Showing posts with label osaki shimojima. Show all posts
Showing posts with label osaki shimojima. Show all posts

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Ocho to Akashi Ferry

The small ferry that connects Ocho on Osakishimojima Island with Akashi on Osakikamijima Island is only a ten minute journey and the distance is probably less than 3 kilometers.

It passes right under the Okamura Bridge, the last of the seven bridges that connect the islands along the Tobishima cycle path.

I recently published a piece on that cycle route over at JapanVisitor.....

Like all the short ferry journeys throughout the Inland Sea area, the views are pleasant and ever changing......

Friday, November 18, 2016

Ocho on Osaki-Shimojima Island

Ocho, now known as Yutakamachiocho, is a small port on the NW coast of Osaki Shimojima in the Aki Nada chain of islands in the Seto Inland Sea.

In the past when the Inland Sea was the superhighway of Japan it must have been quite a busy and prosperous place, but since the advent of powered ships and then the railways and finally the roads it lost its prosperity and is now little more than a fishing village.

In the afternoon of my second day walking along the Aki Nada Islands via a series of bridges that connect them to the mainland, it was from here that I needed to take a small ferry across to the bigger Osaki Kamijima Island.

I like these kind of places. Slow quiet, and absolutely without pretensions, they are to me typical Japan, which is after all,  thousands of islands with countless little coastal communities. Though I often read that growing rice was the base of Japanese tradition, I think living by, from, and on the sea, is a stronger historical tradition.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Wakaebisuya, Top Brothel in Mitarai


Wakaebisuya was one of the four major brothels in the port of Mitarai on Osaki Shimojima Island in the Inland Sea. At its peak there were about 100 prostitutes working in it.


About twenty percent of the population of Mitarai were prostitutes and though the "floating world" is often romanticised and glamorized they were indentured women and girls, some as young as thirteen, sold in to servitude.


This was one of the pricier brothels. for travellers, merchants, etc. Along the waterfront were many smaller brothels that serviced the sailors, often onboard the boats in the harbour.


Wakaebisuya is part of the historic buildings preservation district in the town and is well worth a visit.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Otomeza Theater Mitarai


The Otomeza Theater in Mitarai on Osaki Shimojima is a fine example of a small provincial theater from early in the twentieth Century.


It was built in 1930 when the port had become less important than in the days of wind, but was still important as an "entertainment" area.


In 1950 it switched to being a movie theater, but following the outlawing of prostitution in 1956 the town went into serious decline and the theater closed. For a while it was used as a vegetable market.


It has been lovingly restored to its former glory and is a rare example of the kind of small theater that were found all over Japan. Like all thge historic sites in the town, entrance is free.


Monday, April 6, 2015

More Mitarai


Mitarai, a small port on Osaki Shimozima Island in the Inland Sea is a truly delightful step back in time. Much of the small town is an Historic Preservation District containing Edo period buildings and narrow lanes. Hopefully the character of the town will not be lost now that it is possible to reach it easily by car from the mainland. I will post some more on specific location sites in the town but for now a few more general shots.


This gentleman used to be a boatbuilder but now his boats are miniature replicas.


There are quite a few of these districts throughout Japan that are still far enough off the main tourist routes that they can be enjoyed quietly.


The product that brought prosperity to the port was sex. More on that later.


A small shop had this pair of masks on display, though they appear to me to be Namahage, which are not local but from the north of Japan.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Southern Coast of Osaki Shimojima Island


On my second day of walking along the Akinada Islands I was on the southern coast of Osaki Shimojima heading towards Mitarai.


The road around the northern coast looked on the map to be busier, plus the view would be towards the mainland.


Here on the southern coast there was no traffic and the views were out into the Inland Sea and across to Shikoku.


This part of the island is known as a breeding ground for a species of migratory cormorant. Othere than one small village there is nothing else along the coast except citrus orchards clinging precariously to the steep slopes.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Ohama, Osaki Shimojima Island


Up at the crack of dawn I crossed over the bridge from Teshima onto Osaki Shimojima Island and started to walk around the south coast towards Mitarai.


It was so early the local inhabitants were not up and about, choosing to sit on the sea wall.....


In the village of Ohama I stopped in at the two village shrines.


There were a few small fishing boats in the little harbor but no activty....


Looking back to Ohama, the sun about to poke above the mountains...... It promised to be a fine morning walk.