Updated: April 17, 2018
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There's A Shark Island in Japan?? Tobishima in Yamagata Should Be On Your Bucket List!

Are you brave enough to go Tobishima island in Yamagata to swim with sharks? They're supposed to be lazy and harmless, but they're still 1.5 meters long!

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Shark Island in Tabishima, Yamagata

In Tobishima Yamagata, there is an island where you can swim with gentle sharks. They're about 1.5 meters long and mostly just lounge around. They are also mostly female, so you can watch them give birth sometimes in an underwater cave. What an impressive show!

If you want to go diving with the sharks, you need to go with a professional diver.
Although they look scary, even inexperienced divers can swim up close to the sharks.

When to go?

You can go all year round, but it is better to go during the summer if you plan on going diving. Especially since it is not uncommon for the ferry from Sakata port to Tobishima island to be unable to depart for a few days at a time because of bad weather.

The sharks gather in the cave from early May to early July.

How to get there?

To get there from Tokyo:

From Tokyo station to JR Sakata station, you need to take the Joetsu Shinkansen (4h30) to Niigata station, and then you must take the Inaho express train to Sakata station.

From Jr Sakata Station to Sakata port, it is around 7 minutes by taxi.

You need to take a ferry from Sakata port to Tobishima island (75 min). The boat leaves 1-3 times a day (depending on the season).
The ferry costs 4,200 yen for a round trip for adults, and 2,100 yen for children.

Finally...

If you're an animal lover, and are looking for other islands or places with animals, check out the links below.
Lili Wanderlust
I love traveling and discovering new cuisines. Japan has a panoply of local dishes to try. I also love yoga, coffee, reading, and cycling.

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