For a country surrounded by water it was strange for me when I first arrived in Japan to see very few yacht clubs lining the waterfronts. I haven’t spent a lot of time trying to count how many yacht clubs there are in Japan but compared to my home city, Auckland in New Zealand there seems to be hardly any.
This was until I went out to Ushimado Town to visit my friend and as you drive into the town you can see two areas where boats are moored. One was where the working fishing boats were lined up against each other, showing the wear and tear of working the Seto Inland Sea and the other is showing off a variety of yachts and muscle boats that will be used to cruise around the Seto Inland Sea islands or for the larger vessels maybe around the 6,800 island that are scattered around Japan or who knows to go off shore to other exotic destinations.
The day I went to Ushimado to do interviews at a local kayak and pension I decided to visit the yacht club to take some shots. Moored near the club rooms was an unusual looking ship that seemed to have traveled from a different time. No-one was on board but you could imagine that it had docked at many marinas around the world by the natural wear and tear and aging of this ship. You could also see lots of other yachts docked and I’m imagined too that they all have stories to tell. I have only met a few people in Japan that own a pleasure boat and as you can expect to own and moor a boat costs a fortune. Unlike New Zealand people don’t hit the water as often as they would want to here in Japan but when they do I am sure the sights are just as impressive.
Getting back to Ushimado, the club house was designed to represent the sails on a yacht. I was unable to meet anyone this day but learned that the yacht club is very active in the warmer seasons and hold sailing events off Ushimado. This I will have to write about when I can find the time to attend one.
For those just visiting Ushimado for a few days the way to get your sailing fix is to visit the Limani Hotel where cruises are timetables throughout the day. I have been on the sunset cruise a couple of times and even though it was for a very short time, it was great being able to breathe in the fresh salt air and for the seawater to spatter on my legs as they dangled over the boat.