Tatsukushi and Minokoshi Coast, weird rocks and coral sea. 竜串
March 27th. Monday
Ohtsuki michi no eki and Kashiwa Jima
Michi no eki Ohtsuki comes alive in the morning. The market is opening, and people seem to be seeking information from the appropriate office.
The facilities are small but functional.
Leaving Ohtsuki, we make for Kashiwa Jima. This turns out to be a pleasant enough drive, but I noted nothing of particular interest in Kashiwa Jima itself. It is a spot popular with divers because of very clear water, (water so clear boats appear to be floating in the air), and variety of fish. There are clearly a number of dive tour boats in the harbour plus dive school B and B places.
Not being divers, we soon exhaust the possibilities of this particular headland and set off for Tatsukushi coast.
Tatsukushi Coast 竜串海岸
The Tatsukushi area has an aquarium, campsite, hotel and gallery, plus an information centre ‘Uminowa’. Here we gather the information about Minokoshi Kaigan(coast) and collect a discount voucher giving us 10% off a glass bottomed boat trip.
Then we drive further down the Tatsukushi coast to Otake-Kotake. This spot is notable for strange rock formations. After buying tickets, at a 10% discount, to Minokoshi Kaigan, we explore a rocky area before getting on the boat.
＊Glass bottomed boat to Minokoshi Kaigan ; 2000 yen / adult, return
The boat to Minokoshi Kaigan(coast) 見残し海岸
Minokoshi Kaigan is so named, (it means place you wanted to see) because the famous monk Kukai, to his disappointment, was unable to take the trip. Kukai is the monk that the Henro trail around Shikoku commemorates.
But, back to glass bottomed boats. This is the kind of thing we do not normally do, so these rare occasions are exciting. The trip is short, but it takes about 20 minutes on the outward journey as the boat circles about and stops over the coral areas. This enables everyone aboard to exclaim “Sugoi” a lot. In fairness, it was very interesting. All manner of tropical fish, some very large, some of stunning colours. There are also some very large coral formations.
Some people take the trip for the fishy views alone, but we are planning to walk along the unusual rock formations on the other side.
These turn out to be well worth visiting. Rocks like honeycomb, residual fossils, fantastic shapes and a clear, clear sea.
The walk along the rocky shore and back takes about an hour and a half. There is a circular route returning more inland which may take longer. We stuck to the coast and arrived back at the small jetty as the boat arrived. Lucky timing.
It is an easy walk, occasionally a bit of a scramble over rocks in places where the regular path has eroded. This is a tourist attraction I can confidently recommend.
Being a bit behind schedule, we take the highway for a while before following Route 194 along the Niyodo river to Musasabi no sato michi no eki for the night.
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.