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Nishio Sakushima Island

Geography

  • Nishio Sakushima
  • Nishio Sakushima

• Sakushima is located in the middle of Mikawa Bay, surrounded by the Chita and Atsumi Peninsula.
• Together with Himakajima and Shinojima islands, it forms the Aichi Archipelago.
• An island that is shaped like a crab, measuring 11.5km around and 2km from one side to the other.
• The island has a coastline of 11 kilometers, lined with many low cliffs.
• It is a volcanic rock formation protruding from the seabed.
• The topsoil was blown over by the wind from the mainland (Honshu). The sand on the island’s beaches was brought over for tourism.
• There are four hills from 30 to 35 meters high.
• Seasonal flowers and cats are one of the main attractions of the island. Most of the island is covered by forest. There are bamboo forests, bushes of camellias, plum tree groves and Japanese radish flowers.
• There is no source of water on the island. In the past, people collected rainwater in cisterns. However, now it comes over through pipeline from the mainland.
• There are 12 kilometers of walking paths on the island.
• There is Shirahama beach near the west port, and there is also Ishigaki and Tenjin-no-hama beach. Oura beach has set bathing facilities, so it is recommended for swimming.


History

  • Nishio Sakushima
  • Nishio Sakushima

• Shell mounds were found dating back to the Yayoi period some 3000 years ago. People came here to fish and gather shells, but it is likely that they didn’t settle here.
• About 1400 years ago, people made ‘kofun’ or burial mounds using the island’s sea-stones called ‘saku-ishi.
• The oldest building was the Soun-ji temple, which was built during the Kamakura period, 1300 years ago. The current temple is not old but has been built in the same location.
• Sakushima prospered in the Edo period, some 300 years ago, when it became a safe harbor and trading hub for merchant ships crossing Mikawa Bay. It was called ‘kaze machi minato,’ ‘the wind-waiting harbor,’ because when the wind died down, ships had to wait at anchor.
• The population at its largest was about 1500 people. Today, there are about 250 people.
• There is a small island museum in Benten Salon. (restrooms available).


Life on Sakushima

  • Nishio Sakushima
  • Nishio Sakushima

• Local people live on fishing or tourism. The main attractions of the island are its nature, art, and seafood, in particular octopus, big clams as well as salted sea cucumber entrails (konowata) are local specialties.
• Of the 250 residents, most are elderly living in two towns, with the east village Tsutsuis and the west village Takahashis.
• There are no traffic signals, gas stations, or convenience stores – everything is brought over by ferry from the mainland.
• Shiosai School goes up to junior high school level and has 22 students.
• The traditional houses were named ‘kurokabe’ because their walls were painted with coal tar to protect the wood from the salty sea breeze. Today, black paint is used.
• The houses were built close together, with many narrow winding streets to block the wind and to discourage pirates from entering the village.
• There is a limited number of public restrooms on the island – they are located at the east and west ports and there are some along the coast.
• You can fish along the island’s coast for free.
• Festivals – there is a taiko festival in October. On January 8th, a festival that dates back to the Edo period called Yokako is held at Hakken Shrine. A kite painted with the Chinese character for ‘demon’ (鬼, oni) is raised up toward the sky. On August 14th a Bon festival dance called ‘Yatose’ is held at Soun-ji temple near the west port.


Enjoy!art!

Nature and 22 featured artworks welcome you on Sakushima, an isolated island in Mikawa Bay.
Walk around while viewing artwork, seeing and smelling flowers of the season and listening to singing birds.
Why not spend your time relaxing while never once seeing a traffic signal?
Enjoy visiting fashionable cafes and trying the island’s seafood specialties.



  • ①Benten Salon


    You can get all information about Sakushima here. It has restrooms, a small gallery and a museum. There are a number of artworks too.


    Hours 9:00~17:00
    Closed December 29~ January 3, Monday
  • ②Black wall village


    The traditional houses are called “kurokabe” because their walls were painted with coal tar to protect the wood from the salty sea breeze.

  • ③Obatei


    This traditional Japanese house named Obatei is over 100 years old. It has been renovated 6 times using traditional Japanese plastering methods making the whole house into a piece of art.


  • ④Ohirune House


    This cube measures 3 meters each side and is divided into 9 individual rooms; it’s an art piece where you can experience the sound of waves and wind, while taking in a square cutout view of the landscape.

  • ⑤Seagull Parking Lot


    Very popular! Magnificent view with seagulls always on the lookout!
    We can utilize this “kazamidori” (weathervane) that shows us the direction of the wind, through this artwork we can see the invisible wind.

  • ⑥Kaijin-sama


    A somewhat humorous “Kaijin-sama” with a fish on its head. It is an imaginary fishing god created by Toru Matsuoka.


  • ⑦East House


    Since it is a house in the eastern district, it is called “East House.” It consists of two different arbors built in the north and south and a long bench of 60 meters connecting them.

  • ⑧Benten-dori

  • ⑨Avatar of Kaijin-sama


  • ⑩Secret Base Apollo


    This is an architectural piece that appears on a cliff overlooking the Atsumi Peninsula through a tunnel of trees. The title of the piece is taken from the Apollo 11 lunar module “Eagle.”

  • ⑪Purple sand beach


Sakushima Island Cuisine

Enjoy a Sakushima Island lunch in a restaurant or café.
Lunch services are available at some inns if you make a reservation.


  • Ōasari-don (Large Clams on Rice)

    A well-known Sakushima Island dish that uses purple butter clams (uchimurasaki). Deep-fried large clams with a salty-sweet soy sauce-based flavor bound with egg.
    The flavor of this dish differs at each shop so please try tasting and comparing them.


  • Ebi-don (Bowl of Deep-Fried Shrimp on Rice)

    Fresh and plump deep-fried shrimp with a salty-sweet soy sauce-based flavor bound with egg.


  • Kaki-age-don (Bowl of Mixed Seafood and Vegetable Tempura on Rice)

    Mixed seafood and vegetable tempura with a salty-sweet soy sauce-based flavor bound with egg.


  • Fugu-don (Bowl of Fried Pufferfish on Rice) (only available in winter)

    Fried pufferfish (fugu) dubbed “the king of winter flavors”, cooked in a salty-sweet soy sauce-base bound with egg. A dish of indulgent flavor.

  • Tairagi-don (Bowl of Fan Mussels on Rice) (only available in summer)

    Fried fan mussels with umami and texture, seasoned with a salty-sweet soy sauce-base bound with egg.



  • Fish Simmered with Soy Sauce (and Sugar) Set Meal

    A main dish of warm and deliciously simmered seasonal fish such as rockfish, fat greenling, or spotty belly greenling. Usually served with miso soup, rice, a small side dish, and pickled vegetables.
    The profound flavor of the rockfish from around the island will amaze you.


  • Sashimi Set Meal

    A main dish of exceptionally fresh rockfish sashimi (bite-sized pieces of raw fish.)
    Usually served with miso soup, rice, a small side dish, and pickled vegetables.
    You can’t eat whitefish sashimi this fresh unless you come to the island.
    *Nezakana known as rockfish in English, live on the seabed amongst the reefs and seaweed and don’t migrate far from the island; some of the most common being Japanese rockfish, marbled rockfish, fat greenling, and spotty belly greenling.


  • Grilled Fish Set Meal

    A main dish of fluffy well-grilled seasonal fish such as rockfish, fat greenling, or spotty belly greenling.
    Usually served with miso soup, rice, a small side dish, and pickled vegetables.
    The profound flavor of the rockfish from around the island will amaze you.

  • Fried Set Meal

    A main dish of piping hot crispy fried seasonal rockfish, oysters, shrimp, and vegetables.
    Usually served with miso soup, rice, a small side dish, and pickled vegetables.

  • Tempura Set Meal

    A main dish of piping hot seasonal rockfish, oysters, shrimp and vegetable tempura.
    Usually served with miso soup, rice, a small side dish, and pickled vegetables.


À La Carte


  • Saké-steamed Clams

    Sakushima Islands’ clams are renowned for their deliciousness.
    You can’t get any better than saké-steamed clams if you want to enjoy their plump texture and rich flavor.


  • Sashimi platter

    The sashimi platter is the best way to enjoy the various flavors of raw seasonal rockfish and shellfish.


  • Grilled Oysters

    Plump oysters grilled over an open fire and seasoned with soy sauce. A savory and juicy dish.


Fried Southern Rough Shrimp

Mikawa Bay is a leading southern rough shrimp producing area; the shrimp are one of Sakushima Islands’ well-known specialties.The tastiness of crisp savory fried southern rough shrimp is something else. Even the small ones are bursting with flavor.


  • Grilled Horned Turban Shells

    Horned turban shells grilled over an open fire and seasoned with soy sauce. Their seaside aroma, rich flavor, and chewy crunchy texture are irresistible.


  • Grilled Large Clams

    Large clams grilled over an open fire and seasoned with soy sauce; a well-known Sakushima Island specialty. They have a delicate subtle flavor while being large and satisfying.
    The flavor of the sea bursts in your mouth.


  • Two Tone Bowl, Whitebait and Small Shrimp on Rice

    A delicious bowl of rice topped half and half with whitebait and small shrimp that have been caught in the adjacent waters of Sakushima Island.



  • Octopus Rice

    A soy sauce-flavored rice cooked with generous amounts of delicious Sakushima Island caught.


  • Whole Boiled Octopus

    A well-known dish of the Mikawa Bay area; cut with scissors and enjoy.
    You can’t beat the salty umami and texture.


  • Large Clam Pasta

    One of Sakushima Islands’ well-known dishes, a soy sauce and seaweed-based pasta with large clams.


Dinner

If you stay at an inn on Sakushima Island you can experience a full course meal made with seafood from the island.
Dishes may include:
Rockfish sashimi, rockfish fried or in a tempura batter, grilled or simmered rockfish, grilled large clams or horned turban shells, saké-steamed clams, and miso soup with clams, among others.
The meals offered may vary depending on the inn, accommodation costs, and season.
Sashimi served on a decorative boat, the funamori is a splendid and elaborate dish that can be enjoyed as a special meal.
Nice and cool, thinly sliced “chilled octopus” is a limited summertime dish. You can enjoy the al dente texture and umami of octopus, together with fresh vegetables like a salad from June to September.
In winter, hot pot dishes are also popular such as the ones mentioned below.


  • Chilled octopus


  • Sashimi boat (funamori)



  • Fugu Hot Pot (pufferfish hot pot served with ponzu dipping sauce)

    AThe pufferfish represents the flavor of winter in Mikawa Bay, enjoy it piping hot in a nabe (hot pot.) Its sophisticated umami is addictive. It is well-know that you can make a delicious rice soup (zosui) using the remaining broth (fugu stock) at the end.


  • Seafood Hot Pot

    A warming hot pot of oysters, rockfish, and Mikawa Bay seafood generously packed together with vegetables. The perfect flavor of the sea.


Octopus Shabu (octopus and vegetables cooked quickly in boiling water then dipped in sauce)

A healthy shabu-shabu hot pot where you can enjoy Mikawa Bay’s specialty octopus and the island’s vegetables. The nice soft texture of the octopus is irresistible.

Cafe in Sakushima

Monpemaruke

This shop offers a variety of delicious, handmade Japanese sweets including dorayaki, sweet red bean paste between two pancakes, an mitsu, a type of Japanese parfait, and manjuu, small sweet buns made from ingredients cultivated on the island.

The highlight of anmitsu is the agar jelly, which is made from scratch using red algae collected from the surrounding sea.

Enjoy the carefully crafted flavors cooked over a wood-fired stove.

Address 47, Tateiwa, Sakushima, Isshiki-cho, Nishio City
Hours Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays 9:30~17:30
Weekdays 11:00~17:30
Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays
*Closed for the season during January and February

cafe OLEGALE

Owned by a proprietor who free dives to gather products from the surrounding sea, the menu has been based around produce grown on the island.

Lunches made with fresh, healthy ingredients are popular. The sustainable nature of this cafe gives you a glimpse of the island’s future.

Address 34, Shimoenda, Sakushima, Isshiki-cho, Nishio City
Hours Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays 10:00~17:00
Weekdays 11:00~17:30
Closed Wednesdays and every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month

cafe Hyakuichi

A one minute walk from the West Port sits an old fashioned looking cafe with black walls. You can enjoy a cup of hand-drip coffee brewed with beans roasted in-house.

Take a stop at this cafe for a leisurely break from exploring the island.

Address 7, Nishigawa, Sakushima, Isshiki-cho, Nishio City
Hours 9:00~18:00
Closed Tuesdays
*In winter, there may be an unexpected, early close.

Cafe&BAR Joyell

We recommend the Sakushima original cocktail “Sakushima Blue.”

Address 37, Higashiyashiki, Sakushima, Isshiki-cho, Nishio City
Hours 10:00~18:00
(July through September 10:00~23:00)
*At night a reservation is required
Tel 0563-78-2014
Closed No fixed holidays
*Closed January and February (Except for weekends)

Saku Cafe Aohana

Run by a husband and wife who love travel.

The light shaved ice is a popular choice at this old style Japanese cafe.

Address 45, Maeda, Sakushima, Isshiki-cho, Nishio City
Hours Weekend and Holidays 9:30~18:00
Weekdays 12:00~18:00
Tel 080-4277-5543
Closed Closed on rainy days
*Closed for the season from the middle of December to the middle of February.

Access to Sakushima Island

  • Take the bus (Nishio Issiki Line) at Meitetsu Nishio Station, and get off at the bus stop “Isshiki Sakana Hiroba, Ferry Terminal for Sakushima.” (About 30 minutes) Go to Sakushima West Port or East Port.

    *For the ferry schedule and Sakushima event information, please check the Sakushima official website.
    *The ferry departing at the times marked with ● offers Meitetau bus connections.
    *The ferry service may be cancelled or the schedule may be changed due to bad weather.
    ☆In autumn, the ferry departs from Kiramiyazaki Port as an event.

  • Regular Schedule (7 round trips per day)
    To Sakushima To Isshiki
    Leaving isshki Port
    Leasing East Port
    Leaving Viest Port
    06:30
    07:00
    07:07
    07:40
    ●08:30
    ●08:37
    ●09:30
    ●10:10
    ●10:17
    ●11:30
    ●12:30
    ●12:37
    ●13:40
    ●14:50
    ●14:57
    ●15:50
    17:15
    17:22
    17:50
    18:20
    18:27

  • For moving around, rental bicycles are convenient!

    Rent a bicycle at a shop near West Port or East Port (for a fee).
    (Limited number of bicycles, first-come-first-served basis)

  • About 20 minutes by ferry from Isshiki Port

    For more details, please check here.
    Sakushima Official Site

  • Sakushima accommodation information

    Click here for accommodation information
    Sakushima Stay
    Yukiya


Fishing Boat Cruise and Art Tour in Sakushima

Take a fishing boat steered by fishermen to visit around Sakushima. You can view the island from the boat.
The captain and fisherman show us interesting places and hidden stories of this island.
After lunch, we walk around Sakushima on foot visiting art installations scattered in nature (wear rain gear in case it rains).

Sakushima offers untouched nature surrounded by old coastlines with rocks, cliffs and wildflowers.
Sakushima Art works are scattered in the island in harmony with nature. You will have an unforgettable art experience that you can see, touch, climb, and enter …. You can use your unlimited imagination to feel the art
You can also interact with cute cats and friendly locals who live on the island.

For lunch, you will enjoy fresh local seafood dishes that are unique to the island surrounded by the sea. Art that is scattered throughout the island and in harmony with nature is an experience that you can see, touch, climb, and enter is.

Experience time 8:15~
Time required 8 hours
Schedule 8:15 Meet at Nishio Station Guide
8:40 About 30 minutes by bus from Nishio
9:08 Isshiki Sakushima Tosenba
9:30 Departure to Sakushima About 30 minutes by boat
10:00 Arrival at Sakushima Higashi Port, sightseeing and art tour by fishing boat
Take a fishing boat to see Sakushima→Lunch→Seamen→Apollo (Seagull parking lot)→East House
14:50 Departure to Isshiki, Sakushima East Port
15:35 After arriving at Isshiki, take a road bus to Nishio station for about 30 minutes
16:05 Arrive at Nishio Station
Travel price Price 1 person participation 39,000 yen,
2 people participation 23,000 yen,
3 people participation 17,000 yen
Participation by 4 or more people 15,000 yen
Cancellation policy Until 2 days before: 0%
the day before / on the day: 50%
After starting and without contact cancellation: 100%
Contact Nishio City Tourism Association
(Nishio Convention Hall 1F , west of Nishio Station)◆8:30~17:30
Address : 4-64 ,Hananoki-cho,Nishio City
Tel : 0563-57-7882
Closed : Saturdays , Sundays and Public holidays