Journey to God Island


Today was a holiday in Japan. After yesterday’s bike rides and the mountain climb (I’ll tell you about that later) I was pretty beat. Probably it would have been good to rest at home and study for my kanji tests at the end of the month; however, choosing the best option is no always my forte. Friends in the photographic society had asked if I was interested in seeing Toushijima (答志島) with them.

My dictionary explained that it is a flat island with scarce resources at the mouth of Ise Bay (伊勢湾口). It sounded interesting so I agreed, but I wasn’t sure if this was a photographic trip or a drinking trip or something else. Nose-san picked me up at 9:30am and we headed to the rendevous point. She could tell me there would probably be no more than seven people. The last time they scooped me up, I ended up at a photo shoot with more than a hundred people, so it was nice to know it would be a small gathering. She could provide no further details.

Tanabe-sensei and Tobi-chan joined us, making four, and we headed out in Nose-san’s car, but she relinquished the wheel. No further details were forthcoming, but we got clues along the way. A stop at the bait shop let us know we were probably riding in Tanabe-sensei’s boat. A stop for beer and tea at the convenience store let us know that there would be some drinking. Being members of a photographic society they always carry cameras, but the fact that our instructor was only carrying a pocket-sized digital tipped me off that this was not an official photoshoot.

Making a small mistake in grammar can have huge ramifications. Approaching Toushijima, I was struck by how mountainous it was. Checking my dictionary later I found it was described as an island that is scarce in flat land and natural resources.

We had fun walking around the “streets” of the town. Typically I could reach the houses on both sides and most people were on scooters or on foot. I chatted with the kids and we got a few good pictures. Later we entered the biggest restaurant, which contained a table for eight and four loose chairs. We joined the three men who were already eating at the table and enjoyed some very tasty seafood.

Once lunch had settled we boarded the boat and headed to Kamijima (神島), which means God Island; a small island also in the mouth of Ise Bay. In this view you can see how close it is to the eastern side of the bay which is in Shizuoka Prefecture (静岡県), also you might be able to spot Tsu (津) halfway up the west side of the bay. If people living on Kamijima want to go to Shizuoka, they have to take a boat to Toba (鳥羽) on the west side of the bay and catch a ferry from Toba which goes right by their island; two one hour boat rides. Probably most of them own their own boat or go with a neighbor.

On the return trip we stopped near Toba to do a little fishing. For bait we would stuff tiny shrimp into a weighted basket at the end of the line and hook nightcrawlers onto three hooks on the line. Nose-san, who I think had no fishing experience, caught the bulk of the fish; hooking several kisu (鱚). I like telling people that I want some kisu, because it sounds almost like “I want a kiss.” We had dinner at another restaurant in Toba and got home early enough for me to collapse into slumber around 9 or 10pm.


One Response to “Journey to God Island”

  1. Un-Fishing « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] headed out. We were setting up trolling gear on the ride to Kamishima (神島), which translates as God Island (but my loyal readers know that […]

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