Tomogashima Islands

Untamed nature, abandoned forts, and possible pirate treasure

Tomogashima, a cluster of four stunning uninhabited islands situated along Wakayama’s coast, boasts a colorful past as a hideaway for pirates and a secret military base during World War II. With its rich history and untouched beauty, Tomogashima offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience for visitors seeking an escape from the crowds and a touch of adventure in japan.

The islands of Tomogashima are a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its overgrown vegetation and abandoned military buildings, the islands provide a fantastical backdrop for hiking, picnics, camping, and exploration. The hiking trails offer panoramic views of the landscape, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding nature. The historic military bases, covered in lush greenery, add a touch of mystery and intrigue to the islands’ atmosphere. One of the highlights of Tomogashima is the charming 19th-century Tomogashima Lighthouse, which stands as a testament to the islands’ maritime history.

To reach Tomogashima, the only access is via a 20-minute ferry ride from the port of Kada. The Kada Line from Wakayama-shi Station takes around 30 minutes to reach Kada Station, and from there, it is a 20-minute walk to the port. The cost of a round-trip ferry ride is 2,200 yen. Wakayama-shi Station is easily accessible from Osaka’s Nankai Namba Station, making it convenient for travelers coming from Osaka or other parts of Japan.

The islands of Tomogashima are known for their now-abandoned and run-down military forts, which were 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 wild and overgrown forts bear an uncanny resemblance to the floating island of Laputa, attracting both history buffs and fans of the animated film. It is not uncommon to see visitors dressed in authentic costumes, making their pilgrimage to Tomogashima to capture their favorite scenes for cosplay posterity.

Another interesting fact about Tomogashima is the introduction of peacocks to the island. These majestic birds have been brought to the islands to keep the snake population in check, adding a touch of exoticism to the already unique environment. The presence of peacocks further enhances the allure of Tomogashima and adds to the overall experience of visiting these uninhabited islands.

For those seeking a quiet island getaway, Tomogashima provides the perfect respite from the sleepless and bustling cities of Osaka and Tokyo. A day spent on these islands allows visitors to balance out their vacation with a slower pace and a closer connection to nature. Whether it’s a picnic by the sea, a hike through the forest trails of Okinoshima, or simply enjoying the relative peace and tranquility of the islands, Tomogashima offers a serene and rejuvenating experience.

The islands’ history during World War II adds an element of intrigue and mystery to the overall experience. During the war, Tomogashima was commandeered by the Japanese government as a secret military base and wiped off all maps. Entry to the islands was strictly limited for years, but today, visitors are free to explore and visit the abandoned military forts, which serve as a scenic backdrop to the historical intrigue. The underground tunnels, twists, and turns lead visitors to unexpected openings, revealing breathtaking views of the open sea. The five forts on the island offer a glimpse into the past and provide a deeper understanding of the islands’ role during World War II.

Legend has it that an ancient treasure trove is buried somewhere on the four islands of Tomogashima. Centuries ago, pirates gained notoriety for stealing from imperial ships passing through the Inland Sea. To avoid suspicion from the authorities, the pirates cunningly hid their stolen goods on these untouched islands. Although the treasure remains undiscovered, the possibility of stumbling upon it adds an element of excitement and adventure to any visit to Tomogashima.

In conclusion, Tomogashima is a hidden gem off the coast of Wakayama, Japan. With its untamed nature, abandoned forts, and the possibility of pirate treasure, the islands offer a unique and memorable experience for travelers seeking an escape from the crowds and a touch of adventure. From hiking trails with panoramic views to historic military bases covered in lush greenery, Tomogashima provides a picturesque backdrop for exploration and discovery. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful island getaway, Tomogashima is a must-visit destination that promises to leave a lasting impression.

Address And Maps Location:

Tomogashima, Wakayama-ken

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