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The Marine Fair in Tokyo has just finished up their 30th exhibition, hosted by Marine Diving Web.
Marine Diving Web used to be a printed publication with periodicals but has since shifted to being an online only diving industry media publisher. On top of being the biggest diving publication in Japan, they have facilitated the annual Marine Diving Fair in Tokyo as a kick off event before the summer season. The fair is a wonderful opportunity for people from all parts of the diving world, from industry leaders to new divers, to build strong connections in the diving community.
First weekend of April, on Fri - Sun
2022: April 1-3
Where: Ikebukuro Sunshine City Exhibition Hall C,D
First weekend of April, on Fri - Sun
Ikebukuro Sunshine City Exhibition Hall C,D
The draw of the Marine Diving Fair is for dive operations to introduce themselves to potential diving customers and fellow professionals alike. Each dive shop pays the organizing body for a booth, and for the next three days has the opportunity to promote themselves and highlight their operation. Attendees are given lanyards that show if a person is a part of a dive shop, an exhibitioner or a diver. This allows the staff to meet face to face with keen divers which is a unique opportunity at the fair.
Local dive shops take the opportunity to come and introduce themselves to fellow divers and expand divers’ ever growing site bucket list. This year there were shops ranging from our neighbors in the Izu peninsula to Ogasawara and Ishigakjima, and as far north as Hokkaido. Each shop is run by either the head of the shop, or staff depending on the size of the shop. We had the chance to meet many shops, and so we are looking forward to growing our list of dive sites that we regularly explore.
True North, based in Chiba, is where our Freediving Instructor got his license. The shop is quite large with many full time staff, and is synonymous with freediving in Tokyo. They host regular static and dynamic competitions in the Tokyo area.
One shop that we requent regularly is 西伊豆マリン 海Kai based in Tago, West Izu, run by Eric. He is a NAUI Course director, and so he was stationed at the NAUI booth promoting his dive shop. He is also a phenomenal chef, having previously been one professionally, which has made every visit at his shop a culinary experience. His seafood BBQ is remarkable.
Eric also displays the art of a local artist, Yurie, around his shop. Yurie specializes in making incredible fin designs that’d make your fins stand out both in and out of the water. Most of her work can be found on instagram and is well worth checking out.
This year has a strong showing of overseas diving operations. Some booths are organized by the tourism agency of the specific country, e.g. the Philippines and Tahiti. While others were hosted by dive centers in those countries that have Japanese speaking staff and so can cater to a Japanese speaking clientele, such as Palau and Indonesia.
There are many liveaboards or dive shops that have piqued our interest, and we look forward to organizing events, as soon as the logstical challenge posed by the pandemic has eased.
Scuba Diving Gear
Not only is Marine Diving Fair a chance to talk to shops, it is an opportunity for divers to see brands’ newest gear as well as build and or upgrade their dive gear. The gear on display ranged from freediving fins to titanium masks to even 8K underwater video cameras. It was also notable that there were three separate booths boasting rebreathers, reflecting the growing interest in Japan.
Gull had a strong showing this year, as one of the major domestic brands that specialize in fins, masks, and snorkels. This year the booth was highlighting their new channeling style fin geared towards advanced divers. On top of that, they had great masks with UV lenses for the harsh sunlight at the water’s surface.
Scuba Pro / Tusa
Tusa and Scuba Pro shared a booth this year because in Japan, Scuba Pro Asia (based in Hong Kong) is distributed within Tusa’s network. Tusa have released a new frameless mask that could be a big hit this summer season.
One of the two main scuba diving chains in Japan, MIC21 made an appearance with a booth that covered a substantial section of the fair. There we were able to find incredible sales. For more details on best places to buy scuba diving gear, check out our guide here.
Where to Buy Scuba Diving Gear in Tokyo: A Comprehensive Guide
Tokyo is a great city to find scuba diving gear. There are a number of stores where you can buy everything from regulators to wet suits. In this article, we will take a dive into a comprehensive guide of where to buy scuba diving gear in Tokyo.
There is an underwater photography section of the fair. Under water photography is a huge industry, especially when the fair was run by Marine Diving as a regular publication. Here companies such as Nauticam and Sea and Sea can show off new gear targeting both the weekend hobbiest to the documentary filmaker. Displaying videos on an 8K TV, it is well worth enjoying the film.
In addition to exhibiting underwater photography equipment, they also have a space to highlight local photographers as their work captures the wonders of Japan’s underwater world.
Shibuya Diving Instrustry Co. had a booth where they highlighted offshore wind energy. Japan being a country with limited space, it is a worthwhile investment to back off shore wind energy. With the IPCC warning that peak climate emissions will have to be within 2025, Japan has to take the initiative to wean off of coal, and the work being done by the Marine Energy and Fisheries group is a great place to start.
In our opinion, the current state of corals are in dire straits, and any initiative to help the coral population is a welcome one. The Onna Villiage in Okianwa is home to a Green Fins Initiative to restore the coral ecosystem off of the coast. Green Fins is an initiative orgnized by the Reef World Foundation, which is branch of the United Nations Environmental Protection Agency (UNEP) that has focussed on creating more sustainable diving practices.
In the above images, it is possible to see the primary means of coral reef reconstruction. The coral is elevated on a pole, and the intention of this is to protect the coral from a species of starfish known as the Crown of Thorns which is known to consume coral. Once the coral has grown to a substantial size, it is then relocated to a previously damaged region of the seafloor in the hopes to re-establish a coral population thereby attracting the marine life back. One of the pillars of this initiative has been to incorporate the local fishermen to grow, maintain and deploy the coral in the region, providing an alternate means of livelihood while restoring the coral to their precious state.
The Marine Diving Fair was a great success this year, showing us a cross section of the diving instrustry here in Japan. Tokyo Divers is excited to attend next year and you are more than welcome to join us :D