Doesn’t matter; went diving.

It’s somewhat hard to express how much i wanted / needed to go back to Izu and dive. The feeling of it has haunted me for months. As were stuck out East of Tokyo, and Izu is very much in the other direction we’d booked a hotel in shin-yokohama, and spent the day lamenting that there was very little left of kamakura for us to explore.

On Wednesday morning, as soon as the Izukyu turned the corner at Atami, i knew that 海洋公園 wasn’t going to happen – there were white tops out in the open ocean, and what looked like a couple of meters of swell coming into shore. At times like this there are only the delights of Akazawa (a truly boring dive site) and Yawatano (a dive site centered around the concept of filling a washing machine with sticks and shit). No good. You can probably imagine how excited i was about the next couple of days…

Anyway, upon arriving i learned that the best thing to do was drive one and half hours across of the Izu peninsula and jump in the water in West Izu. It had been years since i’d been over there so it was obviously a better answer than the boredom / shit filled washing machine.

And it was.

There is something indescribably calm about West Izu. Maybe it’s the isolation, the lack of railways, density, roads, associated noise… and somehow the water feels softer, more forgiving than the East. Not that IOP is harsh, just that it loves to remind you that it can take you away if it wants you.

All of this was very good for getting me relaxed after not diving for a couple of years. It turns out that, apart from the photography part, diving is a little like riding a bike. The first couple minutes were slightly disturbing, but things quickly settled down, and i put in two very respectable hour long dives, along with a crossed arms, shaken head, refusal to leave the water… which would have carried more weight if i’d actually known where i was. Damn my lack of underwater sense of direction!

I’d normally post some of the better underwater shots, but to be honest, there aren’t any. While it might be possible to skip diving for a couple of years and pick up where you left off (after a couple of hundred dives… don’t try this at home kids!) the same certainly isn’t true for the photography. If it wasn’t shaky, it was certainly out of focus, or badly exposed. Maybe next time – if the weather allows i’ll go back next week and see how reality matches up to my dreams… that’s going to end well!

ps. orginally DM; HS

2 thoughts on “DM;WD

  1. I found Yawatano to be fairly rich in macro photo ops (see link), despite considerable “wash” in the water. Waves about 1 meter when I was there, though generally 1-2 in the area. However, even small waves made it hard to “stick the landing” when exiting on that concrete ramp, especially with a camera. Next time, if i’m in Japan and headed to Izu for diving, I’ll have a clip-on, very padded camera bag, so I can bag the camera safely, have my hands free, land on something other than my elbow! P.S. love your slogan.

    • Yep, i’ve had good times at Yawatano as well, but generally not when the weather is too rough to dive anywhere else!


      It’s the only place that does regular night diving on that part of the coast.

      If you want some real adventures on exits you need to try IOP (海洋公園). By far my favourite dive site… on good days it really is as good as anywhere i’ve dived around the world.

      Nice pictures. Happy diving!

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