Perfect for a Day Trip from Osaka! Photogenic Locations on the Uninhabited Islands of Tomogashima
25 Dec 2020
Tomogashima is a cluster of uninhabited islands just 2.5 hours away from Osaka. The photogenic brick ruins standing amidst natural scenery make it a popular photo spot. In this article, we will showcase some of the unique locations on Tomogashima.
What Are the Tomogashima Islands?
Located to the northwest of Wakayama City in the Kitan Strait, the four islands of Okinoshima, Jinoshima, Torajima and Kamishima are collectively known as the Tomogashima Islands. At the end of the 19th century, about 600 troops were stationed there in order to maintain fortifications on the island. Even today, the ruins of concealed brick-built artillery batteries and other buildings are scattered across the island. These have been swallowed up by the natural greenery of the island, creating scenery that resembles the Studio Ghibli film Laputa: Castle in the Sky. The island is covered in hills and unpaved paths, so loose, comfortable clothes and sneakers are recommended.
Access (Osaka to Tomogashima): Take the "Sazan" limited express train from Nankai Namba Station. At Wakayamashi Station, take the Kada Line and get off at Kada Station. Walk about fifteen minutes to Kada Port, then take a 20-minute ride on the Tomogashima Ferry to reach the islands.
【Facility name】 Tomogashima Ferry
【Price】 Adult Round Trip: 2,200 JPY, Children Round Trip: 1,100 JPY
【URL】 Official Homepage (Japanese Only)
【Address】 Kada, Wakayama-shi, Wakayama
【Google Map URL】 GoogleMap
5 Must-See Spots on the Tomogashima Islands!
Let's jump straight into 5 spots that you won't want to miss when visiting the Tomogashima Islands!
1. The Third Battery Ruins
The largest of the five battery ruins located on the islands is the Third Battery Ruins. The artillery cannons were all removed after World War 2, but the ruins are still accessible to visitors as a legacy of the war. Visitors can even enter the underground facilities to see the armories and barbettes. Some of the areas are pretty dark, so visitors are recommended to pack a flashlight!
2. Mt. Takanosu Observation Platform
North of the Third Battery Ruins lies the Mt. Takanosu Observation Platform. Located at a height of 119.9 meters, the site offers a view of the islands on the glimmering ocean. You can even see the distant mountains on the islands of Shikoku and Honshu. After you've taken photos of the beautiful landscape to your heart's content, take some time to sit on a bench and enjoy the comfortable atmosphere.
3. Kosukematsu Coast
A large rock shaped like a mountain is one of the unique features of the Kosukematsu Coast. The area is full of tide pools where you can observe sea creatures such as shellfish, crabs, and small fish. The area gets its name ("Kosuke" meaning "saved by filial piety") from a legend that a filial son was once the lone survivor of a shipwreck, saved by getting entangled in one of the fir trees that grow on this part of the island. The wind blowing from the ocean is so strong that the trees all grow slanted in the same direction.
【Facility name】 Kosukematsu Coast
【Address】 Okinoshima, Kada, Wakayama-shi, Wakayama
【Google Map URL】 GoogleMap
4. Tomogashima Lighthouse
The Tomogashima Lighthouse, located on the west side of Okinoshima, was built in 1872, as Japan’s eighth western-style lighthouse. It is built of granite from the Seto Inland Sea, and is registered as a Tangible Cultural Property. The white lighthouse, standing 12 meters tall and 4.5 meters in diameter, contrasts with the deep blue of the ocean and clear sky to create a beautiful scene. The lighthouse is still active, and its light reaches a distance of 38 kilometers, making it the second brightest lighthouse in Japan.
5. Second Battery Ruins
The Second Battery was built to intercept enemy ships attempting to invade Osaka Bay. It was built on the northwest coast of the island so as to face the batteries built on the opposite shore of Awaji Island, catching enemy ships in a pincer attack. Since the war, explosions and weather damage have caused some of the walls to crumble, making it unsafe for visitors, so entering the building is prohibited. Even so, the view of the battery ruins along the shoreline is impactful enough that you will surely leave satisfied. On the seaward side of the battery, visitors can enjoy a view of Awaji Island floating on the Seto Inland Sea.
The ferry between Kada Port and Tomogashima only runs four times a day, so make sure to check the schedule before your visit!