On Thursday, December 26, 1991 12:40:26 PM UTC-6, Rodney Doyle Van Meter III wrote:and for the three years I was there, I dove with him and the club on Camp Zama. I worked up to Asst Instructor under Roy. I helped with classes in Tokyo at the American Club and a the U.S. Embassy. I would love to hear from anyone that was there
I'm researching diving in Japan, and this is the very little I've
found (including what I learned last month while I was there). A scubasearch revealed numerous queries, and only the one response
below, so I figured I'd post this, incomplete as it is. Below the
message from Curtis are my notes. I'll put this in the archives at
Ames, as well, not because it's good but because it's better than
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Curtis Sanford)
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 1991 15:49:07 GMT
Subject: Re: Diving in Japan???
My wife and I both were certified in Japan. Okinawa is the place for
true tropical diving, including rare blue coral reefs (get there quick before the new airport goes in and destroys the reef). If you are in Tokyo, the best nearby diving is off the Izu penninsula (~70 miles south), where the Black Current from the Phillipines moves on-shore in summer and brings tropical sea life to temperate waters. High water temps are around 70, but if you miss the current it can be as cold as 58. Most divers in eastern Japan use 5mm wetsuits (1/4"=6.5mm).
Roy Goodman's Roy's Diving School operates weekly weekend trips to good sites in Izu accessed by boat. Roy keeps a stable of gaijin (foreign) outlaw divemasters, all competant divers who can't go back to their home countries for vague reasons. Don't try to go out alone; the fishermans union controls boat access out of all ports in Japan, and they will use weapons. Dive schools pay gratuitys to the fisherman for use of 'their' ocean. Diving in Japan typically involves two dives during the day, followed by a trip to the onsen (mineral hot baths) for a long soak. The only way to dive. Night dives are rare, because the fishermen don't approve.
For men, the best feature of diving in Japan is that 80% of Japanese divers are single girls between the ages of 18-25. It is currently a high-fashion activity, as you will see from their gear.
I was just in Tokyo in November '91. I didn't get a chance to go
diving, but I did stop by a dive shop and talk to the people there.
Turns out one of the guys lived about a mile from me, in Venice Beach,
for two years -- small planet! The shop I was in was Seaman's Service,
in Hachioji (a suburb of Tokyo). They have another store in Kodaira,
and a club house in Izu.
The basic gist (which is about all I know of Japanese diving, combined
with the above): diving is expensive is Japan. When they plan long
trips (Australia, Micronesia, etc.) the prices looked to be
substantially higher than they are for similar trips from the U.S.
($4,300 for 8 days/7 nights on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia).
These don't appear to minimalist trips, though.
For diving local to Tokyo, the Izu Penninsula appears to be the area
of choice. This shop runs a variety of overnight trips down there.
They range from 20,000-30,000 yen (about $150-230 at the current
exchange rate) for two tanks, up to 40,000 yen for four tanks. Most of these were boat dives, but one or two were beach entries. The price
didn't seem to correlate well with whether or not a boat was involved.
The trips included overnight accomodations. The two-tank trips leave
in the evening and return approximately 24 hours later, and include breakfast and lunch. The four-tank trips are two nights, three days (counting the day you leave, which isn't until evening). Two tanks a
day, I believe. Five meals are included, as well. I think these longer trips involve staying overnight on an island and doing either beach or
boat diving from there.
I'm not sure what else was included, thanks to the language barrier. I would not recommend going on trip like this until your Japanese is adequate. I'm moving to Tokyo for two years, starting Feb. '92, and
I'll be looking for buddies to do some diving once I get there.
I've still got lots of questions about all this, if anybody can help
out. There are supposedly Japanese diving magazines, but I haven't
picked one up yet (and my ability to understand it will be limited
once I do).
It is Great to hear from others that know Roy. I hear he pass away several years ago and I think his wife still operates his dive shop. I dove with Roy at Camp Zama where he was stationed before he got out of the Army. He was my instructor in 1977
Curtis,more detailed information on the location. I did not know much about the Philippines at the time, so I had no idea if we traveled north or south from Manila.
I am sorry I just saw your post...I went on a trip to the Philippines when I worked with Roy in Japan. I think it was Batangas. Is that the resort that is several hours from Manila then a hour or so by boat. I would love to find out more if you have
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