If you’re looking for unique coral reef formations that have withstand the test of time while remaining pristine and largely untouched, some of the finest in Asia can be found near Japan, more specifically, south of the main islands, in regions such as Okinawa, Yaeyama and Nansei Shoto.
Okinawa Coral Reefs
Near the Okinawa region of Japan, coral reefs have appeared more than 400,000 years ago, stretching through the southern part of Okinawa, along with the Miyako Islands and the Yaeyama Islands – all made up of Ryukyu limestone.
Even today, these locations are ripe with thriving hard and soft coral, totaling about 200 different species of known coral formations, and making Okinawa one of the world’s most diverse marine habitat.
The Nansei Shoto Archipelago
Nansei Shoto is a unique array of small islands located in Japan’s southern waters, and featuring a small coral lagoon that is one of the main attraction of Japan’s waters.
The lagoon, containing more than 300 types of fish and 120 species of corals, is home to unique types of large micro atolls of porites species.
The World’s Healthiest Reef
We can’t talk about Japan without mentioning the coral reefs situated around the islands of Iromote-jima boasting some of the most beautiful, untouched beaches and waters in the world, as well as the Earth’s largest formations of pristine coral reefs.
Also known as a beautiful diving destination, coral species as diverse and large as those of the Great Barrier Reef can be found here, including 400 different species of coral, providing a rich habitat for manta rays, whale sharks, 5 different types of sea turtles and a huge variety of coral fish species.