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The Japanese Wreck is, with the USS Liberty, one of the two most famous shallow wrecks in Bali. This Japanese patrol boat ran aground on the Balinese coast during the Second World War. Snorkeling it is child’s play: the wreck is located a few dozen meters from the beach and is freely accessible. While snorkeling above the structure, colonized by a variety of soft corals, you will spot many reef fish.

Aerial view of the Japanese Wreck, Bali
Aerial view of the Japanese Wreck.

How to go snorkeling the Japanese Wreck?

The wreck is located in the region of Amed, a famous diving and snorkeling destination on the east coast of Bali. It is located on the beach, about a 20-minute drive south of Amed Beach (8.5km) and 15 minutes from Jemeluk Bay, where the snorkeling is also very nice.

This spot has free shore access. From the road, a sign (location here) indicates the beach access, which will lead you to the shore (80m). The Japanese Wreck, which is marked by one (or two) black buoys, is just in front of Kawi Karma Beach Cottages & Restaurant.

Although the spot is freely accessible from the beach, many local guides will offer to take you there by boat. This can be a good option, especially if you don’t have transportation or if you want to enjoy the boat ride.

The Japanese Wreck snorkeling map, Bali

Water entrance for snorkeling the Japanese Wreck

Enter the water from the beach, in front of the wreck. You can easily find its location by the black buoy (sometimes two) installed on-site, and to the many boats that come to moor in the area. If you reach the spot by boat, you will enter the water directly from it.

The Japanese Wreck snorkeling exploration tips

The wreck, broken into several pieces, is laid out perpendicular to the beach, with the bow pointing out to sea. The first pieces of the wreck are immersed only 15 to 20m from the shore, in a few feet of water, while the bow is about 50-60m from the shore.

Snorkeler over the Japanese Wreck, Bali
The Japanese Wreck is covered with many corals, attracting loads of fish.

The Japanese Wreck lies on a 6 to 60ft/2 to 20 meters-deep seabed but is on average 3 to 18ft/1 to 6 meters above the surface. Snorkelers will mainly enjoy its higher parts. It is around the bow, whose base can be explored mostly by scuba divers, that the depth is the most important.

Reef fish and coral on the Japanese Wreck
The Japanese Wreck.

The wreck and its surroundings have been colonized by some hard corals (brain coral, digitate coral), but mostly by a nice variety of soft corals, including sea pens, sea fans, gorgonians, and beautiful Dendronephthya.

This environment attracts many fishes: trumpetfish, cardinalfish, bannerfish, surgeonfish, damselfish, butterflyfish… A bit deeper (↕4-6m), hundreds of sea goldies, with red and fuchsia colors, swim along the walls.

Boat tour to the Japanese Wreck
Boat tours are a nice option to go explore the Japanese Wreck.

This spot is quite exposed to waves, so don’t get into the water if the ocean is too rough. Be careful with the many boats coming and going on the spot.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There are a few hotels and restaurants on the beach and along the road.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth60ft/20m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach or a boat
  • Potential DangersBoat traffic
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsFree (from the beach) or cost of a boat tour
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.