I am not a frequent diver. My last dive was about 4 years ago, and this was my first dive outside of the Caribbean. So I contacted Umicoza for a refresher course and two morning dives hoping to see some manta rays in the Kabira Bay area. The staff responded very quickly, answered all my concerns, and even helped book my hotel.
Everything from e-mail to dive briefing was very clear and communicated in English. I did not have to feel uncomfortable diving in a foreign country because of any language barrier. The staff was extremely patient with me when I couldn't decide whether it would be too cold to dive. (Japan was extremely cold this early March.) At the end, I moved my dive up one day as suggested by Miki (one of the staff) because the original date would indeed have been too cold. And she was absolutely correct!
The dive boats are small. But I did not feel any bit of sea sick without medication because the dive sites were not far from shore (20 minutes). The weather was also fantastic, so the ride was smooth. The next day was a completely different story, the wind was so strong that all the ferry companies were operating on a limited schedule.
As for manta rays, we saw a huge one swimming up to the boat when we were en route to the first dive spot and that was the only manta ray we saw that day.
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