Nakano-shima beach

Miracle beach

Nakano-shima beach boasts one of the best in the beauty in Miyako island that made of corals. It looks like the box garden beach has various kinds of coral are lined side by side in the beach. And surprisingly many fish live corals as their house. It's like a coral museum, we call it a "miracle beach."

Have you ever seen corals before?

The first thing that surprises through underwater is the magnificence of corals. A lot of different forms of corals gathered, and everyone is lively. First of all, let me introduce the coral, which is the biggest feature of this beach.

Corals are alive

"Coral" is made up of three things. "Polyp" which is the body of coral, "Zooxialtheallga" living in the body of polyp, hard "frame" surrounding the polyp. We collectively call these "corals".


Polyp is an animal as a jellyfish. If you touch polyps, you may get rash or hurt in the same way you touch jellyfish. Polyps take bait in the sea with tentacles, eat from the mouth, and are digested in the stomach.

A flower garden emerges

Some corals have flowers in bloom. It seems to be pleasant when it is shaken by the wavy fluffy wave.

Actually this is the coral body, polyp. While being shaken by the fluctuating waves, we are capturing underwater plankton. When bitten by a fish or given a stimulus, it is recessed into the house (frame), and it looks like a totally different figure.

In the evening more polyps are fawning out.

Zooxanthellae is very important

Zooxanthellae live in the body of polyp. The zooxanthellae photosynthesis with phytoplankton and makes nutrition (sugar). About 80% of them are handed over to Polyp for house fee. Since Polyp has a large rent income, he mostly relies on a celery zooxanthellae. Therefore, polyps will starve to death as soon as there are no zooxanthellae.

When water temperature become hight the zooxanthellae felt stress then they will get out of the body of Polyp.  Polyps that have come out of the zooxanthellae disappear and only become the color (white) of the skeleton.

It will survive for two to three weeks until now by accumulation and predation, but if it does not come home for a long time (it means the water temperature does not return) it will starve to death. This is "coral bleaching phenomenon".

Underwater war

Natural world with intense competition for survival. Even coral can not keep pace only swaying. There is a territorial battle to survive also.

When observing coral forests, you can find places where different kinds of corals are lining up next to each other. When coral spreads another coral on himself, he stabs it with a tentacle and repels the opponent.

Because corals do not move, their underwar war is happening somewhere today (even a very fierce battle).

Oasis of the sea

The Miyako island's water visibility is very hight. The high visibility is evidence of little mixing of dust and plankton. It means that this is a sea where fish has few food and it is hard to live. And I know that about a quarter of the marine life lives in such sea coral reefs.

That is because coral gives food. Actually, much of the rent paid by the zooxanthellae is used for coral to protect itself. It is a membrane to protect themselves against foreign enemies, sand, ultraviolet light. The film that dust and plankton sticks little by little, become dirty and become outdated, corals take away themselves and throw them away in the water. Originally this nutrient-rich membrane, further plankton etc. adheres and it becomes a tremendous feast for fish. Even you will be able to observe this membrane in Nakano-shima beach.

Thus, an oasis is made by coral in the desert-like ocean, and one-fourth of the world's creatures live.

Love coral reef

Coral reef which absorbs carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and is also an oasis of fish. Breakwaters that break the waves for human beings and coral reefs that play a role as a fishing ground. There are many things for protect corals you can think of, such as "Do not throw trash" or "Do not fold corals" , But first, please try looking at the sea with coral. You will forget the time in the beautiful sea made by coral and the fun of the living things that live there. Maybe you will love the sea of ​​corals.

Becoming a favorite will be a power to protect the coral. At Irabejima Marine Center, we receive favorite coral photographs from customers participating in Taiken scuba diving (experience diving), and they are posted on the coral gallery's album. In fact, please keep watching coral from now on again through the Internet.

Do you know fish who live in coral reef?

In coral reefs it is said that you can discover 1/4 kinds of fish in the world. What kind of creatures live in the coral in Nakano-shima beach? Here, We will introduce several kinds of creatures that are fun to remember.

First, Clownfish

anemone fish that became famous in Finding Nemo. There are many types of anemone fish. You can distinguish the kind of anemone fish by the number and position of lines on the body. Also, when an anemone fellow is born, it is said that everyone is male, among which it is said that individuals with large body transsege to female and produce eggs. And when the female is gone, the next male turns into a female. It is a strange fish. Let's be able to distinguish the kind of anemone fish.

Tomato clownfish


There is a white line.

Although there are also two lines and three individual lines while they are child, they gradually disappears and finally becomes one. As males get older, the body will turn to black.

Yellowtail clownfish


There are 2 white lines.

Meal  has yellow tail and female has white tail.

Clown anemonefish


There are 3 white lines.

The pattern is brilliant and swimming like a busy while rocking the body up and down is popular.

Whitebacked anemonefish


There is a white line on the back from head to tail.

 They are shy as compared with other kinds, rarely comes out of sea anemones.

Pink anemonefish


There is a white line on the back from the head to the tail, and horizontal stripes of white on the head.

Do not make a mistake is the direction of stripes. The fish are vertical stripes, horizontal stripes, and horizontal stripes are vertical stripes. Confusing!

Ahh confusing!

Fish streaks are confusing. The line that looks vertical when you fish is called "vertical stripes"in the line that is horizontal is called "horizontal stripes". This is opposite to the direction the fish normally swims. When you look the fish swim normally, vertically lines are horizontal stripes, horizontally lines are vertical stripes. 

The diver's conversation becomes confusing. When the person asked "What was the name of the fish in two horizontal lines, what was the name?" other person think, "Does he/she mean about horizontal stripes or vertical stripes? does he/she know about fish stripes well?"  Oh, it confuse me.

Other fish

There are really many kind of fish in Nakano-shima Beach. it's not only popular anemone fish,  also convict surgeonfish, striped large-eye bream, yellowfin goatfish and other. they travel in a large group.

Convict surgeonfish


Convict means "Prisoner" . The appearance that they move clustered together surely looks like group escape. It is a group move from coral to coral, but it is a chance to take pictures when they are crazy for meal, they won't move .


The Hanshin tigers fans will be excited.

Striped large-eye bream


I have never seen they swimming furiously, they always floating in the middle stratum and swimming fiercely. There are spectacular because this fish is also flocking with plenty.

However, if the diver approaches, they hates and begins moving slowly, so underwater photographs always them buttocks. Please take a challenge to shoot the front face with the camera rented out by Taiken scuba diving (experience diving). Please share us the data after shooting.

Yellowfin goatfish


They are always floating. Their name is  "Aka-Himeji", "Aka" means "red" but wherever you look at the floating them, it is not red, but when you are fished up or excited they turn red in color. There are many kind of fish that change color when excited or discolor to a dark color when sleeping at night.

They have 2 chin bears so it is easy to distinguish from other fish. This beard puts in the soil and searches for food.

Pirot fish and other friends


The Pilotfish and their friends who are always eating. They are always looking forward to eating corals. You can find the coral where the surface has been bitted in Nakano-shima beach. Pilotfish all have strong tooth like a bird's beak, so I think it's easy to distinguishing them from other fish.

Also,It is funny to see when they poo while they are swimming.  their poo is white that made from crushed coral.

Their poo makes white sandy land of coral reef,

Lined butterflyfish


At Nakanosima beach they always swim on the coral with two good friends. If you won't be close too much and surprise them, you can take a picture as close as possible.
Usually fish living in coral reefs are often hidden in the gaps between corals and rocks when feeling danger, but lined butterflyfish will swim in speed.

"Lined butterflyfish" and "Vagabond" look very similar. Their named "Nise fuurai-choucho-uo"and "fuurai-choucho-uo" in Japanese. "Nise"means "fake", but "fake" has bigger body than another and the black line at the eyes and tail fin is thicker .

By the way, why would you say "fake" and not fake it on the other side? I wish I want to give a good name for them. Please look for them because they will be a good subject for your picture.

Dusky farmerfish


This fish is very hard worker and is said to be "farmerfish" as the name suggests, they are raising seaweed called "Polysiphoniasp". You can see that individuals who are watching also live by dark seaweed.

Polysiphonisp is only near the farmerfush, On the contrary, a cross can not die without eating Polysiphnisp, an amazing coexistence relationship has been created that rush is not born unless it is taken care of by the cross lath media.

It is a clear fish that is strongly aware of territory, even if other fish comes close to them, even though it is a field that grows in a slice of cuts, and attacks hard trying again.

sapphire devil


It is a beautiful blue fish. It is popular because it is very conspicuous when you are in the galling area of ​​coral with overall color. The original name "sapphire devil" comes from had unpleasant eyes, like a devil. He will say "it's by constitution".

They are welcoming us first when we enter the water in Nakano-shima beach.

You can distinguish male and female from the color difference of the tail fin. The same blue as the body is male, transparent is female. 

Our Taiken scuba diving photo gallery

These are wonderful photos that seen by Taiken (experience) scuba diver. Let's click it!

Nakano-shima Taiken scuba diving

Irabu-jima Marine Center has Taiken scuba diving (experience diving) in Nakano-shima beach everyday. it's very easy and safety scuba diving because you can use full-face mask, so you have to do only ear clear.  We look forward to having you join us!


Protect corals

It's easy to enjoy the sea while protecting corals. Just 3 things "Don't stand up on the corals", " Don't thought the corals" and "Don't kick the corals".