Floating on Mikawawan Bay of Aichi-Prefecture is an isolated island “Sakushima Island”.
Artworks are scattered everywhere around of inside of the island, and there are seen many people with a map on a hand who looking for photogenic spots.
Also, the island is famous as an island where you can see many cats.
As it was the shooting location of the movie that went to the public in February 2019 with a theme of cats, the isolated island, Sakushima Island, gathers attention more and more.
Let’s go for leisurely strolling!
What kind of island is “Sakushima Island”, an isolated island of Aichi?
Located in Nishio-City, Aichi-Prefecture, Sakushima Island is an isolated island with a circumference of about 11.8 meters.
With “Mikawa Sakushima ArtPlan 21”, the project of revitalization of an island, has begun since 2001, it has become that artworks of artists have been exhibited everywhere around the island.
When landscapes of the island and artworks are combined, it becomes outstandingly perfect for photo shooting!
Nowadays, there are many people seen visiting with a camera in hands targeting to shoot perfect photos for SNS.
Usually WIFI is not available in isolated islands or isolated places, even at hotels or restaurants.
So, portble wifi is recommended.
A boat riding is about 20 minutes!
To Sakushima Island, you go riding on a high-speed boat from Isshikiko Port that is located in Nishio-City.
From Isshikiko Port, you will arrive at Sakushima Nishiko Port in about 20 minutes.
From Nagoya station to Isshikiko Port, it is a general way to go that you take Meitetsu and get off at “Nishio” station and transfer to a bus and get off at “Isshiki Sakana Hiroba – Sakushima boat Boarding”, where Isshikiko is located at.
It is an about 80-minute way to go in total.
If going by car, you can park a car in free parking lots for about 1,000 cars at Isshikiko Port.
The numbers of the high-speed boat going from Isshikiko Port to Sakushima Island are 7 boats per day, and returning boats are also 7 per day.
As the last bus returning from “Sakana Hiroba” to Nishio station leaves at 3:35 PM, please be careful not to miss it when you go back.
Here is the timetable of ferry and bus which I translated from Japanese site.
Boat fare (one way):
Adults (Junior high school students and over): Yen 820
Elementary school students: Yen 410
* One pre-school child is free per one adult.
* Information is as of July 2019.
Details are open to the public at the official page of Sakushima Island.
At the boat boarding of Issikiko Port, as there is placed “Sakushima Map for experience”, it is convenient to get the one.
It shows artwork spots that are located more than 20 on the island, and also it explains easy-to-understand with illustrations the information, including a pavement road and an unpaved road.
Getting off at Nishiko Port, let’s start strolling Sakushima
The boat going to Sakushima Island goes to Nishiko(west) Port first, and then go toward Higashiko(west) Port.
Although two ports are apart just only about 1 kilometer as the straight line distance, the island is divided into two communities since the past, so it is efficient that you get off the one port and start strolling toward the other port.
This time, We took the route to start from Nishiko Port and to take a return boat at Higashiko Port.
As soon as you got off the boat at Nishiko Port, you will encountere an artwork!
It is “Welcome to Sakushima Island Chi Fuku Kai Enman” by Toru Matsuoka.
A face cutout panel that you often see in tourist locations is also wonderful in Sakushima Island because it collaborates with an art!
“Chi Fuku Kai Enman” that is the title of the artwork is taken from words that are chanted during “Youkakou Matsuri Festival”, which is held on January 8th every year in Sakushima Island.
And illustrations that are related to the island, such as Sakushima Jizo (stone statue), Yamatoya Kannon, and an octopus, are drawn.
The face cutout panel can be arranged according to the numbers of people whom you shoot photos!
Each part of the face cutouts can be opened and closed.
Reading explanatory on the backside, please try using for memorial shooting.
To go around efficiently, a rental bicycle is convenient
It takes about a 30-minute walk from Nishiko Port to Higashiko Port.
It is still good to walk around leisurely, but for those who care about the time for a returning boat, and for those who wish to see around well artworks efficiently, it is better to rent a rental bicycle.
This time, We have rented a bicycle at “Rent-a-cycle Yu-Yu” that is located the closest to Nishiko Port.
There are stores at both Nishiko Port and Higashiko Port, and it is possible to return it to the other side than the store that you rented from.
In that case, it is necessary to confirm by telephone when you make a reservation, so please don’t forget it.
Address: Nishiko Port: Sakushima Nangasaki, Isshiki-Town, Nishio-City, Aichi-Prefecture
Higashiko Port: Sakushima Nakayashiki 58, Isshiki-Town, Nishio-City, Aichi-Prefecture
Telephone number: 0563-79-1432
Opening hours: Nishiko Port: From 8 AM to 5 PM
Higashiko Port: From 9 AM to 5 PM
Fee: Yen 500 for two hours, Yen 800 for three hours, Yen 1,000 for one day
Holiday: Irregularly closed
Let’s start strolling from the west community of the island
Let’s get a key of secret at “Benten Salon”, the base of Sakushima art
After renting a bicycle, let’s go toward “Benten Salon” is located in a place right from Nishiko Port.
It is a cultural facility that is an old house repaired and there is exhibiting a history of the island, and there are held workshops.
It is a place where is the base of the revitalization of an island by art.
As there also is free service for cold tea, it is a happy spot for tourists who move around on the island on a hot day.
Local people stay there by turns, so if you have anything to ask, they will teach you.
We have found an art that emits a mysterious atmosphere even inside of Benten Salon.
It is said that it is Kannon of the world of imagination, who watches over children.
Address: Sakushima Nishigawa 41, Isshiki-Town, Nishio-City, Aichi-Prefecture
Telephone number : 0563-78-2001
Opening hours: From 9 AM to 5 PM
Holiday: Every Monday (If holiday, the first weekday after the holidays.)
* Opens every day in July and August.
Lurking in the black wall community inherent to Sakushima Island is “Oba Residence”
When you proceed a slope that is located at the south side of Benten Salon, you will enter to narrow alleys where are lined up folk houses of the black wall that is the scenery inherent to Sakushima Island.
As it is a narrow path, let’s stroll getting off of a bicycle and while pushing it.
The scenery also called as “Black pearl of Mikawawan Bay” is also selected as one of “100 sites of the treasure of an island” (selected by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in 2009).
The black color with a bit glossy is characteristic.
A component called coal tar that is painted on the bottom of a ship to prevent salt damage is applied also to a house.
It is the landscape only in Sakushima Island where was once flourished in marine transportation.
And, one house of especially old that is located among the black wall community is “Oba Residence” that you borrowed the key earlier.
A whole folk house that is about 100 years since built and that is more than 50 years since becoming a vacant house has been reborn an artwork by Goro Hirata, a writer.
At the edge of the eaves, there are a stone-paved garden and a white space painted with plaster, and the contrast to the black wall is very distinctive.
Using the key, let’s enter inside.
The inside is divided into the earth floor and four rooms.
The far end room is the white room that became the artwork, which painted with plaster all on walls, ceiling, and a floor.
On the other hand, on the earth floor, there remains, as it was, a stove that was used at that time, and it is a space with reduced light.
It is the place where you can enjoy the world of art that contrast is beautiful between light and shadow, and black and white.
Ohirune House, a popular artwork of Sakushima Island
After leaving from Oba Residence, let’s go toward Shigakekaigan Beach, where is Ohirune House (a house for napping) located.
In the black wall community, as narrow alleys are complicated like a labyrinth, please check the location.
Coming out from the community, you reach a beach, and there “Ohirune House (a house for napping)” appears.
As it is the number one popular photo shooting spot in Sakushima Island, there are so many people that there is a line on weekends!
Waiting for your turn, let’s take photos swiftly.
It is a unique art created by Yuki Minamikawa, based on a concept as “it should be a good feeling if you take a nap nearby the sea“.
There are nine rooms like a black box with a motif of the black wall community.
If you lie sprawled inside of the box, the sea of Sakushima Island becomes seeing art as if cut out with a picture frame!
When you entered the box, please don’t forget also to shoot photos.
It is an artwork indeed as expected, and it is mysterious that wherever you enter and take a photo the photo becomes wonderful.
It made us convinced of the number one popular, and it was the perfect spot for SNS.
Have a break at “Sakushima Cafe Ulu” for photo shooting
On Sakushima Island, there open fashionable cafes one after another.
What We found on the way continuing to “Ohirune House (a house for napping)” is “Sakushima Cafe Ulu“.
It is a shop opened in May 2019, and in front of the shop, there is a wall art of about eight meters, drawn by Colette Miller, who is the leading person of wings painting art.
There are menus only that you can enjoy and that are glamorous looks, including “Tansan Soda (Yen 700)” that is served in a champagne glass and “Crazy Shake (Yen 1,400)” that topped with cotton candy and candies. How about you try taking a photo raising a drink in front of the wings painting?
Address: Sakushima Higashigawa 1, Isshiki-Town, Nishio-City, Aichi-Prefecture
Telephone number: 0563-79-1011
Opening hours: From 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Holiday: Rainy days
Many kitties on Sakushima Island where became a shooting location of a cat movie
Sakushima Island is also famous as “Nekoshima (Cat Island)”.
It is known as a shooting location of the movie that went to the public in February 2019 with a theme of cats.
It is said that the movie was shot on the west side of the island, and there is some appearances of cats here and there in the black wall community.
The landscape of a walking cat in a narrow alley makes you relaxed with a reminiscence of the good old days of Japan.
You can hardly see the appearance of cats during the day time in the hot summer, but when it gets cooler in the evening, there appears cute appearance of cats from out of nowhere.
This is Hana-chan, a mascot cat of “Rent-a-cycle Yu-Yu”.
She is usually around near the shop of Higashiko Port side, and when you go there to return a bicycle, she comes out before a shop master does.
When we moved the lens toward her, she ran and came near.
Cats, including stray cats, on the island are friendly with people, so it is no doubt that you will be healed!
Let’s move from the west to the east of the island through the Flower Road!
When you fully enjoyed the west side of the island, let’s move to the east side.
Connecting east to west of Sakushima Island is a road of common name as “Flower Road”.
“Kleingarten welcome space” created by Toru Matsuoka is a placemark of the start point.
There is no stoplight on Sakushima Island, but as it is a road of the most traffic, let’s go forward carefully.
What you can see as soon as you go forward on the Flower Road is a hut of Non and Billy, the goat, who are idols of Sakushima Island.
The appearance of always slowly eating grass makes you very healed.
After finished greeting with the two goats, let’s proceed farther to the east.
From the middle of the way, it becomes the road facing the sea!
The landscape that continues the sea and a breakwater seems a scene from a teen romance drama.
When viewing the glittering beautiful landscape, you will feel the time of cycling of about one kilometer going to the east side like the blink of an eye.
“Kamome no Tyuusyajo (Parking of seagulls)” welcomes you
The first art of the east side community is “Kamome no Tyuusyajo (Parking of seagulls)” created by Takahito Kimura.
Seagulls are lined up in a row on the stone embankment, and it is an interesting point that the direction of bodies changes according to the direction of the wind. Here is also very popular as a shooting spot.
For residents of Sakushima Island who live together with the sea, the wind is an important thing to know the status of the sea.
By placing, as an art, weathercock, which is originally a device to know the wind direction, not to mention though about its cuteness, it is as if rediscovering the landscape of the island.
Having cool-down and lunch at “Sakushima Sakucafe aohana”
The trip going around on Sakushima Island comes to the middle stage, it gets gradually around the time when you become hungry.
How about taking a short break around here?
At “Sakushima Sakucafe aohana“, located in a place right from “Kamome no Tyuusyajo (Parking of seagulls)”, you can have lunch that is perfect for photo shooting, and that used shaved ice of the shop’s signature.
The picture shows “Hiyashi Chuka (a cold Japanese dish with Chinese noodles and various toppings)” and “Hiyashi Bukkake Soba (cold soba with broth poured over it)” that you eat with mixing shaved ice (Yen 1,400 each).
Topped ice is sliced high dense block ice in a high-speed by a high-class ice shaving machine “Hatsuyuki”, and is a fluffy texture.
It matches well with noodles and is very easy to eat.
It is also a happy point that it is topped with abundant homemade vegetables and is served with a drink.
Another recommended menu of this shop is a cute dessert shaved ice.
The picture shows “Sakushima Kitty shaved ice (Yen 1,300)”, made as a screening commemoration of the cat movie that was shot on Sakushima Island.
It is the dessert dish that is a taste of tea with milk (mixed black tea with abundant condensed milk), and that you can enjoy a firm flavor while refreshing.
Address: Sakushima Maeda 45, Isshiki-Town, Nishio-City, Aichi-Prefecture
Telephone number: 080-4277-5543
Opening hours: From 9:30 AM to 6 PM
Holiday: From December 1 through the end of February
White is beautiful in the blue sky! “East House”
After fully enjoyed delicious shaved ice, let’s go finding arts on the east side.
The first is the popular work “East House”, created by Yuki Minamikawa.
Located in the middle of the pier of Higashiko Port, it is a large work of about 60 meters of total length.
You can enter azumaya (a cottage) of both ends and take a break, and also can climb on top and view the sea.
Everyone can spend time slowly each in one’s way.
The contrast of pure white walls and the blue sky is also outstanding!
As from whichever angles you shoot the photos are good, let’s try shooting various angles.
A tunnel of woods, “the secret base of Sakushima Island/ Apollo” appears
The other popular work on the east side is “the secret base of Sakushima Island/ Apollo”.
It is near Hirako kofun gun (Hirako old tombs clusters ) that is located in the south-east of the island, and let’s go toward there by walk after parking a bicycle around a forked road right before crossing to Bentenjima Island.
A road that is a tunnel of woods seems fantastic and as if you wander into the world of a fairy tale!
The work appears in a spacious place. It was created by Ben Nagaoka and Masahiro Tanaka with an image of a landing on the moon of Apollo 11. You go enter to so narrow entrance that is enough only for entering one person.
Inside there is also some bench, and there is a relaxed space.
From the square window, there spread the beautiful sea that can be overviewed till Atsumi Hanto Peninsula.
In a quiet space like a secret base as the title tells, please try being relaxed while hearing the sound of waves slowly.
Good for love relationship!? Energy vortex on the east side of Sakushima Island
On Sakushima Island, there are two places also of an energy vortex that are said that are effective to love relationship.
As each place is located near “the secret base of Sakushima Island/ Apollo”, please, by all means, try stopping by.
Firstly, let’s go toward a “purple sandy beach” located in Niiyakaigan Beach.
Although it is an unnoticeable place that exists ahead of a narrow road where woods-growing thickly that you proceed, there are girl’s appearances here and there when you reach the beach.
What visitors stare is purple sands.
Because shells of a mussel that lived here in the past were smashed into tiny pieces and mixed with sands, it is said that it became a faint purple color.
Please take photos for sure the colored romantic beach.
The next is that let’s go toward Tsutsushima Island, which is located opposite side across “the secret base of Sakushima Island/ Apollo” from a purple sandy beach.
It is a small island and you can go crossing by walk.
What should gather attention on Tsutsushima Island is “the legendary stone that wishes come true”.
In the past, a girl who brought home a beautiful stone from Tsutsushima Island was affected by a high fever of unknown origin.
There is a legend that, while groaning, the girl was told as “put the stone back” by a goddess and as soon as she returned the stone she recovered.
From this legend, for fulfillment of love relationship, prayer for success in exam, and good commerce, it becomes said that if you dedicate “wish stone” that was created and prayed by the hands of the island’s residents, your prayer will be answered (Yen 300 as votive offering).
Please try making a prayer by sharing the luck of the legend by all means.
For return, let’s ride on a boat from Higashiko Port!
If you transfer to a bus, the last boat will leave at 2:50 PM.
Returning to the Sakushima Island side from Tsutsushima Island, when you run a bicycle for about five minutes to the direction of north, you will reach Higashiko Port that is the other gateway of the island.
After returning a rental bicycle, let’s ride on a return boat.
In case of a bus, it is necessary to take a boat that leaves at 2:50 PM from Higashiko Port to match to transfer.
When you hear about the boat of before 3 PM, you may feel short hours of stay, but the island is compact.
As introduced this time, We could go around enough in a day-trip from the west to the east of the island.
Refreshed on the island where continue the beautiful landscape, let’s go for a return journey with many beautiful photos for souvenirs!
On Sakushima Island, there are still many more wonderful cafes and art spots that we could not introduce this time scattered.
While getting the island wind on the island where are some unusual feelings, please try strolling with a feeling of exploration.
After you visited, it is no doubt that you become wishing proud at SNS of the perfect photos of arts and cats that are beautiful wherever you shoot!