My sister and I made it to Ogijima!
It was a hot glorious summer day in Takamatsu. We took the ferry out to Ogijima. The island was charming. But I completely fell in love with the island while chatting with the local residents. They were so sweet to us visitors and full of interesting information about Ogijima.
We learned that Ogijima has a population of less than 200 residents and even less who actually live there year long. Someone told us that back in history, there was actually a time when over 1,000 people lived there, which is a surprisingly large number for such a small island. It was during the era when there were many pirates in the area bringing in the money to the island. Apparently the younger generation these days mostly live on mainland Japan to go to school or find jobs, so the locals are mostly the older generation.
We were also told that Ogijima didn't have electricity until a little over 50 years ago and their water was to be pumped all the way from Takamatsu through an underwater pipe. The island is pretty much rock underneath so the residents apparently had a difficult time with wells and collecting rain water back in the day. Because of the lack of water, they couldn't grow rice on the island and had to rent out their precious cows during the summer to rice fields in Takamatsu in exchange for rice for the family. An older lady said that the family would cry when seeing how thin and worn out the cows were when they return to the island. She said everyone took good care of their cows because they were the reason the family could eat rice.
Oh I could go on and on about the fascinating stories we heard. But you'll probably want to hear it for yourself when you see what an interesting island Ogijima is. Here are some pictures:
Waiting for our ferry at Takamatsu Port.
The ferry, Meon 2, leaves Takamatsu and stops by the islands Megijima and Ogijima.
It was a 40 minute ferry ride to Ogijima from Takamatsu, with a short stop at Megijima.
The view from the ferry is pretty fantastic as well.
I loved their quirky streets that curve up and around this side of the island.
High buns are the best on a hot summer day.
Traditional roof tiles were used on most houses on the island.
Everyone had an Onba, Ogijima's version of the red wagon.
We stopped by a herb garden cafe, which we later found out is also a temple.
They were serving delicious shiso ume juice...perfect for cooling down from the heat!
They brought out this flower which was edible...notice the soy sauce on the petals :D
Beautiful old houses with amazing roofs all along the side of the hill.
This house uses the wood from old boats on their wall.
The 11th stanza to a local song were written on the glass...there are a total of 33 stanzas.
We had to try everything...look through telescopes,talk through pipes, and make music.
The further you climb up the streets, the better the view of the island.
This is Toyotama-hime Jinjya (豊玉姫神社), a shrine famous for safe childbirth.
I completely fell for the Koma-inu (guardian dog) on the left...look at his overbite!
The shrine bell was so beautiful we had to take a picture (no worries...we didn't hit it!).
The shrine stairs had a fabulous view of the houses below.
We took another break at Onba Factory, which custom makes Onba and also has a cafe.
They had an omiyage (souvenir) corner with Onba Factory goods.
We ordered the kuzumochi & tea set. It was delicious!
There was a vintage sowing machine in the corner.
The seats both inside and out were a great place to rest, the cool wind felt really good.
The Onba were all so creative, it was fun seeing all the different types!
We decided to walk on over to the Ogijima lighthouse.
Along the way we saw a lot of "green" houses...maybe abandoned houses.
It was a long walk under the sun but the view of the water was fantastic!
I actually forgot to take a good picture of the lighthouse, we were too busy playing in the water!
It took all my willpower not to jump into the water and swim!
We were back at the port in time to catch the ferry. This is the roof of the Ogijima's Soul.
PS: Two more posts coming up
on Memory Bottle and Ogijima Wallalley! x