Showing posts with label oki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oki. Show all posts

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Saburo Iwa Rocks


Saburo Iwa is a spectacular rock formation in the sea off the coast of Ama, one of the four inhabited islands of the Okis in the Sea of Japan near Shimane.

Visible from a couple of the islands, I took a tour boat, the Amanbow, to view them close up. The reason behind the unusual appearance of the boat will become apparent later.

The boat leaves Hishiura, the main port on the island and heads out into the channel between Ama and Nishinoshima, the neighboring island.

The three towering rocks are named Taro, Jiro, and Saburo by locals.

Technically they are termed sea stacks. The most famous sea stack in the Okis is  Candle Rock.

The Oki Islands have plenty of interesting geological sights and have been made a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Once the boat reaches the rocks it stops and the passengers go below where the hull is mostly  huge windows enabling a slow cruise among the undersea forests....more of that next time

The previous post in this series on the Oki Islands was on the Nishinoshima Seashore.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Nishinoshima Seashore Snapshots


Nishinoshima is one of the three inhabited islands that make up Dozen, part of the Oki islands that lie in the Sea of Japan about 50 kilometers off the coast of Shimane in Western Japan.

With a population of around 3,000, spread over 22 square miles, the economy and culture of the island has always centred on the surrounding sea.

Formed by volcanic activity about 5 million years ago, the island's highest point, 452m high Mount Takuhi, is the central pyroclastic cone of the Dozen Caldera.

Since 1961 the islands have been part of the Daisen Oki National park, and since 2013 have been registered as a UNESCO Global Geopark.

While not having any fine, sandy beaches like Okinawa or even mainland Shimane, the waters around Nishinoshima are exceptionally clear and attractive for many marine activities like kayaking, diving, and snorkeling. The Oki Islands are one of my three favorite destinations in Japan.

The previous ost on Nishinoshima was on Matengai Cliff which also includes some dramatic seaviews.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Matengai Cliff


Rising 257 meters out of the Sea of Japan, Matengai Cliff is one of the highest sea cliffs in all of Japan, and are part of a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Located on Nishinoshima in the Oki Islands, part of Shimane prefecture, from on top of the cliff there are fantastic views of the surrounding islands but the best views are down onto the Kuniga Coast.

The Kuniga Coast is a scenic coastline of rock formations and sea caves and a footpath connects the area with the clifftop.

Usually grazing on the clifftop are horses, itself an unusual sight in Japan. The cliff can also be seen from the tour boats that view the coastline.

There is no public transport so you will need to use a car or motorbike or possibly a bicycle.

The previous post in this series on the Oki Islands was the Kuniga Coast.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Exploring the Kuniga Coast

The Kuniga Coast is one of the prime attractions of Nishinoshima Island in the Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan off the coast of Shimane.

The Oki Islands have been a part of the Daisen-Oki National Park since 1936, but their popularity as a tourist destination increased when they became a UNESCO Global Geopark.

This section of the coast has the nickname Tenjokai, the "heavenly world" and many of the rock formations have evocative names like Kannon Rock, Elephant Nose Rock, Frog Rock etc.

At the far end of the coast is a natural arch named Tsutenkyo, the "Bridge to Heaven".

Beyond Tsutenkyo Arch are the Matengai Cliffs, rising 257 meters out of the sea they are among the tallest cliffs in all of Japan.

It is possible to view the coastline from the sea aboard a tour boat.

Better though is on foot especially at low tide when you cannot wander over the rocks and among the tidepools.

A footpath runs 2.3 kilometers along the coast and all the way up to the high point on top of the cliffs.

The schedule for boats trips...  available from April through to October.

Another unique sight on Nishinoshima is a "squid" shrine. An unusual sight on many of the Oki Islands are free-grazing horses and cattle. The previous post looked at the Kuniga Coast from a distance.

The other islands that make up the Oki Islands also have some impressive coastlines and perhaps the most famous is what is known as Candle Rock off the coast of Dogo.

I am putting up new posts covering all parts of Western Japan on an almost daily basis so if you would like to be sure of not missing anything please subscribe by leaving your email address in the comments below. It will not be made public.

I will be posting much more from the Oki Islands in the future...

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Kuniga Coast


The Kuniga Coast is a picturesque piece of coastline on Nishinoshima Island in the Oki Island group in the Sea of Japan off of Shimane.

The Oki Islands were made a Unesco Global Geopark and are one of my favorite places to visit in Japan.

The Kuniga coast includes cliffs, rock spires and formations, and the Tsutenkyo Arch.

These shots were taken from a distance as we headed to the north coast of the island. later I will post more photos when we went back and explored the area on foot.

The previous post in this series on the Oki Islands was on the horses and cattle roaming free across the island.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Oki Islands Horses & Cattle


One of the unusual sights encountered on the remote Oki Islands off the north coast of Shimane, are horses and cattle roaming free.

Japan has a livestock industry, with plenty of pork, beef, chicken, etc being raised, however, most of it is indoors, some small scale, some truly industrial.

Several times while driving around Nishinomiya Island we had to rake suddenly because of cattle in the roads.

All these shots were taken in the NW corner of the island in the grassy highlands above the Kuniga Coast.

I believe that Hokkaido is quite different from the rest of Japan and its agriculture is more akin to American style so more livestock can be seen grazing at pasture.

I quite like it and it reminded me a little of the ponies on Dartmoor. There is no doubt in my mind that "free range" livestock is tastier.

The previous post in this series exploring the delightful Oki Islands was the Yurahime "squid" Shrine.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Yurahime "Squid" Shrine Oki Islands


Yurahime Shrine was the highest-ranked shrine in all of the Oki Islands more than  1,000 years ago.

It is located onNishinoshima Island on Ika Yose No Hama which translates as "squid gathering beach" which explains the figures in the shallow water in front of the shrine.

The main deity enshrined here is Yurahime no mikoto, a female deity of fishing, and she is not enshrined at any other shrine.

According to the story, she was in a small boat and while trailing a hand in the water a squid bit her.

To atone and apologize, the squid decided to gather in the shallow waters of the bay every year and allow the islanders to scoop them up.

Some sources say the shrine was originally on Chiburijima and when the shrine moved here the squid followed. Some sources also say the goddess was returning from having visited Izumo Taisha.

It is said that the catch of squid is very much reduced from what it was in former times. The shrine is a popular spot for viewing cherry blossoms.

The previous post in this series on the Oki Islands was the ferry journey between Chibu and Nishinoshima.