In the 1980s, Yonaguni Monument was found in Yonaguni Island which is the westernmost island in Japan. Even now, there is debate about whether the site is natural or a man-made artifact. We interviewed Kihachiro Aratake, a discoverer of the site, about the fascination of diving at the Yonaguni underwater.

Location:Yonaguni island

Underwater ruins

Underwater ruins

Underwater ruins

Underwater ruins
  • Location

    Off the coast of Kubura Port

  • AccessAccess

    Approx. 15 minutes on a diving boat from Kubura Port.

The underwater ruins of Yonaguni Island is a sunken structure located 100 meters off the coast of Arakawabana, on the southern shore of the island. A reef spanning more than 50 meters east and west, 150 meters north and south, and 25 to 26 meters high has patios, stairs, and ditches that look like gutters which seem to be fabricated by hand, making it look like a ruin. Although various investigations are being conducted, they have not yet reached a conclusion whether it’s manmade or was created by nature. If it’s indeed artificial, the distribution of plants and animals as well as stalactite signifies that it’s from over 10,000 years ago, making it the world’s oldest ancient ruin.It’s a famous diving spot, but recently, it can be seen from above sea in a glass bottom boat.

Yonaguni-town tourism association / President
Discoverer of the Yonaguni monument
Kihachiro Aratake

Kihachiro Aratake

Kihachiro Aratake

Born in 1947 in Yonaguni Town, Okinawa Prefecture. Since the discovery of the underwater ruins in 1986, he became the coordinator for all the experts and media from here and abroad and became widely known throughout the world as the individual who introduced the Yonaguni underwater ruins to the outside world. Runs a diving shop SOU-WES, and he is also a president of Yonaguni-Cho Tourism Association. He is also well-versed in the history and customs of the Yaeyama islands. He continues to lead the industry with his wide network of close friends including notable figures including the late Jacques Mayol and Graham Hancock.

Aya Takada,Saori Oshima,Tetsuro Nagasaka

  • LEFT
    Aya Takada

    PADI diving instructor
    Belongs to Tabpot

    Saori Oshima

    PADI diving instructor
    Belongs to Okinawa Diving
    Service Lagoon

    Tetsuro Nagasaka

    PADI course director
    IAHD Diving instructor for the
    physically challenged
    Owner, Honu Honu Divers