Located just five minutes by ferry from Tomonoura is the uninhabited island of Sensuijima. This popular natural retreat offers an easily accessible get-away with a variety of fun activities to try.
For starters Sensuijima has an elaborate network of paths and trails that lead around the island and even into the wooded hills. Go hiking and discover the many scenic lookout points that provide great views of the Seto Inland Sea.
Sensuijima is a year round camping destination where everything you need to get back to nature is provided for you. Summer is the peak season but winter campers are also a regular sight because apparently electric carpets and heated tables are allowed inside the tents.
The campground consists of wooden platform-style tent sites situated along a tree-covered hillside. You get a view of the harbor on one side and the valley on the other, which is where you will find a multi-purpose activity and play area complete with tables and seating.
If you are interested in actually being on the water, you have a few options. There are 45 minute cruises departing from Sensuijima available that take you around the sights of both the island and Tomonoura Harbor.
A kayaking experience may be what you are looking for. You can take a 60 minute excursion off the shores of the island.
One of the many special treats on Sensuijima is that there are eight grotto-like baths that are filled with heated sea water. Visit all of them and then stay the night at the local municipal pension, where you will be treated to fine Japanese cuisine in great variety.
If you are in the mood for one more interesting experience, try traditional salt-making. Sea salt is highly regarded for its healing properties and you can see how it is produced right on the island.
Before going out to the island, take a trek up into the hills behind Tomonoura for a sweeping view of the port area, Sensuijima and Benten island. For a closer view of the same locations and touch of romance, have a look from a window at Fukuzen-ji Temple.
About the Area
Fukuyama is the second largest city in Hiroshima Prefecture and borders Okayama Prefecture to the west. The city is famous for is annual rose festival and the splendid Fukuyama castle. The castle is the cultural center of the city, as many yearly events and festivals are held there or in the vicinity.
Tomonoura is a port district of the city that has become well-known for its use in both live action and animated features. Most famous for being the inspiration behind the setting of the Studio Ghibli animated film Ponyo, the quaint Edo era structures of the town have a timeless appeal.
There are quite a number of sights to see within Tomonoura, including Fukuzenji Temple, with its stunning view of the Benten Island. You can also visit the elegant Enpuku-ji Temple. Other sights on the mainland include the Joyato Lantern, Ankoku-ji Temple and Nunakuma Shrine.
Just off the Tomonoura coast is the resort island of Sensuijima, which can be reached by ferry in a few minutes. The island has three hotels, a swimming beach, a hiking course and a number of notable scenic spots. There are also several heated seawater baths around the island as well.
Access: Take the Shinkansen from JR Okayama Station to JR Fukuyama Station. Take the bus bound for Tomo Port to Tomonoura. Take a 5 minute ferry ride to Sensuijima.
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