男木島の観光 – Ogi Island Tourism

Takamatsu is located along the Seto Inland Sea and boasts an assortment of islands and ferries to transport tourists and island-dwelling locals.  There is a dwindling populace who still call these islands home, but thanks to such efforts as the Setouchi Art Triennale plenty of tourists are still making their way over to these islands for their artwork and natural beauty.  I’ve spent at least a little time on most of the nearby islands, but so far I had yet to see either Ogi or Megi Islands.  Soeng and I chose Ogi to spend an afternoon at.

We departed from Takamatsu in the afternoon and arrived about a half hour later.  We each rented a bike to help shrink the island a bit and increase our chances of getting it all in before the gray skies gave way to rain.  Our rental happened at the tourist hub of the island, noteworthy for the futuristic roof panel comprised of characters of six different languages.

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Our bikes were equipped with small electric motors that kicked in automatically on the hills and when starting from a standstill.  It wasn’t doing all the work, but it was both noticeable and appreciated.  After winding a couple of kilometers along a very narrow road we passed by a couple of the island’s 200 residents and soon arrived at a granite lighthouse.  There is a museum there but it was closed, though as a Michigan guy I know a thing or two about lighthouses.  This location was used as a scene in some movie I’ll probably never see and also a book I’ll most certainly never read.  Still though, sitting here on the ocean it looked nice against the matte sky and nearby islands.

Ogi-Lighthouse-1

For the next stop, we had to backtrack a bit and then walk along a very overgrown path.  As the leader, I took a few spiderwebs to the face but the prize at the end of the hike was a small cave.  The sight of it wasn’t overly impressive, but there is a Japanese legend called Momotaro where a boy born of a peach is said to have defeated some monsters in a cave on an island nearby to Okayama.  Well, this small cave is believed to be that one, and while not overly exciting it did bring me closer to Japanese folklore.  Soeng wasn’t overly impressed with the trek nor the cave.

It was OK at best

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On the walk back to our super bikes, the rain started to patter down through the leaves so we hurried just a bit towards our third and final stop of the day.  Back near the port we parked our bikes and climbed up into the hillside.  All of the houses on this island were connected with narrow roads completely impassable by car.  Many of them are still inhabited and walking through was pretty cool.  The view from the top of all the staggered roofs was rather remarkable as well.

I forgot my camera this day, but Google Image Search gave me this

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The Toyotamahime Shrine located at the top was nothing much to look at, but it has a long history that even includes mention within the 1300 year old Kojiki.  Supposedly, the emperor’s lineage derives from the princess that this was built for.  I rang the bell and then we moved back down the hill to return the bikes.  As the rain picked up, we waited inside that trippy building for ferry to show up and soon we were on our way back to Takamatsu.  It was a nice afternoon outing, and hopefully I can get get myself over to Megijima to complete my Takamatsu island collection.

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