May's Fukuoka City Guide

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Himejima Island
Type: Islands | Short Trips  (Qjmp: 7026)


Kyushu's Islands: In summer Himejima is very attractive - the sea is very blue, the island very green, the colours as intense as a Provence village. by Nick May

In summer Himejima is very attractive - the sea is very blue, the island very green, the colours as intense as a Provence village.

It is quite small and there is path around that seems to get extended a little more each year but hasn't quite encompassed it completely. The population of 200 is mainly engaged in fishing for squid.

The harbour is tiny but very purposeful, full of boats and bustle. In late afternoon it is packed with youngish working people setting bait on long lines or mending nets.

The shrine is, frankly, the ugliest I have seen in 11 years in Japan. It DOES give a good view though, so it is worth climbing up to.

It's is the houses and the tiny winding streets, with the gardens and vegetation that give this tiny island such charm. Astonishingly for an island this size, after 5pm it was full of kids. There is a new school on the island and active efforts are clearly being made to keep people there and make the island viable.

There IS a tiny "minshuku" but there isn't really any reason to stay. The shore is rocky and not good for swimming, but the water is very clean and you could jump off the harbour wall if so inclined. Food is available from the store, but there are no restaurants as such.

Things to do. Wander through the little picturesque streets to the Botoni memorial, gawp in the fishing harbour, or laze in the sun. If you take a picnic, you will fill 3 hours or so, if not, an hour is fine.

After heavy rain DO beware of snakes - on a previous trip I met one that was the diameter of my forearm and a length suggesting it had been a particularly egregious litigation lawyer in a previous life...





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First published Wed Oct 01, 2003
    Updated Wed Oct 01, 2003
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