Located 2.5km northeast of the Toba port is Toba city’s largest island, Toshijima. There are regular boats to Toshijima from Sada Beach (Toba Marine Terminal), a 10-minute walk from JR Toba Station. The trip takes 30 minutes, depending on the route. There are three settlements on the island: Wagu, Toshi and Momotori. Of its 6.98km2 area, 80% of Toshijima is natural forest and inaccessible by car. Because of this, the only way to move between the three settlements is by boat or by foot. The closest settlements, Wagu and Toshi, are about a 20-minute walk apart, whereas Momotori is a 2-hour journey from Toshi.
Toshijima is known in Toba as a place where unique culture and customs remain. Just walking a little way from the fishing port, you can witness the lifestyle and spirit of the islanders, rooted in a long history. The sloping street towards the hill from the fishing port is home to a dense residential area and a maze of alleyways extending in various directions. Kuki Yoshitaka, a samurai warlord, once controlled the area. According to one theory, the densely built houses were a means of ensuring the residents could gather together quickly, and the alleyways made it difficult for an enemy to penetrate. Toshijima is home to Yoshitaka’s grave, who was defeated in war and committed ritual suicide.
As with other areas of the Shima Peninsula, a variety of fish and shellfish can be caught year-round at Toshijima. Wakame seaweed is farmed near the Wagu port, and the area is one of the rare places where you can enjoy fresh wakame shabu shabu in the spring. Momotori’s oversized oysters are loved by local residents for their delicious flavor.
Whitebait and octopus are also famous in the area, fished by ama divers during the season. Surrounded by uninhabited islands, Toshijima is full of beauty. Traditional rituals also take place on the island, one of which is the Jinsai ritual at Hachiman Shrine, a festival that will surely leave an impression. Tourists come from all over the country during the festival to participate in the festivities.
In Toshijima, you can get a taste of good old Japan. The staff at Kaitoyumin Club take visitors to hidden stores on the island, fishing on the coast and trekking in the nearby forest. They are keen to share deep, meaningful experiences like these with you. The tours can be conducted entirely in English.
April 30, 2016
Toba City Sightseeing Information