Part of Shimane Prefecture, the Oki Islands are made up of the main islands of Dogo, Nishinoshima, Nakanoshima and Chiburijima, as well as about a dozen uninhabited islands. You can reach the largest island, Dogo, by fast ferry in 1 hour and 10 minutes or by regular ferry in 2 ½ hours. The archipelago is designated as a UNESCO Geopark because of its rare geological features and the superb maintenance the natural environment.
Dogo Island (Okinoshima Town) is about eighty kilometers from the Shimane mainland and is rich in natural beauty as well as historic sites.
The central shrine of the archipelago, Tamakashu-no-mikoto is the site of the Gorei-furyu, where the ceremonial horses of the gods are marched to the entrance of the shrine annually on June 5th. This is a must-see event.
Another attraction of the shrine is the nearly 2000 year old Japanese cedar that seems to transmit the sacred power of the natural world.
MIzuwakasu Shrine is the site of several unique cultural events. Horseback archery takes place here and if you happen to be around during the replacement of the shrine’s roof, you might be lucky enough to witness a local traditional form of sumo wrestling.
Kyodo-kan Museum of Local Archaeology and Folklore
This Meiji era former town hall is a brilliant reminder of the dramatic changes that occurred throughout Japan as the nation looked to modernize.
Nishinoshima Island (Nishinoshima Town)
The oldest in the archipelago, Takuhi Shrine is built against an extinct volcano and is listed nationally as a culturally significant structure.
Nishinoshima Furusato-kan Museum
In order to get acquainted with the island of Nishinoshima, the first place that you should visit is the NIshinoshima Furusato-kan Museum. You can walk there from Beppu Port in five minutes.
Nakanoshima Island (Ama Town)
A former emperor who was exiled to the archipelago over 700 years ago is enshrined in this impressive complex.
Chiburijima Island (Chibu Village)
Kawai Water Spring
Leave your water bottle empty so you can fill it up at this free public water spring that is watched over by bodhisattvas.
Access: Take the Super Yakumo Express train from JR Okayama Station to JR Sakaiminato Station. Walk to the Sakaiminato Ferry Terminal. Take the fast ferry or the regular ferry to Saigo Port in Okinomshima Town or Kurii Port in Chibu Village. Beppu Port in Nishinoshima Town and Hishiura Port in Ama Town can be reached from Saigo Port in Okinoshima Town.
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