Untamed nature, abandoned forts, and possible pirate treasure await visitors to the Tomogashima Islands in Wakayama, japan. Situated along the coast, these four stunning uninhabited islands have a colorful past as a hideaway for pirates and a secret military base during World War II. Today, they provide an ideal setting for outdoor activities such as hiking, picnics, camping, and exploring the overgrown vegetation and abandoned military buildings. If you’re looking for an escape from the crowds and a touch of adventure off the beaten tourist paths, a visit to Tomogashima is a must.
The islands of Tomogashima offer a unique and unforgettable experience for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike. With panoramic views of the landscape, hiking trails, and historic military bases covered in lush greenery, there is plenty to see and do. The charming 19th-century Tomogashima Lighthouse is also worth a visit, providing a glimpse into the island’s maritime history.
Getting to the Tomogashima Islands is relatively easy. The only access is via a 20-minute ferry ride from the port of Kada. To reach Kada, you can take the Kada Line from Wakayama-shi Station, which will take you to Kada Station in around 30 minutes. From there, it’s a 20-minute walk to the port. The round-trip ferry ride costs 2,200 yen. Wakayama-shi Station is easily accessible from Osaka’s Nankai Namba Station.
One of the highlights of the Tomogashima Islands is the now-abandoned and run-down military forts built in the Meiji era. These buildings have become a hotspot for cosplayers re-enacting scenes from Studio Ghibli’s “Castle in the Sky.” The forts, with their overgrown vegetation and eerie atmosphere, provide a scenic backdrop for historical intrigue and exploration. Visitors can wind their way through the underground tunnels and emerge into the light, facing towards the open sea. There are five forts in total on the island.
Tomogashima is also a quiet island getaway for those seeking relaxation and tranquility. If you’ve been exploring the bustling cities of Osaka or Tokyo, spending a day on these uninhabited islands can help balance out your vacation. Pack a picnic, go on a hike, or set up camp and enjoy the relative peace of the islands, surrounded by nature and the sounds of the sea. Explore the forest trails of the main island, Okinoshima, and discover red brick buildings slowly turning green as the surrounding vegetation reclaims them. Along the way, you’ll catch glimpses of the glistening sea through the undergrowth until you reach one of the scenic lookout points.
The history of the Tomogashima Islands during World War II adds to their intrigue. The islands were commandeered by the Japanese government as a secret military base and wiped off all maps. Entry was strictly limited for years, but now visitors are free to explore the abandoned military forts and experience the island’s historical significance. The underground tunnels and fortifications offer a glimpse into the past and provide a unique perspective on Japan’s wartime history.
In addition to their historical and natural attractions, the Tomogashima Islands have gained popularity among cosplayers. The abandoned forts bear a striking resemblance to the floating island of Laputa in Studio Ghibli’s animated film “Castle in the Sky.” Fans of the movie, many dressed in authentic costumes, make their pilgrimage to Tomogashima to recreate their favorite scenes for cosplay posterity.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the Tomogashima Islands is the possibility of hidden pirate treasure. Legend has it that centuries ago, pirates stole from imperial ships passing through the Inland Sea and cunningly hid their loot on these untouched islands. While no treasure has been discovered to date, the allure of buried treasure adds an element of excitement and mystery to a visit to Tomogashima.
In conclusion, the Tomogashima Islands in Wakayama, Japan, offer a unique and captivating experience for visitors. From the untamed nature and abandoned forts to the possibility of pirate treasure, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or cosplayer, these uninhabited islands provide a memorable and off-the-beaten-path adventure. So, if you’re seeking an escape from the crowds and a touch of adventure, make sure to add Tomogashima to your list of must-visit destinations.
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