyway-the fossils are a natural treasure and we are not supposed to step on them.

"I didn't know places like this existed in Japan. Is this really a part of Tokyo?"
  • Minamijima is closed to the public from mid-November to January to help preserve and restore the natural environment.

In the afternoon, it's time to look for whales.

Right away, we see a spout! There must be a whale here. We approach, and we see…it's a mother and her calf.

They seem to start breaching, as they leap out of the water. But then their tails turn up, and they dive down and disappear.

It's just about 3 o'clock. Even the fish are taking their afternoon snack about now. It's time to head to Anijima Marine Park.

So many fish, and such a pretty scene-it looks like a big aquarium. The divers among us are in the water quietly snorkeling and watching, while the non-divers are peering into the sea with goggles.

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