DEEP & BLACK WATER CREATURES
The Tōhoku region offers the chance to dive with various deep-water creatures brought by the cold water currents coming from the north, which are often spotted in the spring months in the Shonai area (Yamagata Pref.).
In the Chūbu region, divers often encounter deep-water fish in the cape Osezaki / Suruga Bay area, due to seasonal upwellings affecting the very deep waters of the bay (2500m+).
The other major deep-water creature hotspot in the Chūbu region is Namerikawa in Toyama Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan side.
One of the famous deep-water creatures that show up seasonally in the Namerikawa is the snail fish, or Bikunin in Japanese (Liparis tessellatus) which rises up from depth of 200/300m, and delights divers with its cute features, soft skin and large comical eyes.
Another rare creature seen in Toyama Prefecture is the bioluminescent firefly squid (Watasenia scintillans) which comes to lay its eggs in shallower waters, and scintillates like an underwater firefly…
In Chūbu’s Sea of Japan area, the Toyama bay, famous for its bioluminescent firefly squid, recently started offering the possibility to do black-water (night) dives.
Black-water dives are basically tethered night dives done in deeper waters or open ocean, where divers plan to simply hang out under the boat and see what creatures rise up from the depth.
More on Toyama Bay’s black water diving here.