Largely true but there are ways around the leeches out to suck you dry. Besides, is Chavez one of those who visit the beach once a year and don’t learn the tricks of the trade?
Down in Kushimoto, there is a nice coral reef beside a scuba diving outlet http://www.kushimoto.co.jp/english/diving.html and not far from yet another Flipper prison. My first time there a few years back, I walked into the shop’s front desk area and noticed a sign saying you had to pay ￥1500 ($19) to snorkel on the reef, and that’s even when you bring your own mask, snorkel and fins. Like a fucking idiot, I paid. On subsequent visits, however, I bypassed the shop’s front desk, went directly the edge of the water, put my stuff on, and enjoyed the beautiful reef – for free – the way it should be.
Beware of nickel and diming Japanese.