Ogijima, a Seto Inland Sea island located a 40-minute ferry ride from Takamatsu harbor, is one of the venues of the Setouchi Triennale 2016 (International Art Festival).
Originally an art installation created for the Setouchi Triennale 2010, the slightly odd-looking building on the left is called the Ogikoryukan. Situated right in front of Ogi harbor, from where the ferry departs, it is now a tourist information center and the place to buy ferry tickets.
You can also rent electric bicycles here, which is a really convenient way of getting around the island. They cost 500 yen for 3 hours.
Without further ado, I’m up on the bike and heading straight towards northern Ogijima.
There is a slight incline at the beginning, but with an electric bicycle it is as easy as can be, and the rest of the way is mostly flat. It only takes about 10 minutes to get to, Togahana, the northern-most point of the island, and Ogijima Lighthouse.
Constructed of granite, which makes it quite rare in Japan, the western-style Ogijima Lighthouse was built in 1895. It has been chosen as one of ‘Japan’s Top 50 Lighthouses’, and is one of only two that are unpainted. (The other is Tsunoshima Lighthouse in Yamaguchi Prefecture.)
The lighthouse is famous for being the location of the 1957 movie Times of Joy and Sorrow, which depicted the life of a lighthouse keeper and his family. The old lighthouse annex now serves as a museum.
Here is the inside of the museum.
A screen shows the location and size of the most important lighthouses in Japan.
A little way down on the way back from the lighthouse is the entrance to the Ogijima Trail.
Here I leave the bicycle and move on foot towards the northern part of the island. There are some parts of the trail that are quite steep, so I stop and take several breaks.
Some 20-minutes later, I arrive at the lookout point!
There is a tiny resting hut here, and from this point you have a spectacular, unbroken view over the north-west.
A 100-meters further back there is a small cave called Jiinoana. The entrance is quite small and the cave doesn’t look too big, but…
…peeking inside reveals that it’s actually large.
In fact, this is the place that the demon chief in the story of Momotaro escaped to. You have to be careful when you enter, but you can do a little bit of spelunking inside.
I return to the lookout point and continue on the road for a good 15-minutes before I reach Tankuiwa, a large boulder.
This is Tankuiwa!
The boulder lies close to the top of Komiyama, whose peak is 213m above the sea. The steeply slanted hillside is packed with rocks and rubble that looks like it might roll down at any moment. Reaching the top, the panoramic view of the surroundings is amazing.
This is the unbroken view of the north-east. Looking out at this dazzling view, the fatigue of the climb disappears in an instant. Teshima lies to the north, and to its right, Odeshima. Shodoshima stretches out in the background.
The way back is mostly downhill and comfortable, and I return to the bicycle rental place at Ogikoryukan. All in all, I spent about 2-hours crisscrossing the island on the bicycle.
As the cycling and walking made the day somewhat harder than usual, I’m extra hungry. Close to Ogikoryukan there are two shops: Murakami Shoten and Ogijima cafeTACHI. They sell food special to Ogjima, so be sure to drop by when you visit.
Ogijima Lighthouse & Museum
Address: 064-2 Ogijima, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture
Open: Museum: 9:30 ～ 16:30
Closed: January – June, September – December / Open only Sundays and national holidays (Booking possible on the other days) July – August: No regular holidays
Admission: Free (No entrance to the lighthouse)
Ogikoryukan (Electric bicycle rental place)
Address: 1986 Ogijima, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture
Fees: Electric bicycle, 3 hours 500 yen (100 yen per extra hour)
※ A deposit of 3,000 yen is required (Returned when you return the bicycle)
Ogijima Access Information (Shiyujimakaiun ferry)
Travel time: About 40-minutes (Takamatsu – Megijima: 20-min. Megijima – Ogijima: 20-minutes)
Fare: Adults 510 yen. Children 260 yen (Takamatsu to Ogijima one way)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka
Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.
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