Rock Reef princess

Banded Coral Shrimp

Stenopus hispidus   (Olivier, 1811)

One stone is one of the popular diving points in Owase. It is a large monolith rock reef. Many kinds of soft coral are overgrown, and a flock of cardinalfish and colorful Anthias fishes entertain the diver’s eyes.
There are large and small cracks in this rock reef, and you can see shrimp and crabs.

Banded coral shrimp is common shrimp in such rock holes.
Beautifully colored shrimp decorated with red and white bands.
The Japanese name for Banded coral shrimp is Otohime-Ebi. Otohime is the name of a beautiful princess who lives in a fairy tale undersea palace. Ebi is shrimp. Contrary to its name, it is diligent and is known for cleaning large fish parasites.

Nabekura-Kei, The river of Rocks.

Is it Ancient ruins?

A mysterious mountain stream that covered with rocks in Yamazoe Village, Nara Prefecture.
Length 650m, width 25m. Clean water flows under the rocks.
Some people think of this river as a galaxy.
According to research, there are megaliths in positions corresponding to Vega, Altair, and Deneb along this river. There is also a rock that corresponds to the North Star. However, Surprisingly, it’s not present North Star but, it was the North Star 4000 years ago.
This is Thuban. It is the same star as the North Star, which the ancient Egyptians observed in the pyramid.

the virtual MantaFest 2020 has opened

Various events were canceled this year due to the influence of COVID-19. Manta Festa, held annually by Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers, a diving resort in Yap, Micronesia, is no exception.

Manta fest is a diving photo contest held in a very homely atmosphere. Many enthusiastic fans are all over the world, and they fell lonley that the event was canceled. One of those fans, Judy Bennett, has started the virtual MantaFest 2020 on Facebook.

<<Yap family. So, the annual migration to Yap for Manta Fest 2020 should be starting. Instead Covid 19 has thrown a gigantic monkey wrench into everyone’s plans for life this year. Since it had to be cancelled, maybe we can make Manta Fest 2020 a virtual one. Let’s share images and videos from all our other years there together. The people, the places, aquatic life big and small, and of course, don’t forget the beer. Just a few a day, we have 2 weeks worth to share>>…… from group page announcemen

The groupe page aimed to invite people who participated in the Manta fest, to post photos and warm up old relations online.
There are many pictures of a fun atmosphere such as, beautiful underwater scape and participants enjoyed diving, chatting, drinking….

The fun moments come back.
I’m hoping we could get rid of COVID-19 as soon as possible and move freely around the world.

The concrete block is an anti symbol of nature?

Tree soft coral (Dendronephthya sp.)

I like Soft coral against the backdrop of sunshine.
It’s one of the symbolic scenery of the undersea in Owase.
It’s beautiful, elegant, mysterious.
It’s beauty in nature.
However, this soft coral is standing on the artificial fish reef.
It is made of a lot of concrete blocks.

The concrete block is an anti symbol of nature.
It was installed on the sandy seabed about 50years ago.
The time makes it keep changing from an artificial thing to the natural rock reef.
Thanks to the artificial fish reef, you can enjoy the colorful soft coral and many kinds of sea creatures here.

Please visit related articles about Owase
”Can you believe I took these photos in mainland Japan?”

Tsumaguro-hatanpo (Pempheris japonica Döderlein, 1883)

Tsumaguro-hatanpo (Pempheris japonica Döderlein, 1883) swims between colorful soft corals. Owase, Mie, Japan.

Tsumaguro means a black chip in Japanese. There are black spots at tips of the dorsal fin and the anal fin. The English common name isn’t in Fish Base (

I took this photo at shallow water at HitotsuIshi Point. This point is one of the popular diving points at the inner bay. It is the point enjoy from the shallow like under few feet to the deep like over 100feet.
This point is a reef made from the big rock standing up from the sandy seabed about -60ft. Colorful soft corals cover those walls.
The sandy seabed is continuing gentle slope down to 100ft.
We can see the fantastic Gorgonian wrapper and Ring anemone on the way of that slope also.

A waterfall vase with a fantastic atmosphere created by the sunlight

Seirei Waterfall 蜻蛉の滝

This waterfall is located at Yoshino county, Nara, Japan. The central area of the Kii peninsula. Yoshino is one of the old places in Japan where has a lot of legends. The name of this waterfall has a story also.
Seirei waterfall at Yoshino Nara. It was named after the dragonfly legend that saved the 21st Emperor Yuryaku (the latter half of the 5th century) from a horsefly bite. Seirei is a different name of the dragonfly. In Japanese, The dragonfly is called Tombo usually.

broad-winged damselfly (Calopteryx cornelia)

The day I visited here, a lot of dragonflies were flying around the small river runs crystal-clear water.

This waterfall has two stages with a height of about 50m, has another name as “The rainbow waterfall”. I was lucky when I could visit here on a sunny day. When I gazed at the bottom of the waterfall, there was a fantastic scene that the second stage waterfall vase was shining in mysterious colors. It was a great moment.

#GettyImagesContributor #蜻蛉の滝 #nikon #吉野 #waterfalls

The rainy season is approaching

Crane flies (Tipulidae) mating on the mossy rock.

The dive shop was unavailable due to Covid-19. I often go out to the mountains. The social distance that no one can reach even if I call out loudly there. All I can hear is the sound of the mountain stream, the sing of birds, and frogs. Recently, cloudy days are getting more, and damp moss deepens their green. When large Crane flies (Tipulidae) softly stopped on the rock, they began to breed.
I tried no-tripod macro shooting. In underwater, the no-tripod shot is regular. However, I learned that land is so difficult.

New products at REDBUBBLE

Strong faced gray reef shark

Strong faced gray reef shark guards you against bad luck.
In the mythology of Okinawa Japan, sharks are the messenger and sacred creatures of the sea gods. They are guardians of the peace of the sea, sometimes save the drowning humans, and sometimes eat the bad guys against gods.
Yap Island Micronesia

Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda)

Wisteria is convenient as a ceiling material of rest space like at a public park. It is okay, even in the strong sunlight. It does not only bloom a beautiful flower, but also, in the summer, its overlapping leaves provide people a cool sunshade. In winter, leaves are falling, and the sunshine through to the bench seat. Sometimes, Carpenter bee(Xylocopa appendiculata) are coming. They are a big bee, but no need to scare. They are a family of a honeybee. They just come to gather flower nectar of wisteria.

A bunch of flowers under the sea

The visibility is not the same in even the same point, you know. We like clear water for diving. However, sometimes, murky water gives us a chance. When I took this photo, the visibility of the surface was awful. On that day, the sunlight didn’t reach the seabed where was ordinary days bright. I was Swimming in dim light with buddies. Suddenly this bunch of Orange cup coral was appearing in the spotlight of my flashlight. All tentacles were blooming. It looked like a bunch of orange color Daisy flowers.
The Orange cup coral might have been mistaken for the night due to the dark surroundings. Owase, Mie, Japan

Periclimenes Kobayashi

Cleaner shrimp

Periclimenes Kobayashi (Okuno & Nomura, 2002)
This commensal shrimp finds easy on the tentacle of Dofleinia armata Wassilieff, 1908 which is a venomous sea anemone. Transparent with red spots and a white band. Eyes are impressive. The eyeball is in a transparent sphere and chasing my moving.
at Oobana point (-18m), Owase, Mie, Japan