In ancient times Honjima Island was referred to as Shiwaku and part of an archipelago of the same name. This fairly large piece of land in the Seto Inland Sea is just a few kilometers off the coast of Marugame City and is under the administration of that municipality. Honjima was a port of call for seafarers and played an important role in the maritime history of the region.The former town hall on the island now serves as an archive and is open to the public.
It is sometimes easy to forget that Japan is an archipelago, which means a group of many islands. One of the reasons for this is that the four main islands dwarf the other islands in the chain. If you put the main islands aside for a moment, you will be introduced to a myriad of worlds full of unique cultures. With this in mind, it is a lot easier to appreciate the splendor of islands like Honjima with their relatively small populations.
Honjima was a place where merchants thrived, leaving behind a brilliant townscape filled with the homes that profit provided. Today, many of these former residences are opened to the public and offer a glimpse into a marvelous era.
Honjima Island has a functioning elementary and junior high school, which means that there are annual events that involve young people and revolve around the school year. One such event is the My Pace Marathon which starts from the junior high school annually in early spring. Take a walking tour of Honjima Island and enjoy the living maritime culture.
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