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Exploring Sakushima Island

Sakushima is a charming art island that makes the Aichi archipelago along with Himakajima and Shinojima in the Aichi prefecture. Since 2000, a number of art installations and sculptures were designed as part of the ArtPlan21 project to encourage visitors to come and see the magnificent natural beauty of the island. It’s easily accessible from the city of Nagoya and well worth a day trip.

  • Exploring Sakushima Island

    Exploring Sakushima Island

    Sakushima, also known as the “island of winds” is the perfect getaway from the hectic busy life of Japan’s crowded cities. The locals call the wind from the east “Kochi” and “Maze” when it blows from the south.There are only around 300 residents, who lead an island life of catching fish and shellfish, including clams, oysters, octopus and sea cucumber as the fishing is plentiful all year round. However, it’s best to visit the island when the temperature is warm. Here visitors can find quiet beaches to stroll along and scenic views of tranquil woodland.

    As Sakushima is quite unspoiled by major construction, there is no public transportation. But as the island is pretty small, little more than two kilometers wide with 11.5 kilometers of coastline, visitors can rent bicycles and cars or simply walk along the broad flat streets. It’s recommended to go for the bicycle option to explore the island and cycle along the bike paths to visit the many art spots. There are also plenty of restaurants and ryokans where guests can stay to sample some of the freshest and most delicious seafood cuisine available.

    Exploring Sakushima Island

    Exploring Sakushima Island

    Sakushima is inspired by the Naoshima art island and is dotted with interesting installations that enable the visitors to appreciate the island by encouraging them to explore the art as well as the island. Tourists can get a map from the Information Centre of where the art pieces are located. The site of each artwork then provides a stamp that visitors can collect. The most famous is the Ohirune House designed by Yuki Minamikawa, a cubic structure painted blacked which evokes nine different views as if from nine different windows. People can climb the ladders to see the world in an alternate way. Minamikawa also designed the East House, another installation that frames the sea and lets visitors climb on top. It’s stark white simplicity aims to dissolve into the environment without distracting the view from the natural surroundings.

    Exploring Sakushima Island

    Exploring Sakushima Island

    Besides the stretches of coast, most of the island is covered by woodland, with bamboo forests and pockets of camellia, plum and Japanese wild radish. As visitors wander the island, admiring the art, they may come across the 88 small shrines that are scattered in the forest or even find an ancient tree shrouded tomb that is said to be a thousand years old. They may stumble across the wishing stone of Bentenjima that grants wishes to those who visit it.

    Exploring Sakushima Island

    Exploring Sakushima Island

    After visiting the art installations and exploring the wood, visitors can refresh themselves by bathing in the clear waters of the many beaches of Sakushima such as the Oura Beach Resort. Or they can visit the many little shops and cafes that populate the two main settlements of Sakushima. Visitors can taste the homemade sweets and dishes made with local produce. As the residents mainly have a seafood diet, the fish are caught and eaten the same day, so it’s an ideal place to indulge in authentic Japanese sushi and other traditional dishes.

    Exploring Sakushima Island

    Exploring Sakushima Island

    Sakushima allows its guest to have a taste of leisurely island life away from the hustle bustle of big cities. A quiet little thought provoking spot in the middle of tranquil waters awaits anyone who wishes to find it.

    Address
    愛知県西尾市一色町佐久島
    Phone
    0563-72-9607
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    大浦海水浴場
    Address
    神奈川県三浦市南下浦町松輪
    Phone
    046-888-0588
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