Travel Diary
Diary #4

The Islands of the Tobishima Kaido

The seven idyllic islands of the Tobishima Kaido are connected to the mainland by seven bridges.

Blessed with spectacular scenery, charming villages and some of the finest citrus in Japan, the Tobishima Kaido has something for everyone.

Shimo Kamagari Island.
This is the first island on the Tobishima Kaido chain. Connected to mainland Kure by the impressive sky-blue Akinada Ohashi Bridge, Shimo Kamagari is famous for its historical significance as a major port of call for Korean emissaries during the Edo period (1603-1868). It was recently inscribed as a UNESCO Memory of the World and the islanders re-enact the arrival of the Korean delegation every October in the Chosen Tsushinshi Parade.

While in Shimo Kamagari, take a look inside the Rantokaku Art Museum. The museum houses work by leading Japanese artists such as Yokoyama Taikan and Fukuda Heihachiro and holds live music concerts once a month. You can also kick back in the Maruya Café down by the harbor.

Kami Kamagari Island
The largest of the five Tobishima Kaido islands, Kami Kamagari is a paradise for beach-lovers. At the height of summer, people flock to the main stretch of golden beach at the Kenmin-no-Hama resort. Go any other time of year and chances are you will have the entire beach to yourself. With a hot spring onsen, self-catering apartments, restaurants, sea kayak rentals and strawberry picking nearby, this is your one-stop destination for fun beach breaks.

For delicious udon noodles, head to Hara Udon on the hill as you approach the Kenmin-no-Hama.
Run by a charming elderly couple from a small food truck, Hara Udon is adored by locals and visitors alike. Their bowls of steaming noodles and tempura made from homegrown vegetables are beyond compare.

Toyoshima Island
The main town of Toyohama on the eastern side of Toyoshima is renowned for producing some of the finest fishermen in the country. For centuries, the fishermen lived on their boats and fished the seas around Japan, teaching locals fishing techniques in return for access to their waters. Although the house boats have disappeared, the island is still famous for its catches of scabbard fish.

A good way to enjoy Toyohama is by exploring its narrow passageways that zigzag up the hill.
Down by the quay, you should spend some time in Shimau – an adorable shop selling paintings, accessories and crockery made by local artist Chise Oride. Around the corner from Shimau, you can get a bite to eat at the Shima Café Kitatani. Their original citrus curry is out of this world.

Osaki Shimojima Island
The picture-perfect harbor town of Mitarai on Osaki Shimojima is one of only three designated historical preservation districts in Hiroshima Prefecture. The town flourished during the Edo period (1603-1868) as a major harbor for trade ships heading to and from Osaka. Many buildings from this period still remain today. Take a stroll back in time and visit the Shinko Clock Shop (one of the oldest clock shops in Japan) and the Wakaebisuya geisha house.

The neighboring town of Ocho is renowned for its high-quality citrus fruits. During the citrus season, you can find stalls throughout the island selling delicious varieties of oranges and lemons.

For a comfortable stay, book a night at Kusushi ( The former local doctor’s clinic has been beautifully renovated into a stylish guesthouse.

Okamura Island
The final island on the Tobishima Kaido chain, Okamura is officially part of Shikoku and falls within the boundaries of Imabari City. Although the bridges of the Tobishima Kaido stop at Okamura, ferry routes connect the island to Imabari and Omishima – both on the popular Shimanami Kaido cycling course.

Cyclists take full advantage of this access, using Okamura as a way to link the Tobishima and Shimanami cycling routes.

Even if you are not cycling, this sleepy port is a lovely place to spend some time. You can relax in the Maruseki Café near the wharf and enjoy mouthwatering curry in the picturesque Sekizen Canteen.

(*Sekizen Canteen will open in April 2020)

旅日記 一覧に戻る
旅日記 一覧に戻る
Spot I Visited This Time