Shima Peninsula [志摩半島]

Ago Bay
Ago Bay

Festival of Ama in Toba city
Festival of Ama
Photo by Toba City

Map of Shima Peninsula

Shima Peninsula is a peninsula protruding to the east in the middle part of Mie Prefecture.

It is about 50 km from east to west and about 30 km from north to south in width.
Ise city and Toba city are on the northern coast.

The whole coastline is indented, and there are many bays, coves and inlets.

Especially Matoya Bay (的矢湾) on the east coast, Ago Bay (英虞湾) and Gokasho Bay (五ヶ所湾) on the south coast are the main bays in this peninsula.

This peninsula is broadly mountainous.

Small towns and villages are dotted near the coast.

Cultivation of oysters and pearl shells are the main industry in this area.
We can see the many wooden rafts for shell farming in the quiet bays.

There are more than 1,000 "ama"s in this area.
Ama is a woman fisher who dives into the sea near the coast with only mask and catches expensive abalones and the other shells or seaweeds.

Of course, men are not lazy.
They go fishing in the sea by ship.
Amas have worked near their home and supported the family income.

Amas were in the many areas in Japan, but the number has been decreasing due to old age.
Now, about 660 amas are in Shima Peninshula and is the half of the whole amas in Japan.

Ise-Shima Skyline

Observatory by Ise-Shima Skyline
Observatory by Ise-Shima Skyline
(C) ISESHIMA TOURISM & CONVENTION
ORGANIZATION

Mt.Fuji from Ise-Shima Skyline
Mt.Fuji from Ise-Shima Skyline
(C) ISESHIMA TOURISM & CONVENTION
ORGANIZATION

Ise-Shima Skyline is a toll road between Ise and Toba, and the length is about 16.3 km.

It is a scenic road on the northern area of Shima Peninsula, and runs on the ridge line of Mount Asama (555 m).

There is an observatory at the level of 506 meters near the top.

From there, we can see the view of Ise and Toba cities, Ise Bay, some islands and Atsumi Peninsula in Aichi Prefecture.

In early morning in winter, Mount Fuji is sometimes seen far away if it is very fine.

The entrance of Ise side is near Naiku of Ise Shrine.
The entrance of Toba side is about 1 km west of Toba station.

Basically no route bus is operated on this road.
For seeing sunrise of the New Year, the special buses are operated for a few days of the New Year.

Pearl Road

Toba Observatory
Toba Observatory
Photo by Toba City

Monument of poem on Toba Observatory
Monument of poem on Toba Observatory
Photo by Toba City

Pearl Road is a scenic road about 23.8 km long, and runs along the east coast of Shima Peninsula.
It is a toll-free road.

The north entrance is located about 7 km southeast of Toba station,.
The south entrance is Ugata district in Shima city located about 20 km south of Toba city.

There is Toba Observatory (鳥羽展望台) about 7 km from the north entrance.

It is the most scenic observtory by Pearl Road, and we can see the vast Pacific Ocean from there.
And it has a restaurant and a few shops.

Ousatsu town (相差)

Ama Culture Museum
Ama Culture Museum
Photo by Toba City

Work of Ama
Work of Ama
Photo by Toba City

Ousatsu is a small fishing town located about 20 km south-southeast of the center of Toba city. (It is a district in Toba city.)
It is about 2 km away from Pearl Road.

The east side faces Pacific Ocean and the south side faces Matoya Bay.

There are a few swimming beaches and the coast is popular for sea fishing.
So, there are many inns and minshukus in the town.

Ousatsu town has the greatest numbers of Ama in Shima Peninsula, so we can see the life of amas.

There is Ama Culture Museum near the east coast.
It introduces the history of Ama, the work, the tools, etc.

Ama-goya
Ama-goya
Photo by Toba City

Fresh fishes for barbecue in Ama-goya
Fresh fishes for barbecue in Ama-goya
Photo by Toba City

And there are some Ama-goya (海女小屋) by the sea.
They are the rest houses for working Amas.
A few of them are opened as the place for entertaining tourists.

Real amas tell us about their experiences, barbecue the fresh fishes, and serves them to us.

Osatsu-kamado Hachiman-kamado

Shinmei Shrine
Shinmei Shrine
Photo by Toba City

Ishigami-san
Ishigami-san
Photo by Toba City

There is Shinmei Shrine (神明神社) to the north of the town.
It is the main Shinto shrine in Ousatsu.

There is a small shrine enshrining a stone in the precinct.
It is affectionately called "Ishigami-san" (石神さん, God of stone).
It is a guardian deity of women, because Amas have prayed to do the safe work and have a large catch.

This stone makes a woman's wish come true if you (only woman) write only one wish on a paper, offer it and worship the shrine.

Because the shrine is small and narrow, women often form a queue for worshipping.

Shima Spain Village (志摩スペイン村)

Shima Spain Village is an amusement and resort park at the southeast part of Shima Peninsula.

It is near Matoya Bay, and is located about 4 km north of Ugata district.

The central facility is PARQUE ESPAÑA, and is a Spanish-themed amusement park.
There are many attractions in the spanish towns.

And a large hotel and a bath facility is in the park.

Shima Spain Village

Cape Daio (大王崎)

Cape Daio ("Daiôzaki" in Japanese) is a cape located at the southeast corner of Shima peninsula.
It is about 10 km southeast of Ugata district.

There is a white lighthouse built in 1927 on the cliff at the tip of the cape.
We can go into the lighthouse.

There is a fishery harbor near the cape, and many fish shops line along the way to the cape.

This area is known as "town of painters".

Because the lighthouse and the houses on the slopes make the nice scenery, the painters often visit here.
It is said that the scenery looks like Nice in France.

Ago Bay (英虞湾)

Scenery of Ago Bay from Kashikojima
Scenery of Ago Bay from Kashikojima

Ago Bay is a bay located on the southeast coast of Shima Peninsula.
It is surrounded by long Sakishima Peninsula like a breakwater, and the sea in the bay is quiet.

The coastline is very indented, and there are about 50 small islands in the bay.

Since ancient times, this bay has been produced pearl shells.
Kokichi Mikimoto, who succeeded pearl cultivation first in the world in 1893, had cultivated the pearl shells in this bay.

This bay still produces the pearl shells.
And it produces much green laver.

The central island is Kashikojima (賢島).

It is a resort island, so there are a few high-end ryokan and hotels and an aquarium "Shima Marineland" in the island.
And Kintetsu railway leads to this island and there is the terminal station.

Kashikojima hosted the 42nd G7 summit in May 2016.

From Kashikojima, a pleasure boat touring around Ago Bay is operated.
It takes about 1 hour.

There are two observatories to see the view of Ago Bay around the bay.

One is Tomoyama Park (ともやま公園).
It is located on the hill to the eastern part of Ago Bay.
We can see the bay toward west.

Another is Yokoyama Observatory (横山展望台).
It is located on the hill about 3 km north of Kashikojima island.
We can see the bay toward south.

We can see the beautiful scenery of Ago Bay from the both observatories.
But, no route bus leads to both observatory.
We must visit by taxi or rental car.

How to get here

From Toba, by limited express of Kintetsu railway, about 24 minutes to Ugata, about 30 minutes to Kashikojima.

By route bus, from Toba station, about 40 to 50 minutes to Ousatsu. From Ugata station, about 13 minutes to Shima Spain Village terminal, about 19 minutes to Nakiri stop (Cape Daio).

Hotels around Shima Peninsula

Hotels around Toba city Hotels around Shima city

Other Tourist Attractions in Mie Prefecture

Nabana no Sato Nagashima Spa Land Mount Gozaisho Seki-juku post station Iga city Akame 48 Waterfalls Matsusaka city Ise Shrine Meoto-iwa rocks Toba city Shichiri-mihama coast Maruyama Rice Terrace

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