Hayakawa Dive Service (Google Map) can be easily (and cheaply) reached from Tokyo via the Tokaido line from Shinagawa directly to Hayakawa station. Alternatively for a slightly quicker, but much more expensive, option take the Shinkansen to Odawara and then a local train. If travelling in a group it’s possible to get discounts on the Shinkansen.
Train prices are one-way and current as of March 2020 :
- Tokaido Line from Shinagawa to Hayakawa : ¥1,340 / ~1h30m
- Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen from Shinagawa to Odawara, then Tokaido Line : ¥3,630 / ~1h05m
From Hayakawa station it’s about 10 minute walk to the dive-shop, or a few minutes by taxi. The most direct route when walking requires negotiating some stairs, which may be a challenge with a heavy dive bag. Alternatively one can walk down the slip-road underneath the motorway overpass past a large new restaurant. The access road to the dive center now starts in the back parking lot of the restaurant and is not paved the entire way so might also be a problem when walking with gear bags. Due to the changed road layout taxi drivers might not know how to get there so be prepared to explain the route.
Once there, the dive shop is under the motorway overpass right on the beach. Facilities are basic but comprehensive and the owner, Tanaka-san, makes you very welcome, although he only speaks a little english. There are showers, toilets, plenty of tables for setup, and a small indoor area with free tea, hot water, and a microwave. Make sure to bring any nibblies, lunch, and drinks as the nearest Kombini is back in town.
Hayakawa Dive Service is one of few shops which offer aluminum tanks in Izu so is great for sidemount divers or those who prefer lighter tanks compared to the ubiquitous japanese steel tanks and also allows buddy-diving as long as you have suitable experience.
Entry can be a bit challenging as it is on a rocky shoreline, although a rough path has been constructed. Take care as the rocks under the waterline can be slippery, and there can be quite a lot of surge despite the breakwater protecting the beach at this point. The channel between the beach and the breakwater can be very shallow at low tide.
After entry, guidelines keep you from getting lost as you navigate to the primary attraction of the site, a rocky outcropping about 5 minutes swim away in 10m of water, surrounded by coarse sand.
The rocks are covered with short kelp and a few soft corals, and provide home and shelter to many organisms. These include squid, octopus, moray eels, star fish, sea cucumbers, sea horses, and various other fish. The sandy bottom is home to hermit crabs and other critters, and we even found a “flying gurnard”. The dive-shop owner will mark certain places of interest with yellow clamps – ask what there is to see on the day!
Due to the sandy bottom and shallow nature of the site, visibility can be quite poor, especially on days with incoming swell.
Dive prices using DiveZone Tokyo are ¥8,000 for a double beach dive including all fees and you get the benefit of english-speaking guides.