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Oumijima island

Oumijima islandMap of Oumijima Oumijima is an island in the Sea of Japan, and is located just north of Nagato city.

The length from east to west is about 10 km.
This island was formed by combination of some islands by sand banks, so there are a few narrow land in the island.
The south end is closed to the mainland, and a bridge across the narrow channel connects the island and the mainland.

The north coast of the island has been washed by choppy waves of the Sea of Japan, so there are sheer cliffs and rocks.
The rough landscape attracts the tourists, and is called "Alps in the sea".

The area in the mainland facing the south end of the island is Senzaki district.
It has a fishing port, and the pleasure boats touring around Oumijima start from here.

JR Senzaki station is near the port.
It is a terminal station of a short branch line of San'in Line. But it has only about 5-6 services a day.

At the east end of the island, there is Kayoi district.
The main industry of Kayoi was whale fishing.
The whale fishing was continued from 1673, by traditional method using nets.

They treasured whales.
The dead whale was given a Buddhist name. And when the whale had unborn baby, the unfortunate baby was buried in the tomb for whale.
And the people has performed the Buddhist memorial service for the whales every year.

But since the late 19th century, Western countries came around Japan, and they had overfished the whales for whale oil, almost-totally.
Then the whales had never come to this island, so the whale catching finished in 1908.
(Such Western counties tell Japan not to catch whales, recently.)

In Kayoi district, there are the museum about the traditional whale catching here and the tomb for whales.
And Whale Festival is held in July, and the traditional whale fishing is reenacted using the replica of a whale.

How to get to here

By route bus

  • From Akiyoshido to Senzaki port, about 1 hours 31 miniutes.
  • From Higashi-Hagi station to Senzaki port, about 1 hours 7 miniutes.
  • From Shimonoseki station to Senzaki port, 2 hours 30 miniutes.
  • From Senzaki port to Kayoi district, about 25 miniutes.

By railroad

  • From Asa (Shinkansen), about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes.

Senzaki district from Oumijima
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Bridge to Oumijima
Rocks in the sea
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Cliffs along the sea
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Pleasure boat
Tomb of Whales in Kayoi Whale Festival
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture

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