Kamijima Town

The name ‘Kamijima’ literally means ‘upper islands’. True to its name, Kamijima Town is a cluster of islands at the northernmost tip of Ehime. They’re near the islands on the Shinanami Kaido Expressway, but aren’t connected to the mainland.

The four major islands of Kamijima are Yuge, Iwagi, Ikina, and Uoshima. In addition, there are several other small islands, such as Sashima (connected by bridge to Yuge and Ikina) and Takaikamijima (which can be accessed by ferry). The population of Kamijima is about 7,460 across all the islands.

Town homepage: http://www.town.kamijima.lg.jp/

Location / Access / Transport

  • Ferry: Although Kamijima is part of Ehime Prefecture, it is in fact closer to Hiroshima Prefecture (only 3 minutes away by ferry). Kamijima is connected to Innoshima island and Imabari City by many ferry routes.
  • Bus: neighbouring island Innoshima is connected by bus to Hiroshima city, Onomichi city and Fukuyama city. The nearest bus stop is Habu Port.
  • Car: take the Shimanami Expressway.

Yuge Island [弓削島]

One of the four Kamijima islands with a population of about 3,380.

Location / Access / Transport

On the island, most places can be accessed on foot or by bike, although a public bus goes between the islands of Yuge, Sashima, and Ikina.

Tourism / Festivals / Highlights

  • Fall Festivals - the festivals in October are not to be missed (especially sumo at the Shimoyuge fall festival). There is one festival for each region: Habu, Shimoyuge, Hikino & Myojin, Kamiyuge (features the danjiri fight), Sawazu, Kushiura and Sashima (features the purification in the sea and carrying of the danjiri up a steep staircase).
  • Outdoor Activities - good beaches, good hiking, and great bicycle rides around and between the islands.
  • Mts. Ishi and Kushi - you canvisit Mt. Ishi, which used to be a stone quarry, for good views. You can also see a bird’s eye view of many islands near Yuge on top of Mt. Kushi.
  • Hanami - there are many cherry blossom and maple trees all over Yuge. You can enjoy beautiful views in spring and fall. There is a cherry blossom park in Otani.
  • Temple Pilgrimage - the 88 Shikoku Pilgrimage trail also takes place in Yuge in April. You can walk around Yuge, pray to the stone statues, and in return collect snacks and useable items.

Dining Out

  • Japanese
    • Okonomiyaki is popular in Yuge. There are at least four okonomiyaki joints: Puku (near Yuge HighSchool), Ramento (near the town office), Jumbo (in Seaside Mall), and another near Kamiyugo Port.
    • Yakiniku - in Kamiyuge.
    • Takoyaki – in the Seaside Mall.
  • Izakaya
    • Daikokumaru - located in the Seaside Mall.
    • Tottoya - located in the town office.
  • Cafes
    • ShimadeCafe - located near the town office. It sells the local specialty of lemon pork rice.

Shopping

  • The Seaside Mall houses a small supermarket, a stationery shop, a shop of locally-made food and crafts, and a photo printing shop.
  • A co-op supermarket, an agricultural store, a convenience store (no ATM service, closes at 10pm), a small game arcade and a small hardware store in the vicinity. Shops close around 7pm.
  • Near the co-op there is a fish market, a clinic, a small pharmacy, an apparel shop, a post office, several hair dressers, a gas station and Ehime bank.

Leisure

  • Community Activities – lots of community sports, music, craft groups, free books and movie rental from the public library, a saltwater rehabilitation spa, and nice beaches.
  • Cultural Classes – a koto teacher and calligraphy classes. Pottery classes are held in the months of July, August and September.
  • Karaoke - two karaoke rooms are available for booking in FESPA Inland Sea Resort.

Ikina Island [生名島]

Ikina is a one of the four Kamijima islands in the Seto Inland Sea with a population of about 1,713. Ikina is by far the most convenient of all the 4 Kamijima islands – Hiroshima Prefecture is just a three-minute ferry ride away!

Location / Access / Transport

On the island, most places can be accessed on foot or by bike, although a public bus goes between the islands of Yuge, Sashima, and Ikina. Ikina is connected by bridge to two other Kamijima islands, Sashima and Yuge. The bridge connecting Ikina and Iwagi will be ready in a couple of years.

  • Ferry: The Ikina Ferry to Innoshima runs every 20 minutes starting at about 6am until 11pm, and can transport cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and people on foot.

Tourism / Festivals / Highlights

  • Fishing – fresh fish right from the Inland Sea!
  • Mt. Tateishi - the summit offers beautiful views. On New Year’s Day, there is a race in the early morning to the top of Mt. Tateishi to catch the first sunrise of the year.
  • Fall Festival - takes place in October and most students take part.
  • Inoko Festival -  held in December.
  • Ikina Marathon - takes place in March and offers  3km, 10km and half marathon courses.
  • Island Hopping – from here, you can easily go island hopping around the hundreds of islands of the Inland Sea.

Dining Out

There is only one restaurant, which is located on Level 2 of Tateishi Port! Check it out!

Shopping

There are two small grocery shops: one near the town branch office and one near Tateishi Port
There is also a mini supermarket near the nursery school.

Habu, on Innoshima, has a larger supermarket, a sweets shop, a drugstore, several 100 yen stores, small clothes and miscellaneous household goods store and several restaurants.

Leisure

  • Ikina Sports & Recreation Center - a new sports complex with a swimming pool, baseball ground, and badminton hall. It is also equipped with table tennis tables. Rackets, balls and accessories can be rented there.
  • Camping grounds and a number of reasonable beaches can be found on the island.
  • Motorbike Track.
  • Cultural Classes – calligraphy lessons are available. Kendo and Judo are taught in the police station of Innoshima.

 

Uoshima Island [魚島]

Uoshima is a small island in Kamijima. Its population is about 200 people, and the major industry is fishing. It has a combined elementary and junior high school, and there are currently 3 junior high students and 6 elementary students. There are also 2 younger boys who attend pre-school.

Tourism / Festivals / Highlights

  • Fishing and diving for clams.
  • Kameihachiman Shrine.
  • Observation point on the top of “Castle Mountain” with nice cherry blossoms in the spring.

Dining Out

There is a small restaurant that is part of the tourist center (open for lunch on weekdays and on the weekend if you tell them in advance).

Shopping

For grocery stores and other shopping go to Yuge and Innoshima. Many residents also order groceries through the Hiroshima Seikyo, a food-ordering service. Orders can be sent by fax or made online, and are delivered weekly.

Leisure

  • Clubs - there are a few clubs, including a karaoke club that meets on Saturday evenings, a Japanese dance group, and  a small group of dedicated ping-pong players who practice in the Uoshima school gym.
  • Uoshimax – a band comprised of mainly school teachers that plays at local concerts in Kamijima.
  • Fishing - a main focal point on Uoshima. Swimming is also pleasant during the summer.
  • Hiking and jogging - the mountainous terrain good for hiking and jogging. There’s an observation tower on top of Mount Shiro with a good view of the inland sea on clear days.

 

Iwagi Island [岩城島]

Iwagijima is located at the northeast tip of Ehime, with a population of about 2,000. It is home to many ship building companies, and as a result, there are various foreign workers living on the island (Chinese, Thai, Filipino).

Tourims / Festivals / Highlights

  • Sakura Matsuri – held the first or second weekend in April. Various events, performances, stalls selling local food, and the opportunity to walk up Mt. Sekizen and view the cherry blossom trees in full bloom!
  • Komogakushi Onsen - only has one large bath, but is the only onsen on the island. Also has a hotel across the street from it and a restaurant attached to it selling Chinese food, standard Japanese food and yakiniku.

Dining Out

  • Japanese
    • Yoshimasa - sea food, sometimes enkais are held here.
    • Lemon Heart – restaurant in the port building; limited hours.
    • Kamei Restaurant/Ryokan - near the port, next to the town office. Many enkais are held here.
  • Chinese
    • Komogakushi Onsen - Chinese food run by actual Chinese owners, plus standard Japanese fare and a small yakiniku restaurant section as well.

Shopping

Supermarkets
  • A Co-op - grocery store open 10 am to 6:30pm; closed Sundays. Immediately next to the port building.
  • Kanno Shoten - small mom and pop grocery store between the main Iwagi port and Nagae port.
  • Small convenience store near Nagae Port
Miscellaneous
  • General goods store - located near the A Co-op selling household and gardening goods.
  • Occasionally small shop displays are set up outside the A Co-op, such as to buy glasses or hearing aids, clothes, or 100 yen store items.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>