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The Shiretoko Peninsula in Japan is renowned as the ultimate destination for ice diving. Unlike other frozen lakes, divers have the rare opportunity to explore drift ice, making it an extraordinary experience. Each year, from January to March, the frozen freshwater from Russia's Amur River is carried by the wind to the Shiretoko Peninsula.

Underneath the freezing waters, divers can encounter fascinating marine life such as the shellless clam known as Hadaka Kamegai (kurione). Additionally, the Mizin-Uki-Mai, a swimming clam and the main food source for the Hadaka Kamegai, can be observed. Despite the low water temperature, the area is teeming with crabs, shrimps, nudibranchs, anemones, and other colorful creatures. Fish enthusiasts will also have the chance to spot sea lamprey. Furthermore, the renowned Rausu kelp can be admired beneath the water's surface.

Designated as a World Natural Heritage site, the Shiretoko Peninsula offers a unique natural environment both above and below the water's surface. Exploring the land-based attractions is also highly recommended. As ice diving is a specialized activity, it is crucial to make necessary preparations in advance. Adequate equipment and proper training are essential before taking part in this exhilarating dive. It's worth noting that Rausu, located on the eastern side of the peninsula, receives drift ice slightly later than Utoro, found on the western side. While Utoro is covered in ice, the main diving style around Rausu is focused on the drift ice itself. The water temperature ranges between -1 and -2 degrees Celsius, providing optimal conditions for a complete ice diving experience. Visibility reaches around 10 meters with a maximum dive depth of 10 meters.

To optimize your ice diving adventure in the Shiretoko Peninsula, ensure you possess the appropriate diving gear and skills. By doing so, you'll be prepared to explore this mesmerizing underwater world.

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Last updated: 9 mo. ago - Oct 2, 2023

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