Crossing waters to Himakajima

Let yourself flourish on Aichi’s relaxing islands.


Wim Hof and jump in the ever inviting ocean. Well, it’s not that chilly, but fall to winter does require Sunset Beach to be preserved by a green cover. If this were summer we’d likely witness dolphins playing. Weekends still bring crowds regardless, especially now, it’s fugu season although octopus and shirasu are island favorites.

Arrival at either the West or East ports greets with cheery faces and specialty shops selling local treats. Stroll a bit, let your ears bath in a distinct dialect that, like the waters in the bay, sees cultural styles and speaking ways ebb with the tides. You’ve entered the playful world of Himakajima. Amidst different roles over the centuries, amazing seafood has remained a keystone to the community. Small fish and shellfish thrive in the aquatic rocks that form this island. The main trades are catching the seafood and preparing the catch for consumption. Today two areas secure distinct vessels at the ready. Long ago shark was the main catch. Now there are ships to free dive for crabs and clams, and those for catching fish, particularly shirasu. Usually, for fishing, three ships set out with five to seven fishermen aboard. Two ships work the nets together while the third ices and prepares the catch.

Unquestionably the octopus is the island mascot. Top-ranked as the tastiest in Japan, here octopuses can be caught and eaten year-round. You can’t miss octopi drying on lines or netted cages, decorating manhole covers, tako-manju, the landmark Nisshi statue and even the police station decorated to resemble one. Visit one of the many local shops for a meal, attempt to catch your own, or bring back edible souvenirs of the local ocean delicacies.

Visit www.himaka.net for more info.


  • GET THERE From the peninsula there are two ports, Morozaki Port Ferry Terminal and Kowa Port. Check port schedule to find the time best for you.


  • DON’T MISS    Shinojima has an epic sunset looking out into Mikawa Bay from an island hillside. Gaze into Mikawa Bay while relaxing on an almost private beach. Himakajima hilltop’s ‘Heidi’s Swing’ looking out to sea is an Instagramers dream. On both islands, taste the freshest torafugu, shirasu, tako and other ocean delicacies home to this region.


  • BRING HOME   Share some of the islands with others. Stock up on yakinori(local roasted seaweed), himono(dried seafood), ebi senbei(prawn crackers), craft beer, ichigo-daifuku(strawberry mochi cake), and of course tako-manju(cakes shaped like Himakajima’s mascot).



Suzuen Fish Market

Araihama-7 Himakajima, Minamichita, Chita District, Aichi 470-3504, Japan


Old-time fishmongers are on hand to help you select some of the fresh local catch for your beach BBQ. They have a vast selection of sea breams, big clams, ise ebi, flounder, various shellfish and the perilous fugu.





Odochi-25 Himakajima, Minamichita, Chita Destrict, Aichi 470-3504, Japan


WEB : marukou-himaka.co.jp/barca_food/

Expect chill island vibes here. Barca brings a sleek Mediterranean
feel just steps from the high-speed boat landing at Higashi Port.
Order up a regional sake and shake up your taste buds. You can
ask for recommendations, but seeing as this island is famous for
octopus, fugu and shirasu, we say put that in your mouth. Lean
traditional, order a shirasu don, tako-meshi octopus rice or try their
bold fusion of local ingredients soaked in olive oil and served in a
sizzling cast-iron skillet. Did we mention their killer sambal?




Araihama-40 Himakajima, Minamichita, Chita District, Aichi 470-3504, Japan


WEB : taikairou.jp

This centrally located ryokan is a two-minute walk from the pier
through numerous popular shops. Score one of Taikairou’s Sunset
Beach facing rooms, preferably traditional Japanese style with
tatami mats. There also two Western-style rooms if you prefer.
Taste the blessings of Himakajima here with their kaiseki meals of
locally sourced seafood. No visit to a Japanese ryokan is complete
without taking full advantage of their depth of services. Here they
have an epic top floor public bath. How often can you soak in the
sunset while literally bathing?