The Hidden Ruins of Yonaguni

Japanese Atlantis, hidden temple, underwater city. No I’m not describing the next Indiana Jones film but a dive site!

Yonaguni is the westernmost territory belonging to Japan and is very small, with only 1700 inhabitants. However this little Island punches well above its weight and hosts several interesting and unique oddities and curios.

Firstly it produces a 120 proof liquor called ‘Hanazake’ which is rice based and only produced on the Island.


Secondly Yonaguni is home to a breed of horse which bares the same name, Yonaguni Horse, which are extremally rare with only 200 of them in the whole of Japan. Characteristically short (11 hands or 1.5m) they obviously enjoy a tranquil existence, nibbling the wind kissed grasses over looking one of the most unique dive sites I’ve ever stumbled across. If only they knew what they were missing!

Scuba horse is ready for Yonaguni 'ruins'

So what exactly is so great about this dive site? Well in the 1980’s local recreational divers  discovered a ‘striking rock formation’ of the southernmost point of the island. The now dubbed ‘Yonaguni monument’ has staircase like structures with sharp corners and flat sides. The majority of the academic world regards it as an entirely normal naturally occurring structure  but conversely a few see it as a 2000-3000 year old artificial structure. And looking at pictures you can see why.

Yonaguni 'stairs'

Yonaguni rockface

You can kinda see what they’re getting at. Though I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation for these structures, I wish there wasn’t and that it is a possible sunken city. At least that’s what I’m going to imagine if I manage to get there!

Site map

Stay Narked




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