The 30th annual Marine Fair in Tokyo, hosted by Marine Diving Web, has recently come to a close. Marine Diving Web, formerly a print publication, now operates as an online diving industry media publisher. As the largest diving publication in Japan, they also host the annual Marine Diving Fair in Tokyo as a pre-summer event. This fair provides a unique platform for individuals from all aspects of the diving community, including industry leaders and new divers, to network and strengthens connections within the industry
- First weekend of April, on Fri - Sun
- 2022: April 1-3
- Where: Ikebukuro Sunshine City Exhibition Hall C, D
Are you ready to dive into the exciting world of scuba? Look no further than the Marine Diving Fair! This annual event is the perfect chance for dive operations to showcase their unique offerings and connect with potential customers and industry professionals. For three days, each participating dive shop has the opportunity to promote its business and highlight all that they have to offer.
Attendees are given special lanyards to indicate if they are part of a dive shop, an exhibitor, or a diver, making it easy for everyone to connect and network. Don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind opportunity to dive into the scuba community!
Local dive shops take the opportunity to come and introduce themselves to fellow divers and expand divers’ ever-growing site bucket lists. 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 much 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 frequent 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 to 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 make your fins stand out 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 logistical challenge posed by the pandemic has eased.
Scuba Diving Gear
Not only is Marine Diving Fair a chance to talk to shops, but it is also 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 specializing 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.
This year we also saw a booth from Gull Skin. This Freediving specific branch of Gull makes long fins, masks, and best of all, wetsuits. While pricey at around 40,000, the Gull Skin Wetsuit (for men and women) is a great purchase for both beginner and professional freedivers and is built to last.
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 has 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 the best places to buy scuba diving gear, check out our guide here.
There is an underwater photography section of the fair. Underwater 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 hobbyist to the documentary filmmaker. Displaying videos on an 8K TV, 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 is a country with limited space, is a worthwhile investment to back offshore 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 is in dire straits, and any initiative to help the coral population is a welcome one. The Onna Villiage in Okinawa is home to a Green Fins Initiative to restore the coral ecosystem off of the coast. Green Fins is an initiative organized by the Reef World Foundation, which is a 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 its precious state.
The Marine Diving Fair was a great success this year, showing us a cross-section of the diving industry here in Japan. Tokyo Divers is excited to attend next year and you are more than welcome to join us :D