Can I dive with Ama divers in Japan? | Answer to a question from customer
We sometimes receive inqueries like "Can I go dive with Ama divers?".
We opened this guesthouse for introducing the life of Japanese fishing village to people from outside. So, that would be so nice if guests can come to my hut and watch me diving in the sea and learn how we make our living.
But unfortunately, we are not able to accept people from outside to dive with Ama divers.
When we opened the guesthouse, we sometimes let our guests to dive near Ama divers and let them watch the activity in the sea.
But there were people of media who behaved badly while they are filming or interviewing Ama divers, and that made local people including Ama divers dislike strangers being around while they are seriously working in the sea, and the local fishing co-op banned strangers to go dive with Ama divers.
There are some places that tourists can experience diving with real Ama women as a tour.
One famous is available in Shima city (Link).
It is a bit expensive. But most of the fishing villages in Japan are not welcoming strangers to dive in the sea, this could be a unique option for travelers.
Here in Ijika, a small fishing village in Toba city, protecting fishing right for local people is very important. Therefore, we are not able to give the best response to the question in the title.
What we can do is welcoming our guests to come to my hut, and let them watch how we prepare for diving.
If the weather is good and Ama goes to dive, guests can watch how we dive in the sea to catch shellfish from the beach.
For some people who want to know the details about Ama culture, we introduce some local people including veteran Ama women and fishermen in the village, and let them learn about our unique lifestyle.
Ama divers' lifestyle is still mysterious. But when you get connected with them and have some conversation in person, you'll see they are very natural, simple, and beautiful people.
Ama's diving technique might be interesting.
But listening their stories and learning how they made their livelihood from the sea for decades are also very special.
We'll do our best to make your trip nice and special.
We are looking forward to meeting you in Ijika!