Hakata Island 伯方島

Description

Hakatajima is a small island in the middle of the Seto Inland Sea, along the Shimanami Kaido bridges. It’s about 20 square kilometers in area, with a population of around 7000 people. The main industries are shipbuilding and shipping. It’s also famous for salt! Island life is quiet and rural, but there is easy access to Imabari and Honshu along the Shimanami Kaido bridges (しまなみ海道).


Location / Access / Transport

Ikina is near to Fukuyama city œ’(1 hour), Imabari (1 hour), Hiroshima city (2 hours) and Matsuyama city (2 hours). It’s a three mintue ride to Habu town (Innoshima , Hiroshima pref.) makes most necessities possible. Including library, super market, video store (Takamatsu), kendo in the local police station and the possibility to take Japanese classes.

  • By car - Hakatajima is connected to both Shikoku and Honshu by the Shimanami Kaido bridges. You can cross the bridges by car, scooter, bicycle or foot. By car, it’s about 30 minutes’ drive from Hakata Interchange to central Imabari. Remember that the bridges are toll roads.
  • By ferry
    • 9 high-speed ferries a day from Imabari Sanbashi 今治桟橋, stopping at Hakata’s Kinoura Port 木上港 (35 minutes; 1030 yen). The ferry continues on to Habu Port 土生港 on Innoshima 因島, stopping at several of the Kamijima islands along the way..
    • There are also ferries from Oura Port 尾浦港 to Miyakubo Port 宮窪港 on Oshima
    • Ferry access only from Yuge island (6 minutes) or Innoshima island (Habu portŸ) in Hiroshima›, which is in turn linked to the Shimanami Expressway.
    • There are both passenger and vehicle ferries which operate to Ikina and are cheap. For times, check out:
      Ferry Schedule
  • By bus - The main bus stop is right next to Hakata Interchange (the entrance/exit to the Shimanami Kaido).
    • To/From Imabari. Buses between the Imabari JR Station (Imabari eki mae 今治駅前) and Hakata jima Bus Stop (伯方島BS) run approximately every hour, and take about 35 minutes (864 yen).
    • To/From Matsuyama. There are four buses a day that will take you all the way to Matsuyama 松山.
      Schedule
    • To/From Hiroshima and Fukuyama. The highway buses from Imabari to Hiroshima 広島 and Fukuyama 福島 also stop on Hakatajima. These can’t be used as local buses, though (i.e. you can’t use them just to get from Hakata to Imabari).
      Hakata == Fukuyama
      Hakata == Hiroshima
      Hiroshima: 2 hours, 3200yen
      Fukuyama: 1 hour, 1950 yen

Shopping

Supermarkets

  • Hakata Shopping Center. The island’s biggest supermarket located directly across from Hakata High School in the Kinoura district. Closes at 8pm.
  • Marine Oasis gift shop. located by Hakata Beach; has a small farmers’ market inside. Closes at 5. Alcohol and fish shop. Located next to the high school.
  • Alcohol and fish shop. Located next to the high school.

Services

  • Ehime Bank 9:00-5:00 (ATM 8:40 –3:40)
  • Post office 9:00-5:00 (ATM 8:40-4:00)

Convenience Store (Konbini)

  • Lawson. 24-hour convenience store near the Interchange (IC).

Home Improvement

  • Conan Home Stock. Opposite Hakata Beach. DIY, household products and toiletries.
  • A few small shops for basic electronics/household goods in the Kinoura district (near the port).
  • Just pass the Lawson away from the Interchange, there is large drug store called Zag Zag which sells everything a convenience store does but with greater variety and stock.

Dining Out

*Note that most restaurants shut around 8:30 or 9:00, and are closed on Sunday nights.

  • Japanese
    • Sanwa. A famous ramen shop near the police station (Kinoura district) that serves Hakata Salt Ramen.
    • Fuu. Onokomiyaki restaurant located on the frontage road across from the bus terminal, near the main beach.
    • Sakura. Okonomiyaki restaurant located on the main road towards the northwest side of the island.
    • Tampopo. Okonomiyaki restaurant located in Arrouz near the Murakami Clinic.
    • Midori. A great izakaya with friendly owners opposite the community center (kominkan). The sushi and sashimi are some of the best around. Seating at the counter downstairs, and a few large rooms upstairs which are often used for parties.
  • Also look for: There is a nice yakinuku restaurant located in Kinoura near the Iyo bank. It’s next to the butcher! A small bar that serves Japanese type bar food and has a lunch set. A friendly owner.
  • Cafés
    • Tamaya. A cute café on the main road halfway between the Interchange and the supermarket. Coffee, cakes and lunchtime meal sets. Gorgeous sea views and a small outside terrace.

Leisure

  • Brand new sports complex with swimming pool, baseball ground, badminton, table tennis, sauna.
  • Biking. Biking makes a great day trip. There’s a bike rental point next to the Marine Oasis at Hakata Beach.
  • Camping. There are a good number of campsites on Hakata and Omishima. Information and reservations are available at the bike rental point.
  • Beaches. Lovely beaches (the main Hakata Beach opposite the bus terminal, Okiura, several tiny and hidden beaches all around the coast).
  • Clubs. A few local sports/hobby groups meet in the evenings. Ask at the community center for details
  • Library. There is a small library located inside the community center (No English books).
  • Ikina motorbike circuit track.
  • Ikina JHS indoor sports hall has free access to teachers – basketball, badminton, etc.
  • Kendo and Judo in police station of next island

Tourism / Festivals / Highlights

  • Hanami. Hakata is famous for the cherry blossoms on Mt. Hiraki/Hirakiyama 開き山 during the appropriate season. The views from the top of the mountain are worth a visit at any time of year. Hakata Summer Festival (mid-August) features a rather impressive fireworks display on the beach.
  • Festivals. There are various local festivals at the many small shrines and temples around the island, especially in the autumn.
  • Mueseum. There is a small museum in mock-castle style up a mountain in the Kinoura district (turn left up the mountain just after the port/shipyards). Panoramic views from the top. Free entrance.
  • Hakata no Shio. Hakatajima is ‘famous’ for salt. The Hakata no shio (伯方塩) brand name is sold all over Japan. (Truth is, it’s not even from the island anymore! They just ship it from either Mexico or Australia and package it here. Shh…). Cyclists doing the Shimanami Kaido usually stop for a salt ice cream at Hakata Beach, salt ramen at the small café inside the Marine Oasis or at Sanwa, and salty souvenirs at the Marine Oasis gift shop.
  • Easy access to Hiroshima ken, Fukuyama, Hiroshima city and to Shikoku, Imabari etc.
  • Aki matsuri late Sept. (Autumn festival).
  • Annual Junior High School boat race.
  • Ikina Marathon – if you like running that is.
  • Opportunity to go island hopping around the hundreds of islands of the Inland Sea of Japan.

Accommodation

  • Ryoukan
    • There are a few ryokans around. They are pretty expensive though.
  • Camping
    • Small campsites with great views at the Funaori Seto viewpoint in the south of the island. There is also a campsite on a small, uninhabited island half way between Hakata and Oshima. It’s accessible only by foot or bike from the Hakata-Oshima bridge. About 20 minutes’ walk from Hakata Interchange.

Health

  • There are clinics and dentists on the island, but for anything more than the sniffles or a checkup, you’ll be shipped to a hospital somewhere else, most likely in Imabari.
  • Murakami Clinic. Loacted in Arrouz near Tampopo and Tamaya Café.
  • There is also a clinic across from Lawson and next to the apartment building for school staff (Hakata Kyoushokuin-Juutaku).


Imabari City 今治市

Description

Imabari is a port city that lies on the coast of Ehime Prefecture, facing the Seto Inland Sea. Not only does Imabari have a varied landscape with green mountainous areas and a world-class archipelagic Shimanami-Tobishima area, but it is also widely known for its towel and ship building industries. A few years ago, the old city merged with a number of other districts to form the second largest city in Ehime, with a population of about 172,000 people; however the old districts’ distinct identities still remain. Ehime was only connected to Honshuu, the main island of Japan, about 10 years ago. Please see the Imabari City Website and Imabari International Exchange Association for more information.


Location / Access / Transport within Toyo A

  • By bus:
    • To/From Yo-no-ura. Take the Komatsu Line (31 minutes; 520yen)
    • To/From World Plaza. Take the Komatsu Line, Niihama Station Line, or Mine Topia Line (15 minutes; 250yen)
    • To/From Nibukawa Hot Spring. Take Kamikomori Line (28 minutes, 570yen)
    • To/From Matusyama. Setouchi Express Bus Line connects Matsuyama == Imabari == Oshima == Hakatajima == Omishima, runs throughout the day

    There are many different local bus routes, but be aware that most run fairly infrequently.

    Schedules: available at the following places (Japanese only): http://www.setouchibus.co.jp/
    Imabari Eki-Mae (= in front of the station) 今治駅前 Bus Terminal ticket window (the bus terminal in front of Imabari JR Station)
    On the buses (near one of the front seats)

    Kaisuken – packets of discounted tickets that can be used in any combination to make up a bus fare. (i.e. a booklet of tickets purchased for 2000yen buys you 15 tickets worth 100yen, 10 tickets worth 50 yen, and 20 tickets worth 10yen… a value of 2200yen in total) Kaisuken can be purchased from the driver, or from the Eki-mae Bus Terminal ticket window.

  • By train: Imabari is on the JR (Japan Railways) Line Local trains (kakuekiteisha 各駅停車) connect the smaller towns in the area. The local stations in the Toyo A region are: Iyo-Kameoka 伊予亀岡, Onishi 大西, Namikata 波方,Hashihama 波止浜, Imabari 今治, Iyo-Tomita 伊予富田, Iyo-Sakurai 伊予桜井.
  • Timetables are available inside the train station or online at Hyperdia or Jorudan (both in English).

  • By bike: For sightseeing within the Imabari area, it may be easiest to rent a bike. Bikes can be rented from the ‘Giant’ store in Imabari Station or see above in the Shimanami Kaido section for other rental shops.
  • By taxi: For sightseeing; there are two types: small and medium Small taxis start their meters at 550yen for the first 1,500m Medium taxis start their meters at 560yen for the first 1,500m
    After 1500m, the fare climbs quickly; it will still increase while waiting in traffic; etc.
    From 10:00pm to 5:00am, the fare increases 20%
  • By ferry: One good company is: Tokiwa Taxi: 0898-22-0011
    Several local ferry lines run from Imabari Sanbashi (Port) 今治桟橋 connecting the various islands of Toyo A. (There is also one ferry that runs out of Namikata.) Sanbashi port is about 20 minutes’ walk or a short bus ride from the JR Train Station. Route maps and links to timetables (Japanese only)

  • From Imabari Sanbashi
    IslandDetails
    Innoshima 因島
    (Habu Port, Chuo Sanbashi 土生)
    This high-speed boat is the best way to access the Kamijima Town 上島町 islands from Imabari.
    Stops at Oshima 大島 (Tomoura Port 友浦), Hakatajima 伯方島 (Kinoura Port 木浦), Iwagi 岩城, Sashima 佐島, Yuge 弓削 and Ikina 生名.
    Oshima 大島
    (Shitadami Port 下田水港)
    Kyowa Kisen Line
    High speed ferry 15 mins
    Omishima 大三島
    (Miyaura Port 宮浦港)
    Omishima Blue Line
    Fast ferry 1 hour
    Regular ferry stop at Omishima 大三島(Munakata Port 宗方港) and Osakikamijima 大崎上島(Kinoe Port 木江港)
    Okamurajima 岡村島
    (Okamura Port 岡村港)
    Regular ferry 80 mins
    Fast ferry 35 mins
    Regular ferry stops at Kooogejima 小大下島(Kooogejima Port 小大下港) and Oshitajima 大下島 (Oshita Port 大下港)
    go directly to Kure in Hiroshima Prefecture! Great for cycling, roughly the same distance as the Shimanami. Avoid the mountain road, although there are very nice Mikan farmers all along it!

Location/Access/Transport Outside Toyo A

  • By bus:
    • To Fukushima Station: 福島[Shimanami Liner] (Great way to get to the shinkansen); about 1 hour 30 minutes; one-way 2500 yen; round-trip 4500 yen; book of 4 tickets costs 8,200yen.
    • **Cannot be used as a local bus (i.e. you must cross the prefectural border)

    • To/From Hiroshima Bus Center: 広島[Shimanami Liner] About 2 hours 30 minutes; one-way 3700yen; round-trip 6650 yen; book of 4 tickets cost 12,300 yen; departs three times each weekday, and six times on Saturday and Sunday.
    • **Cannot be used as a local bus (i.e. you must cross the prefectural border)

    • To/From Kobe Sannomiya 神戸三ノ宮 and Osaka Eki-mae 大阪駅前: [Ishizuchi Liner] One-way to Kobe 4750 yen (round-trip discount not available) 4hrs 40min. Overnight 6hrs
    • One-way to Osaka 5150 yen (round-trip discount not available) 5hrs 50min 6hrs. Overnight &hrs 10min. Tel: 0898-22-8800; departs 8 times daily (one is overnight); toilet on bus, nonsmoking; reservations necessary

  • By ferry:
    • From Yawatahama to Beppu Head out for the onsen resort town of Kyuushuu!
      Orange Ferry: From Toyo Ferry Port to Nanko Ferry Terminal in Osaka
      Reservations 0898-64-4121
      5500 yen oneway, or 9350 yen if you buy a round trip ticket (30% discount on the return trip). This is for the cheapest ticket and gets you a futon in a large shared tatami room. 6500 yen gets you one way in an 8-person bedroom. Private rooms and car transport are also available for a cost.

    Afternoon Departure: 14:00 Arrive: 21:40
    Overnight ferry Departure: 22:30 Arrive: 06:00
  • By car:
    To/From Matsuyama: Look for Route 196 or Route 317, then Route 11 in the direction of Niihama. To/From Honshu: Toyo A is very well connected by the national expressway routes to both Honshu and the rest of Shikoku. Be warned that the Shimanami Kaido is a toll road and can be expensive to cross. Kei cars (yellow plate) get a 20% discount.
  • By train:Unfortunately Shikoku has no shinkansen (bullet train), but we do have a Japan Rail (JR) Line that loops the whole island, and connects us to Honshu via Tokushima-ken/Okayama-ken.

Notes on Trains

  • From Imabari JR Station, you can catch both local (kakuekiteisha 各駅停車) and limited express (tokkyuu 特急) trains. Limited express trains don’t stop at most of the smaller stations. Limited express trains leave almost hourly, going in either the direction of Matsuyama 松山 and southern Ehime 愛媛, or in the direction of Takamatsu 高松 and Okayama 岡山. On the electronic departure boards the express trains will be in red. Timetables are available inside the train station. The little business cardsized ones are a very handy thing to keep in your wallet. Look up train times in English on-line, according to specific departure or arrival times at Hyperdia or Jorudan. The hyperdia website also has links to timetables. Plus it makes searching for different routes, according to the type of train, price, convenience, etc. much easier.
  • Beware! The schedules usually change seasonally!

  • Young Weekender Card: if you qualify (people of 13-29 years of age), you definitely want to get one of these! When you are travelling by limited express train on a Friday after 17:00, Saturday, Sunday, (can also be used on National Holidays, December 31, January 2nd, and 3rd), a Young Weekender Card gives you a 40% discount on a round-trip ticket. However, this is only applicable on a return ticket on a limited express train journey of more than 61km each way.
    You can apply at the ticket window in the Imabari JR Station. It only takes a couple of minutes to fill in a very simple form (name, address, DOB.
    The form is in Japanese but it’s ok to fill it in using English) and you will be issued with your card on the spot. Sign-up fee: 1000 yen; Renewal fee: 400 yen. Worth it because it should pay for itself pretty quickly… maybe even in your first trip!
  • Round trip to Matsuyama: Matsuyama is not far enough away to use the Young Weekender Card, but purchasing a round-trip ticket can give you a slight discount from purchasing them as two separate one-way tickets. If you have a reason to travel to Matsuyama often, you can purchase packages of round-trip tickets, and the discount rate goes up with the amount of tickets you purchase. (Available for both local and limited express tickets.)
  • Birthday Ticket: For three consecutive days during your birthday month, you can get on and off any JR train or Tosa Kuroshio train in Shikoku. You can also use the first-class carriage. 10,000 yen for your ticket; and the same price applies for each person who accompanies you (max 3 additional people).


  • Popular JR Routes from Imabari
    DestinationDurationPrice
    Imabari 今治 == Matsuyama 松山36 mins1480 yen
    Imabari 今治 == Iyo-Saijo 伊予西条26 mins1270 yen
    Imabari 今治 == Niihama 新居浜34 mins1400 yen
    Imabari 今治 == Takamatsu 高松116 mins4440 yen
    Imabari 今治 == Okayama 岡山133 mins5280 yen

Tourism / Festivals / Highlights

  • Spring festivals – or “Haru Matsuri,” is a string of festivals that take place each year in the beginning of May, typically during Golden Week (a string of national holidays that fall within a one-week period; one of the most popular vacation times in Japan). Most of these festivals take place at local shrines throughout the Imabari area, and typically feature a type of dance called Tsugijishi. Most of these festivals also feature taiko (Japanese traditional drumming), and mikoshi (portable shrines carried on the shoulders of groups of men).
  • Noma jinja – the most famous of the spring festivals takes place at Noma Jinja (shrine). This festival features five groups of Tsugijishi dancers (a type of lion dance).
  • Onmaku – is Imabari City’s biggest annual festival, usually held during the first weekend in August. It is a two-day festival that features a variety of traditional Japanese dancing, Japanese Taiko drumming, game and food booths, and an incredible hour-long fireworks show over the Seto Inland Sea.
  • Imabari Jazz Festival – Imabari is famous for Jazz music, and hosts a two-day Jazz festival in September of each year, attracting Jazz artists from all around Japan who come to perform at different venues throughout the city.
  • Otomo-uma – is held on the third Sunday of October each year, at Kamo Jinja (shrine) in Kikuma-cho. It is an autumn festival meant to ensure the health of the people and a plentiful harvest. The festival features Tsugijishi (lion dancing), and mikoshi fights… but the main feature is a horse racing event called “Uma-no-hashirikomi.” Brave boys race horses clad in colorful adornments up a 300-meter approach to the shrine.
  • Imabari Castle (Imabari-Jo) – Built in 1604 by Takaora Todo, it is a rare coast-side open castle, and boasts one of the only sea water-supplied moats in the world.
    There is a fabulous view from the observation deck on the 6th floor of the tower. You can see a panoramic view of the entire city, the Ishizuchi Mountain Range (the highest mountain in Western Japan), the Seto Inland Sea, and the first Shimanami-kaido Bridge that leads to Oshima.
    In the spring, the castle grounds are a popular location for ohanami (cherry blossom viewing parties).
    The castle grounds are open to the public 24 hours a day, but the castle itself is only open from 9am to 5pm (last entrance at 4:30pm), and the entrance fee is 400yen for adults, and 100yen for children.
  • Onsen “Hot Springs” -
    Yu-no-ura Onsen. Located on a hill at the most eastern part of Imabari, in the Machinami Area, Yu-no-ura has gorgeous views of the city, Sakurai and the Seto Sea. It is said to be one of the finest hot springs in Shikoku because of the naturally occurring chemical properties of the water.
    Nibukawa Onsen. The most famous onsen in Imabari lies in the Nibukawa gorge, upstream from Soja River. It is a nice place to enjoy cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. This hot spring has been known for its fine water quality since the Heian Period. There is a bus that runs there from Imabari Ferry Port, and Imabari station.
    Kiyomasa-no-yu. Features a variety of indoor baths, as well as a beautiful outdoor bath. There is also a big swimming pool, a small climbing wall, and a bare minimum gym.
    Chikutei. Located just up the hill from Kiyomasa-no-yu. Chikutei is smaller, but far more peaceful. It features indoor and outdoor baths. The outdoor baths are guarded by a thick bamboo forest, which gives it a beautiful and calming atmosphere. No children allowed.
  • 88 Temple Pilgrimage – Shikoku is home to Japan’s most famous pilgrimage route. Many Japanese people follow this path on a quest for spiritual peace. The journey is said to be the spiritual legacy of the famous priest, Kobo Daishi (774-835), who founded the Shingon sect of Buddhism. “Hachijuhakkasho-meguri,” as it is called in Japanese, consists of 88 temples over a 1,200km stretch that loops around Shikoku. Although bike and bus tours are commonplace, most pilgrims who walk cover an average of about 25km per day, and finish the course in about five to seven weeks.
    Imabari is home to six of these temples.
  • Imabari Towel Museum – Address: 2930 Asakura-kami, Imabari-shi; tel: 0898-56-1515
    Hours: 9:30am-6:00pm (5:30 Nov-Mar); Closed second Tuesday of each month
  • Ohanami (cherry blossom viewing party) – Throughout spring, cherry blossoms bloom in different parts of Japan, depending upon the weather. Ohanami season is short, but glorious! It is a favorite spring pastime for people all over Japan. People have BBQs or bento picnics under the trees. Night viewing parties are also popular.
    Popular places for ohanami in Imabari include the Imabari Castle, Tamagawa Dam, Shimin-nomori Park, Tondagawa River Bank, and Hirakiyama Park.
  • Summer BBQ by the river – There is a really lovely spot on the river in Nibukawa, where the water is almost turquoise in the summer, and tall trees shade the banks. It is great for summer BBQs and swims!
  • Beach – In the summer, hit one of the many beaches that line the coasts of Imabari, and its islands, where you can swim, kayak, play beach sports, etc… Kamioke beach in Onishi is one of the best beaches in Imabari
  • Shimanami-kaido (Shimanami Sea Road) – The Shimanami-kaido is a highway that connects Imabari City to Onomichi City in Hiroshima Prefecture, by six bridges, crossing over six islands. You can cross the bridge via car, motorbike, scooter, bicycle, or foot. Bicycle and foot-crossing events are held throughout the year.
    Spring and autumn are popular seasons for cycling and walking this beautiful route when the weather is milder.
    It is about a 70km journey from the foot of the bridge in Imabari to Onomichi but if you’re not keen on riding both ways, you can choose to ditch your bike on the other side and catch a bus or ferry back to Shikoku. There are also bike terminals on each of the islands, along the way so you can drop your bike off at one of these terminals (for a fee), then head back on a bus or ferry. The views along the way are breathtaking. The water is a gorgeous blue-green color, and the lush mountainous islands are lined with beaches.
    Bicycle rental terminals in Imabari City
    Imabar-shi Cycle Station
    Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm
    Address: 252-2 Ko Noagasawa, tel: 0898-47-0990
    Imabari-shi Cycling Terminal “Sunrise Itoyama”
    Hours: Apr-Sept: 8am-8pm; Oct-Mar 8am-5pm
    Address: 2-8-1 Sunaba-cho (located at the foot of the first bridge), tel: 0898-41-3196
    Pricier rentals for fancier bikes are available at the Giant underneath Imabari station, but these must be brought back to the store.

Leisure

  • Gyms and Fitness
    • Imabari City Gym - Admission Fee: The cheapest gym admission in Imabari, prices TBA Closed for renovations until February 2015 Address: 6-2-2 Bekku-cho, tel: 0898-24-2351 Weights, treadmills, basketball courts that are also used for volleyball, badminton, and indoor soccer. They also have an area for karate, judo and aikido as well as tennis courts and a baseball field nearby.
      Classes offered: yoga, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, aerobics, futsal, fitness weight training, etc.
    • Axtos - Gym with weight machines, pool, and studio (yoga class, hula, hip hop, aerobics…) 3-1-6 Kinuboshi-cho Imabari-shi [tel: 0898-34-1331]
      34.049041,133.015482 (google map)
    • Z-up. - 610-2 Kamitoku-kou Imabari-shi [tel: 0898-48-7400]
      34.041992,133.014911 (google map)
  • Movie theatres
    • iCinema - 2-2-20 Kyoei-cho, Imabari [tel: 0898-34-7155]
    • United Cinemas - 6 screen movie theatre. Various 1000 yen specials on selected days. Monday is Men’s night, Wednesdays is ladies’ night. AU customers get specials on weekdays. Memberships get one free movie after watching six movies.

Nightlife!

Although Imabari does not have a huge, bustling nightlife, there are still a few places to go have a good time with friends. Matsumoto-cho is a bar district in the downtown area of Imabari (running perpendicular to the Ginza) that features a large variety of bars, but beware of snack bars (hostess bars). The bars in Matsumoto-cho tend to have table fees, or pricy drinks. A popular one is…

  • Party!
    • Tin Goose.Jazz Bar; owner plays the guitar and knows many foreign songs that you can sing along to (there is a table charge). Atmosphere depends on the crowd, and can be pretty hit or miss. Hours: 8pm-3am Address: 1-4-30 Matsumoto-cho Telephone: 0898-35-1020
    • Rokusan 禄さん.A cool little bar, the owner is friendly, has a huge collection of records and sometimes takes requests. Great atmosphere, good drinks. There is a bar section and a lounge in the back. Address: 1-5-2 Kogane-cho Telephone:0898-23-1020
  • Karaoke
    • Wao. Entertainment center with karaoke, billiards, purikura, and video games Hours: 11am-2am (roughly); they stay open until about 3am on Fridays; and about 4am on Saturdays Address: 3-12-30 Koizumi, Imabari-shi, Telephone: 0898-23-1511
    • Maneki-neko. Smaller, and not as nice as Wao, but cheaper; popular among high school students; upstairs from a billiards bar Open 24 hours Address: 8-2-7 Tokiwa-cho Telephone: 0898-34-3211

Dining out

  • Korean
    • Korea Town コリアタウン
      3-1-29 Gion-cho Imabari-shi, tel: 0898-23-5078
      34.054993,133.003302 (google maps)
      Hours: 11:00-22:00 (It fills up, so you should probably reserve in advance.)
  • Italian
    • Alberoアルベロ
      2F; 3-2-1 Minamihorai-cho Imabari-shi,
      tel:0898-31-5292
      34.058837,133.002057 (google maps)
      Hours: 17:00-23:00, lunch only by reservation
      Closed: not fixed
    • Cucina Italiana Umakoshi.This restaurant operates on a reservation only basis. They have dinner and lunch set courses. Lunch is a good price and dinner is a bit more expensive, but worth the money. They also have wood oven pizzas! Address: 71-3 Tokushige, Imabari-shi, 794-0863
      Telephone: 0898-32-6044
    • Osteria Miyagawa (on route to Nitori)Tsuchibashi-cho, 1-9-43,
      tel: 0898-34-5919
      34.049906,133.004595(google maps)
      Hours: 18:00-23:00 (LO)
      Closed: Sunday and Monday
    • Farina Fresca (near Sai Sai on the 196). Fantastic Italian food and a fairly decent wine selection too. It has a really summery feel as well!
      Nakadera 254-4, 794-0840, tel: 0898-35-2009
      Hours: 11:30-14:00/18:00-22:00
      Closed: Sundays
    • Tou. Great Italian restaurant close to Daiki on Sangyo Road (the one the Castle entrance is on). Lunch sets are great and reasonably priced.
      Higashi-toriu-cho, 4-1-46,
      tel: 0898-33-2789
      34.050012,133.018982 (google maps)
      Hours: 11:30-14:00/17:00-22:00
      Closed: Sundays
  • Spanish
    • ESPANA MIRO. 3-20 Haishi Imabari-shi,
      tel: 0898-48-1536
      34.042179,133.025347(google maps)
      Hours: 11:30-14:00 17:30-21:00- need a reservation
      Closed: Tuesdays
  • Vegan
  • Chinese
    • Chouan 長安
      1-9-18 Nakahiyoshi-cho Imabari-shi, tel: 0898-32-5178
      34.062815, 132.993563(google maps)
      Hours: Weekdays 11:00-15:00 and 17:00-22:00; Sat, San & holidays 11:00-22:00
      Closed: Tuesdays
    • Buisan
      4-1-23 Koizumi, Imabari-shi (located next to the police station)
      Telephone: 0898-32-0775
      Hours: 11:00-22:00
  • Indian
    • Spice Kingdom スパイス王国
      5-13-1 Higashimon-cho Imabari-shi
      tel: 0898-34-6688
      34.061512,133.014843 (located inside Fuji Grand) (google maps)
      Hours: 11:00-22:00
  • Japanese
    • Gyukaku 牛角 (Yaki-niku)
      3-2-7 Asahi-machi Imabari-shi,
      tel: 0898-34-7001
      34.060886,133.001749 (google maps)
      Hours: 17:00-24:00-last order 23.30.
      Sometimes you need a reservation to do the big set meals.
    • Goen (Yaki-niku)
      Kinubushi-cho, 2-chome, 1648-1,
      tel: 0898-24-6780
      Hours: 17:00-24:00 Monday-Saturday, 11:30-24:00 Sunday and Holidays
    • Uichi ういち(Yaki-tori)
      8-1-35 Tokiwa-cho Imabari-shi,
      tel: 0898-23-8851
      Hours: 17:30~23:00
      Closed: Sunday & holidays
    • Gomidori 五味鳥 (Yaki-tori)
      Very famous, very good, very smoky inside.
      1-5-20 Asahimachi, Imabari,
      Telephone: 0898-32-3753
      Hours: 5:30PM-11:30PM
    • Tatsugawa たつ川
      Imabari-style yakitori!
      6-7-33 Tokiwa-cho Imabari-shi,
      tel: 0898-25-7788 34.05905,132.991031(google maps)
      Hours: 18:00-23:00 Monday-Saturday
      Closed: Sundays
    • Tarome-tei たろめ亭.
      Okonomiyaki restaurant near DeoDeo.
      3-3-65 Umagoe-cho Imabari-shi,
      tel: 0898-33-3690
      34.058477,132.981074 (google maps)
      Hours: 11:00~15:00(LO14:30); 17:00~23:00(LO22:30)
      Closed: Tuesday
    • Begin.
      Okonomiyaki restaurant near AEON.
      4-5-36 Umagoe-cho Imabari-shi,
      tel : 0898-32-6541
      34.055293,132.981992 (google maps)
      Hours: 11:00~22:00 (LO21:30)
      Closed: Tuesday (open on a national holiday and is closed on the next day)
    • Menya Takeyoshi 麺屋武吉
      A ramen joint.
      Hours: 11:00-14:00; 17;00-20:00
      Closed: Wednesdays
    • Mitsuya 光屋
      5-1-18 Tokiwa-cho Imabari-shi
      tel: 0898-32-3227
      34.061626,132.995478 (google maps)
      Hours: 11:00-14:00 18:00-21:00
      Closed: Tuesdays
    • Sushi-suigun
      Conveyor belt sushi
      5-2-20 Tenpozan-cho Imabari-shi,
      tel: 0898-22-8788
      34.062686,133.016195 (google maps)
      Hours: Mon-Fri 11:00~14:00 and 17:00~22:00; Sat, San & holidays 11:00~22:00 (Last Order 21:30)
    • Sushi-ro
      Conveyer belt sushi – just 105 yen per plate!
      Nakadera 598-1, Imabari-shi,
      tel: 0898-33-8024
      Hours: 11:00-23:00 (22:30 LO)
    • Hamazushi
      4-5-18 Bekkucho Imabari-shi,
      TEL: 0898-33-7170
      Hours: 11 AM – 11 PM
  • Izakaya
    • Rokusuke
      Koizumi 4-6-38, Imabari,
      tel: 0898-33-1090
      Hours: 18:00-2:00am
      Closed: Tuesday
    • Wataminchi わたみん家
      3-6-19 Tokiwa-cho Imabari-shi,
      tel: 0898-34-3071
      34.065805,132.999265 (google maps)
      Hours: 17:00-3:00am
    • Sennen no Utage 千年の宴 Live town Horai 1, 2F, 1-5-32, Kitahoraicho, Imabari-shi, Ehime, 794-0028
      tel:0898-32-1788
      Hours:Monday - Thursday & Sunday & Holiday 17:00 - 1:00, the following day; Friday & Saturday & Day before holiday 17:00 - 3:00, the following day
      Closed: n/a
    • Garage Live town Horai 1, 2F, 1-5-32, Kitahoraicho, Imabari-shi, Ehime, 794-0028
      tel:0898-32-1788
      Hours:Monday - Thursday & Sunday & Holiday 17:00 - 1:00, the following day; Friday & Saturday & Day before holiday 17:00 - 3:00, the following day
      Closed: n/a
  • Desserts / Café
    • Tosendou. 登泉堂 Kakigori (Japanese shaved ice) is very popular in summer, beware of queues. Known for their strawberry shaved ice.
      Matsumoto-cho 3-2-28,
      tel: 0898-22-5735
      34.062562,133.00282 (google maps)
      Hours: 9:00-19:00. Shaved ice served until 18:00
      Closed: Sundays
    • Gaka. 雅歌 Cute café w/ coffee, tea, sweets, and yummy lunch sets.
      1-1-7 Ebisu-cho Imabari-shi,
      tel: 0898-22-8788
      34.067612,133.004686 (google maps)
      Hours: 9:00-22:00
      Closed: Sundays
    • VERDURE 1-1-5 Misuka-cho Imabari-shi,
      tel: 0898-24-1566
      34.064797,133.008444(google maps)
      Hours: 9:00-23:00 (LO 22:30)
      Closed: Thursdays
    • Ichimishin オリエント珈琲一味真 1-1-5 Misuka-cho Imabari-shi,
      Really nice atmosphere!
      2-229-1 Kanebacho Imabari-shi,
      TEL: 0898-25-3939
      Hours: 8:30-22:30 (L.O. 22:00)
    • Barrel Coffee and Roasters Café and brewery!
      1-4-44 Kitatakashita-cho
      TEL: 0898-33-1017
      Hours: 11AM-11PM
      Closed: Mondays, and if Monday is a holiday the following Tuesday as well.

Shopping

Supermarkets

  • Fuji Grand. Indoor shopping mall with stores, restaurants, bowling, video games, 100yen shop, internet café, and six screen movie theatre
  • Aeon. Large supermarket (kind of like Wal-Mart); bottom floor is the grocery store with a large cosmetics section, a bicycle shop and a McDonald’s; 2nd floor has mainly men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel; 3rd floor has a hundred yen shop (daiso) and almost anything else you could possibly need (i.e. kitchen ware, bedding, furniture, books, toys, bikes, electronic appliances, school supplies, etc… and even seasonal goods, such as Valentine’s Day chocolates – a big deal in Japan)
  • A-Coop. Grocery store; prices for many items are more expensive than in other supermarkets, but MEAT is really cheap!!! There’s also a nice bakery inside that posts the time fresh bread will be available. Some of these around town have quiona (for you vegetarians out there).
  • Fuji Market (Koizumi). 1st floor grocery store; 2nd floor department store with a small 100 yen shop.

Malls and Shopping Arcades

  • World Plaza. The largest mall in Imabari; Large do-it-yourself hardware store, 100yen shop, restaurants.
  • Ginza. Covered shopping arcade; the original shopping district in Imabari. The busiest time is during the Onmaku festival, otherwise it’s relatively quiet.

Home Improvement

  • Daiki. Large do-it-yourself hardware store; daily goods; gardening tools
  • Nitori. Large furniture and home interiors shop. Has the funkiest selection of home ware. Best place to go for house essentials like bedding and curtains. Also reasonably priced furniture including beds and kotatsu (Japanese heated tables).
    1-9-41 Higashimuraminami, Imabari-shi, 799-1507.

Electronics

  • DeoDeo. A huge electronics store.
  • Yamada Denki. Merely a big electronics store

Books

  • Tsutaya. CD, DVD, and Video rental shop; also sells CDs, and typically features a small English music section.

Outdoor Goods

  • Elk. Outdoor adventure store; climbing, camping equipment, etc.

Clothing

  • Uniqlo. Clothing store for men, women, children, and babies… big chain, kind of like The Gap. It’s reasonably priced, and if you are any bigger than the average sized Japanese person, this may be one of the only safe bets for finding clothes that will fit you. Uniqlo is great because you can find clothes for work and play.



NamikataTown 波方町

Description

Namikata is a small town just outside of Imabari with roughly 9,700 residents. It is also home to the offices of numerous shipping companies.


Location / Access / Transport

  • By train: Local trains run to Imabari from Namikata 波方 and Hashihama 波止浜 stations.
  • By bus: Buses are available within Namikata and to Imabari.
  • By ferry: Ferries from Hashihama 波止浜 to the small islands of Koshima 小島 and Umashima 馬島 are available.
  • By bike: Cycling to central Imabari is about 30 minutes, walking is over an hour and the train can get you there within 10 minutes.
    The pedestrian/bike path onto the first of the Shimanami Kaido しまなみ海道 bridges starts in the Hashihama/Namikata area. You can walk/bike the bridge to Oshima for a small fee (200yen).

Shopping

Supermarkets

There are a few grocery stores in town but no places to really shop other than in Imabari City.

  • Dio - Discount grocery store located on Route 317 going to Imabari; next to the Komeri.
  • Near Kitago Junior High there is a butcher and a small supermarket. This supermarket closes at 8 p.m. but is good for fruit and veggies and is easily accessible.

Home Improvement

  • Komeri - Located in the town of Hashihama, which is right next to the town of Namikata; off Route 317 going toward Imabari City. It is right beside Dio.

Electronics

  • There is also a small electronics store and a newly opened drugstore (called Lady's) in the area.

Strip Malls

  • Happy Plaza - Located on your left as you go to Imabari (before Dio); it has a good liquor store with a decent range of foreign wines, a softbank store, a Chinese restaurant, a supermarket and a fried bento shop.

Dining Out

There are a few restaurants in town all mainly on the main streets around town.

  • Korean
    • Lihoen: A popular yakiniku (Korean BBQ) place. It serves up the best yakiniku in the area, although a little pricey. You can see the restaurant on the way to Namikata port if you are coming from the Matsuyama direction (close to Kitago Junior High School).
  • Japanese
    • There is also a yakitori izakaya (chicken kebab place) in the area that is popular with locals (can be a little intimidating but the owners are really very nice if a little curious) Oriento, an izakaya that has more of a German beer hall feel to it.
  • Italian
    • Austro: Brick oven Italian style pizza. Great lunch menus. The place gets busy at nights; best to make a reservation. Tel: 0890-35-2777

Tourism/Festivals/Highlights

  • Ozumi no Hana. A nice beach camping area at the tip of “mainland” Ehime overlooking the sea. It is also where the Marine festival is held, the Sunday right before Marine Day. There are various food vendors, a stage for performances with local acts, a Power Ranger-ish dude that comes to put on a show for the kids, kayaks for rent, and a mini boat cruise around the small nearby islands. Namikata is also very close to the Shimanami bridges that connect to the Seto Inland Sea islands and Onomichi in Hiroshima. You can rent bicycles at Sunrise Itoyama to cycle across the bridge, which is relatively inexpensive compared to driving across the bridges and paying the high toll fees.
  • Cultural activities. Held at Namikata BOE during the week (taiko, tea ceremony, flower arrangement) - in Japanese
  • Parks and Museums. There is a great kid’s park that’s fun for all ages! (roller slides and a flying fox). Near the sports park and Dojo. Above the park there is a nice path that will take you to a traditional house. Next to the house is a small museum that displays old agricultural tools and local historical oddities including human bones.
  • Umiyama jo (Namikata Castle). A tiny castle at the top of the same mountain, but the walk up is nice and the view is great (you can look at the sea and the first set of the bridges over to the islands).
  • Ozumi Beach Seaside Park. Why not BBQ or camp overnight? There is a beach festival held here every year – on the Sunday before Marine Day festival (kayaks, stage shows, catch fish, take a boat tour around the coast!)

Leisure

There are various activities offered in the town hall and the town gym during the week, e.g. soccer, volleyball, kendo, judo. Ask at the town hall for the schedule. There are small cafes in town, some with karaoke, but most of them close relatively early during the week. Oriento serves drinks until 12. Many locals though prefer to find a quiet spot often near the dry docks in the port and drink amongst themselves.



Omishima Island 大三島

Description

Omishima is the third stop along the Shimanami Kaido bridges from Imabari, and the northernmost Shimanami island in Ehime prefecture. Omishima’s total population is close to 8,000. It has two subdivisions: Omishima 大三島 and Kamiura 上浦 towns. Omishima is a sleepy, agricultural island but there is a surprising amount to see and do. We recommend a daytrip to visit the ancient Oyamazumi Shrine, the attached treasury museum (home to Japan’s largest collection of samurai armour) and the 4 stunning, modern and unexpected art museums on the southern coast.


Location / Access / Transport

  • By bus -
    • Shimanami Liner buses leave for Omishima from in front of Imabari Station 今治桟橋 around once every hour. They take around an hour, depending where on the island you are going to. They stop next to the interchange in Kamiura (just across from the Roadside Station which has a gift shop, café and bike rental point) and continue across the island to the end of the line in Omishima town.
    • To/From Matsuyama. 4 buses a day from Matsuyama.
      Schedule
  • By car - Accessible from Imabari and Honshu via the Shimanami Kaido bridges (しまなみ海道). Remember that you will have to pay tolls on the bridges.
  • By ferry - Ferries from Imabari Sanbashi 今治桟橋 to Munakata Port 宗方港 (1 hr – 1hr 30 mins).
    Schedule here.
  • Ferries from Sakari Port 盛港 to Tadanoumi 忠海港 Hiroshima prefecture.
    Sakari Port == Tadanoumi (Hiroshima)

Shopping

Supermarkets

  • Omishima town has two small supermarkets and a large DIY shop.
  • Kamiura town has some small grocery shops and a Circle K convenience store close to the interchange.
  • Good farmers’ market at the Roadside Station near the Interchange. Lots of locally-grown fruit and veg, as well as homemade jams, pickles and handicrafts.

Local Goods

  • There are several shops and places to buy little gifts and locally made items that you will not find in the bigger, more popular cities. Take advantage of these cultural treats when you’re out sightseeing and shopping for your friends and family back home.

Dining out

  • The island has several small restaurants offering ramen, curry, tempura and the like. You’ll find a few on the main road near Oyamazumi Shrine.
  • There’s also a nice café in the Roadside Station near the Interchange, which serves great sushi, ramen and other dishes using local produce. It’s a popular lunch stop for Shimanami Kaido bikers!
  • The biggest supermarket is The Life Shop, on the main road running through town (Route 317). Next door is a drug store with medicine and beauty products.

Leisure

  • Mare Gracia Spa .Located in the Itena district, Omishima town. The spa has views over the Inland Sea and has inside and outside salt-water onsens, with a sauna inside too. They also have a little pub to keep you well fed while you relax and enjoy the calm atmosphere.
    Open from 8:30am - 9pm during the week and 10 am - 8pm on the weekends.
  • Library. Small mall library in Miyaura community center/local government office with some films.
  • Kamiura Dome. Sports centre and onsen located in town, not far along the waterfront from the interchange. Facilities include a swimming pool, weight room, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, and soccer field. Weekly sports classes and occasional community events are held there as well.
  • Cycling! There is a rental place in the Roadside Station near the interchange. Follow the Shimanami Kaido bike route or go exploring on your own.

Tourism/Festivals/Highlights

  • Oyamazumi Jinja (Shrine) 大山祇神社 One of the oldest shrines in western Japan. Dedicated to the god of the mountains and the sea. Within the shrine grounds you will find the Oyamazumi Shrine Treasury Museum. This comprises three museums including the National Treasure Museum, Shiyoden Museum, and Omishima Marine Museum. The National Treasure Museum houses Japan’s largest collection of samurai armor and swords (80% of all Japan’s samurai National Treasures)!
    Open 8:30-17:00. Last entry to Treasury Museum at 16:30. Museum entry is 1000 yen. Entrance to the shrine grounds is free
    The Shimanami Liner buses stop outside the shrine at Oyamazumi jinja mae 大山祇神社前 There are also local buses from the main island bus stop by the interchange.
    Walkable from Miyaura Port 宮浦港
  • Omishima Art Museum 大三島美術館. A collection of paintings by mostly contemporary Japanese artists. Opposite Oyamazumi Shrine.
    9:00-17:00, closed Mondays
    500 yen
  • Tokoro Museum ところミュージアム. Tiny but gorgeous contemporary sculpture gallery with an open air front and stunning sea views.
    9:00-17:00, closed Mondays
    300 yen
  • Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture 伊東豊雄建築博物館. Small museum in a surreal, futuristic building dedicated to the work of an eminent Japanese architect.
    9:00-17:00 closed Mondays
    800 yen
  • Ken Iwata Mother and Child Museum 岩田健母と子のミュージアム. Open-air sculpture gallery featuring mostly, you guessed it, mothers and children.
    9:00-17:00, closed Mondays
    300 yen
  • A combined entrance ticket for these last three museums is available for 1000 yen.
    Best accessed by car as they are well off the beaten track. Local buses go from the interchange or Oyamazumi Jinja Mae stops, but times are sporadic so check before you go.
  • Tatara Shimanami Park. The Roadside Station near the interchange that offers a fantastic view of the Tatara Great Bridge. Souvenir shop, restaurant, mikan ice cream, small beach. A large dam in the mountains behind Oyamazumi Shrine. A small waterfall nearby with an atmospheric fertility shrine. Follow the signs from Oyamazumi Shrine.
  • Otaue-sai/Nukiho-sai. Rice planting ceremony at Oyamazumi Shrine. Dates change according the lunar calendar, but it’s usually mid-June. It originated as a Shinto ritual to pray for a bountiful harvest, and dates back at least as far as 1346. The ritual involves a sumo wrestler performing a fight against an imaginary rice spirit, and 16 young girls in white kimono with red sashes.
  • Autumn Festival. Omishima also has a huge Autumn Festival that includes the whole island! It begins at the Oyamazumi Shrine. The festival includes many villages toting their local Danjiri all throughout the island with singing, dancing and plenty of food.


Yoshiumi Island 吉海島

Description

About 3,000 on Yuge Island, about 8,000 with all five islands of Kamijima-chou combined.


Location / Access / Transport

  • Yuge is only a fifteen-minute ferry ride from Hiroshima prefecture. From mainland Honshu, a bus can be taken to the island of Innoshima, from which a fifteen-minute ferry can be taken from Habu port.
  • From mainland Shikoku, an hour ferry ride can be taken from Imabari port.
  • On the island, most places can be accessed on foot or by bike, although a free public bus drives around the island.!

Shopping

  • One small supermarket, one coop, and convenience store, a small stationary shop connected to the supermarket, a shop of locally-made food and crafts connected to the supermarket. Not much other shopping unless you like to dress like your grandmother

Dining Out

  • A couple hole-in-the-wall okonomiyaki joints, a yakiniku place, and a sushi place

Leisure

  • Lots of community sports, music, craft groups, free video rental from the public library, a saltwater spa, and nice beaches.
  • No cafes, the public library has a VERY limited amount of English-language books (just some children’s fairy tale books), the supermarket hardly has any foreign food. Your best bet is to go to the neighboring island of Innoshima part of Hiroshima prefecture.! Yuge is a great place to go to get away from it all, as there’s next to nothing but beaches, mountains, and good people here

Nightlife

  • Various hobby groups meet in the evenings. Shops close around 7pm.

Tourism / Festivals / Highlights

  • The fall festivals are not to be missed (especially ass sumo at the Shimoyuge fall festival). Good beaches, good hiking, and great bicycle rides around the island.

Accomodation

  • There’s a lodge located on a hill overlooking Matsubara beach that has a spa and a restaurant inside. There’s also a small guesthouse behind the community center/ board of education.

Health

  • There’s a health clinic in Kamiyuge, a dentist, and a hospital is a fifteen-minute ferry ride away in the port town, Habu, on neighboring Innoshima Island.


Oshima Island 大島

Description

Oshima is the first of the islands on the Shimanami Kaido bridge way (しまなみ海道) that connects Shikoku to Hiroshima Prefecture. The island has a population of about 7000, and is divided into two towns, Yoshiumi 吉海島 and Miyakubo 宮久保.


Location / Access / Transport

  • By car/bike - Oshima is accessible from Imabari by bicycle or car via the Shimanami Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge (the first bridge of the Shimanami Kaido Expressway).
    You can continue along the expressway all the way to Onomichi City 尾道 in Hiroshima Prefecture.
  • By bus - There are several local bus routes around the island, as well as a bus that stops in both Miyakubo and Yoshiumi on its way from Omishima to Imabari To/From Matsuyama. There are 4 buses that go into Imabari city a day.
  • By ferry - There is a ferry from the Imabari Sanbashi 今治桟橋 ferry port to Oshima’s Shitadami Port 下田水港 next to the bicycle rental station and Oshima’s most famous restaurant, Ikiiki Kan.

Tourism/Festivals/Highlights

Despite its small size, Oshima has many attractions and events throughout the year. Well-known festivals hosted on Oshima are the Rose Festival in May, The Pirate Festival in August, and during spring, many travelers come to Oshima for "Shima-Shikoku." Shima Shikoku. In imitation of the 88 Temple Pilgrimage around Shikoku, Oshima has 88 small temples around its coastline. Accomplishable in maybe two or three days, "Shima-Shikoku" is a good alternative for anyone without the time to travel around all of Shikoku.

  • Suigun Race (Dragon Boat Race). Held in July on Noshima Island – the location of what was once a medieval Japanese naval base. All the rowboats used in the race are built in accordance with the medieval design. People come from all over Japan to participate.
  • Yoshiumi Rose Park. The most famous destinations are the Yoshiumi Rose Park, well known in Imabari for its beautiful roses and rose flavored ice cream, and the Kirosan observatory, which boasts the best view of the first Shimanami Bridge.
  • Murakami Suigun Naval Museum. Dedicated to the Murakami Suigun Navy who controlled the sea above Shikoku in the Feudal Era. Visitors to the museum should also take the "Experience the Currents Boat Ride" located behind the restaurant in opposite the Museum. Here you can experience the fastest sea currents in Japan, which reach up to 2m in height.
    Museum 300 yen, boat ride 1000 yen
    Address: 1285 Miyakubo-cho, Oshima;
    Tel: 0897-74-1065
    Hours: 9am-5pm; Closed Mondays (and the following day if it’s a holiday) and December 29- January 3
  • Stone Museum. There is also a stone museum in Miyakubo to celebrate Oshima's granite production.
  • Japan Travel on Oshima
  • Ehime Tourist information on the Shimanami Islands

Shopping

Supermarkets

  • The biggest supermarket is The Life Shop, on the main road running through town (Route 317). Next door is a drug store with medicine and beauty products.

Convenience store (Konbini)

  • Lawson’s and Circle K are just up the road from The Life Shop.

Dining Out

Oshima has many fantastic and cheap family-run restaurants. There is a small cafe at the Rose Park (Bara Koen), which serves set lunches. There are also two or three restaurants along the 317, serving various Japanese fare. Oshima`s most famous restaurant is Ikiiki Kan (near Shitadami Port). You handpick your own live seafood, and then grill it yourself on a traditional style portable grill at your table outside.


Leisure

  • Lots of community sports, music, craft groups, free video rental from the public library, a saltwater spa, and nice beaches.
  • No cafes, the public library has a VERY limited amount of English-language books (just some children’s fairy tale books), the supermarket hardly has any foreign food. Your best bet is to go to the neighboring island of Innoshima part of Hiroshima prefecture.! Yuge is a great place to go to get away from it all, as there’s next to nothing but beaches, mountains, and good people here
  • Most leisure activities are located in Imabari, but be sure to check out: Yoshiumi. Lookout point with fantastic views.
  • Bara Koen (Rose Park). Quite beautiful when in full bloom and a big tourist stopping point.

Nightlife

  • Various hobby groups meet in the evenings. Shops close around 7pm.

Health

  • There is a small hospital/doctor’s office near the elementary school that is only open in the mornings and a hospital is a fifteen-minute ferry ride away in the port town, Habu, on neighboring Innoshima Island.
  • There are multiple other specialised clinics and dentists on the island.


Accomodation

  • There’s a lodge located on a hill overlooking Matsubara beach that has a spa and a restaurant inside. There’s also a small guesthouse behind the community center/ board of education.